The amuse-bouche as an identifiable course arose during the Nouvelle Cuisine movement, which emphasized smaller, more intensely flavoured courses. It is distinguished from other kinds of hors d'œuvres by three characteristics. It is small, usually just one or two bites. It is the same for all of the guests at the table. And finally, it is not ordered by anyone; rather it is offered free of charge.
Confit is a generic term for various kinds of food that have been immersed in a substance for both flavour and preservation. Sealed and stored in a cool place, confit can last for several months. Confit is one of the oldest ways to preserve food, and is a speciality of South-western France.
Degustation is a culinary term meaning "a careful, appreciative tasting of various foods" and focusing on the gustatory system, the senses, high culinary art and good company. Modern dégustation probably comes from the French kitchens of the early 20th century and is different from earlier meals with many courses because these meals were served as full-sized meals at each course. Dégustation is more likely to involve sampling small portions of all of a chef's signature dishes in one sitting. Usually consisting of eight or more courses, it may be accompanied by a matching wine degustation which complements each dish.
Poured fondant is a cream confection used as a filling or coating for cakes, pastries, and candies or sweets. In its simplest form, it is sugar and water cooked to the soft-ball stage, cooled slightly, and stirred or beaten until it is an opaque mass of creamy consistency. Sometimes lemon is added to the mixture, mainly for taste. Other flavourings are used as well, as are various colourings.
A petit four (plural: petits fours) is a small cake generally eaten at the end of a meal or served as part of dessert. The name is from the French petit four, meaning "small oven".
A soufflé is a light, fluffy, baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a savoury main dish or sweetened as a dessert. The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means "to blow up" or more loosely "puff up" — an apt description of what happens to this combination of custard and egg whites.
Wagyu refers to several breeds of cattle genetically predisposed to intense marbling and to producing a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat. The meat from wagyu cattle is known worldwide for its marbling characteristics, increased eating quality through a naturally enhanced flavour, tenderness and juiciness, and thus a high market value. Several areas in Japan are famous for the quality of their Wagyu cattle, and ship beef bearing their areas' names. Some examples are Kobe, Mishima and Omi beef.Download the glossary