This is the glossary for The Chef Life, I will do my best to include definitions as I use them on the site. If you have any suggestions for words that require clarification, comment and I will make sure to provide a description here.



Blanch: The process of partially cooking an item by submerging it in rapidly boiling water. It is important to shock the item in an ice bath once it has reached its desired state to stop the cooking process immediately.

Boil: The state of a liquid that has large rolling bubbles in it. Technically speaking the temperature of the liquid is at or above 212 degrees Fahrenheit.


Court Bouillon: A flavoured broth used for poaching many items, usually seafood. A recipe for a classic court bouillon is 4 L of water, 1/4 cup salt, 1 cup white wine, 1 white onion, 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot, 1 lemon and a sachet. Bring these items to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, then strain. For a more astringent flavour, add 1/2 cup of white vinegar.




Fine Mesh Strainer: a tool used for sifting, passing, or straining items. It is dish shaped, with a handle.

Flour (verb): I mean sprinkle with all purpose flour unless otherwise specified. If it is a surface, take a pinch of flour in your hand and at a low angle throw it against the surface so that it spreads.

Fold: A method of combining ingredients. Place the ingredients to be folded together into a s/s bowl. With the edge of a spatula, start in the middle of the ingredients and pull to the edge of the bowl. Turn the spatula, scooping the ingredients as you move the s/s bowl in a counter-clockwise motion, lifting the scooped ingredients into the center of the bowl. Repeat until the ingredients have been incorporated.


Granulated sugar: better known as white sugar.



Ice Bath: A mixture of ice, water and a pinch of salt used to stop an item from overcooking or to refresh an item.







Offset Spatula: A thin metal spatula that has a raised handle. It is roughly in the same shape as the letter Z though elongated. Used for lifting delicate ingredients/items and for icing cakes.


Peak: The pointed mound created from whipping an ingredient. Lift the whipping tool out of the ingredient and observe the result, this will create a peak.

Poaching: A wet cooking method where a food item is completely submerged in a flavoured liquid. The liquid should be just under a boiling point, technically speaking it should be between 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that when you submerge your item in the poaching liquid, the temperature of the liquid will drop so it is best to heat the liquid to the higher temperature to begin.



Roast: A dry heat method of cooking food in an oven. Typically the period of time the food spends in the oven is relatively long.


S/S: short-hand for stainless steel.

Sachet: A mixture of herbs and spices wrapped in cheesecloth added to a stock or sauce. A classic sachet added to any stock contains parsley stems, peppercorns, bay leaf and thyme (fresh preferred, dried if necessary).

Set: When something is not jiggly anymore.

Sifter: A flour sifter is a tool with a handle attached to a cup where the bottom is a mesh screen. It has a handle you turn, which rotates some spokes inside the cup and works the contents through the mesh screen. It’s for lazy people.

Silicone Baking Mat: A silicone mat treated for heat that you line baking sheets with. They are durable, reusable, and release food easily after baking.

Simmer: The state of a liquid that has movement in it, and tiny bubbles coming to the surface. Technically speaking, the temperature of a simmer is 185 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smoke Point: The temperature at which a fat starts to smoke. Unfiltered fats will smoke at a lower temperature because of the impurities in them. Whole butter smokes at a relatively low temperature because the milk proteins start to burn. This adds bitterness, and unpleasant colouring to a dish. Smoke points are important to keep in mind if you need high heat to accomplish a flavour, such as searing. For a complete list of smoke points, please see here.

Soft Peak: When whipping an item, if you take your whisk out of the ingredient and turn it upside down, a peak will appear and then melt away after a second.

Stand Mixer: A Cuisinart stand mixer is the most common at home. Commercial sized versions are mostly by the brand Hobart. It allows for several different attachments, depending on how you wish to work the contents of the mixing bowl, and allows you different speeds at which to accomplish that work.

Stock: A liquid that has been flavoured by any number of things, used in soups, sauces, braising, etc. Every stock has a ratio of 2:1:1 onions, carrot, celery, bay leaves, whole black pepper corns, thyme and parsley stems. Depending on the type of stock other bones can be added, the most common being chicken and roasted beef bones.


Tamis: A tool used for sifting or “passing” ingredients, cooked or raw. It resembles a round cake pan but the bottom of the pan is replaced with a fine mesh. You usually use a plastic, malleable, plastic bench scraper to work the ingredient through the tamis.

Temper: The act of raising or lowering the temperature of an ingredient. Eggs can be tempered to room temp by bringing them out of the fridge. Cream can be tempered by pouring a little bit of hot liquid in while mixing. It serves a few purposes, but typically it is to avoid shocking an ingredient with a sudden jump in temperature.




Weep: A term used to describe when whipped egg whites lose the air whipped into them and revert to liquid.

Whip: Another term for a whisk. Specifically a whip is a whisk with thin, malleable tines (spokes, wiry-things) used for whipping ingredients.




2 Responses to “Glossary”
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  1. […] and cleaning the lobster is fairly simple. For best results, use a court bouillon for your poaching liquid, and poach for about 7-9 minutes depending on the size of your lobster. […]

  2. […] 200 grams of Granulated Sugar […]

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