"50 Jargon terms used in the Food Production Department"

Enough of wondering! Start learning the terms used in the food production department with these 50 easy-to-understand explanations.

In the hospitality industry, it can be overwhelming when everyone seems to be familiar with the jargon, except you. Even as you gain experience, you often encounter new terms and acronyms that could confuse you.

Instead of constantly searching online for definitions, we have a solution for you. Here, we offer a straightforward dictionary with 50 essential terms, explained in simple, non-technical language. 

Words by
Storm CostaBir


Reading Time
04 min read

1. A La Carte
  1. A menu style where individual dishes are priced separately rather than as part of a set meal
2. Aioli
  • A Mediterranean sauce made from garlic, olive oil, and egg yolks, similar to mayonnaise
3. Bain-Marie
  1. A water bath used to gently heat or keep food warm without direct contact with the heat source
4. Batonnets
  • Uniform cuts of food, typically vegetables, that are shaped like small sticks or matchsticks
5. Bisque
  1. A thick and creamy soup made from shellfish, often flavored with wine and aromatic vegetables
6. Blanch
  • To briefly cook food in boiling water, then immediately transfer it to ice water to stop the cooking process
7. Bouquet Garni
  1. A bundle of fresh herbs, typically tied together with string or wrapped in a cheesecloth, used to flavor stocks, soups and stews
8. Bouchee
  • A small round puff pastry shell used for sweet or savory fillings
9. Braise
  1. A cooking method where food is seared and then simmered slowly in liquid over low heat
10. Brine
  • A solution of salt and water used to preserve or enhance the flavor of meat or seafood
11. Brûlée
  1. A dessert made by sprinkling sugar on top of a dish and caramelizing it with a torch or broiler
12. Caramelization
  • The process of heating sugar until it melts and turns into a golden-brown caramel with a rich flavor
13. Chiffonade
  1. A cutting technique where leafy greens or herbs are thinly sliced into long, narrow strips
14. Choux Pastry
  • To pour alcohol over food and ignite it for a brief moment to create a burst of flame and add flavor.
15. Confit
  1. A preservation method where food, typically meat, is slow-cooked in fat at low temperatures until tender
16. Consommé
  • A clarified soup made by simmering meat or vegetable stock with egg whites and other ingredients, then straining to remove impurities
17. Debone
  1. To remove bones from meat or fish before or after cooking
18. Deglaze
  • To add liquid, such as stock or wine, to a pan to dislodge stuck food particles, and then scrape up the browned bits of food left on the bottom
19. Demi-Glace
  1. A rich, concentrated brown sauce made by reducing and thickening a combination of veal or beef stock and espagnole sauce
20. Dredge
  • To coat food with flour, breadcrumbs, or a dry mixture before cooking
21. Emulsion
  1. A mixture of two or more liquids that are typically immiscible, such as oil and vinegar in a vinaigrette
22. Flambé
  • To pour alcohol over food and ignite it for a brief moment to create a burst of flame and add flavor
23. Garnish
  1. A decorative and edible element added to a dish for added visual appeal or flavor enhancement
24. Gastronomy
  • The art and science of preparing and appreciating good food and drinks
25. Gratin
  1. A dish topped with breadcrumbs, cheese, or sauce, then browned under a broiler or in the oven
26. Herb-Infused
  • The process of steeping herbs in hot liquid to infuse their flavors
27. Herbaceous
  1. Having the characteristics or qualities of herbs, often used to describe the flavors or aromas of certain dishes
28. Infusion
  • The process of extracting flavors from ingredients by steeping them in a liquid, such as tea or herbs in hot water
29. Julienne
  1. To cut food into long, thin strips, often used for vegetables or garnishes
30. Jus
  • Juices released during roasting of meats and normally served with it
31. Kitchen Brigade / Brigade de Cuisine
  1. A hierarchical structure in the kitchen, dividing responsibilities among different roles and positions
32. Marinate
  • To soak food in a mixture of marinade or seasoning to enhance its flavor and tenderness
33. Mise en Place
  1. The process of preparing and organizing ingredients, equipment, and tools before cooking
34. Pan-Fry
  • To cook a food item in a moderate amount of fat or oil
35. Papillote
  1. French term denoting the cooking of an item wrapped in paper or possible foil
36. Par-Boil
  • To partially cook in simmering or boiling liquid
37. Par-Cook
  1. To cook partially by any method
38. Poach
  • To cook food gently in liquid, usually water or stock, at a low simmering temperature
39. Portion Control
  1. Measure of food product to ensure service of a standard amount
40. Reduction
  • The process of simmering a liquid, such as a sauce or stock, to evaporate and concentrate its flavors
41. Roulade
  1. A dish where meat or fish is rolled around a filling, then tied or secured before cooking
42. Sauce
  • A flavourful liquid, usually thickened, which is used to enhance the flavour and give moisture to food
43. Sauté
  1. To cook food quickly in a small amount of oil or fat over high heat, often done in a sauté pan
44. Sear
  • To quickly cook the surface of meat or seafood over high heat to develop a brown crust and seal in juices
45. Sous Chef
  1. The second-in-command in the kitchen, responsible for supervising food preparation and managing kitchen operations
46. Sous-Vide
  • A cooking method where food is vacuum-sealed in a bag and cooked at a precise and controlled temperature in a water bath
47. Suprême
  1. A cooking technique where the skin and bones are removed from poultry or fish, leaving only the best cuts
48. Velouté
  • A smooth, creamy sauce made from a roux (a mixture of flour and fat) and a light stock, often used as a base for soups and sauces
49. Zest
  1. The outermost layer of citrus fruit peel, used to add flavor and aroma to dishes
50. Zester
  • A kitchen tool used to extract the zest (outer colored part) of citrus fruits, adding flavor and aroma to dishes and drinks

To conclude, by familiarizing yourself with the 50 jargon terms we've discussed in this blog, you've gained a valuable set of tools for navigating the food production department. We hope this knowledge will boost your confidence and improve your communication with colleagues, clients and customers.