Mama Mia! The Secret is in the Sauce! The Five Mother Sauces

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Hospitality and Tourism

    Course : Practicum in Culinary Arts

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (2) The student develops skills for success in the workplace. The student is expected to:
      • (E) exhibit productive work habits, ethical practices, and a positive attitude
      • (F) demonstrate knowledge of personal and occupational health and safety practices in the workplace
      • (G) demonstrate the ability to work with the other employees to support the organization and complete assigned tasks
      • (J) demonstrate effective verbal, non-verbal, written, and electronic communication skills
      • (K) apply effective listening skills used in the workplace
    • (3) The student demonstrates work ethics, employer expectations, interaction with diverse populations, and communication skills in the workplace. The student is expected to:
      • (B) demonstrate characteristics of successful working relationships such as teamwork, conflict resolution, self-control, and the ability to accept criticism
      • (D) demonstrate respect for the rights of others
      • (F) comply with organizational policies
    • (7) The student uses concepts and skills related to safety in the workplace. The student is expected to:
      • (A) identify and apply safe working practices
      • (B) solve problems related to unsafe work practices and attitudes
    • (10) The student understands the history of food service and the use of the professional kitchen. The student is expected to:
      • (E) use large and small equipment in a commercial kitchen
      • (F) develop food production and presentation techniques
      • (G) demonstrate moist and dry cookery methods
      • (H) demonstrate food preparation skills used in commercial food service preparations such as breakfast cookery, salads and dressings, soups and sandwiches, stocks and sauces, appetizers, seafood, poultry cookery, meat cookery, pastas and grains, and fruits and vegetables
      • (K) demonstrate proper cleaning of equipment and maintenance of the commercial kitchen
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • will demonstrate industry standard safety and sanitation procedures
    • identify and define the five mother sauces
    • prepare each of the five mother sauces
    • participate as a member of a kitchen brigade in order to prepare the assigned sauces
  • Rationale


    As a culinary student and a future food service industry employee, it is important to recognize, identify, and be able to prepare each of the five mother sauces. Working in the food industry, it is important to utilize sauces as part of garnishing and plating presentations. Properly preparing and utilizing these sauces will help you earn a respected position in a commercial kitchen.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Five 45 minute class periods.

  • Word Wall

    Béchamel: (French) A rich cream sauce made from cream and a roux, with an onion pique

    Espagnole: also known as a Brown sauce and is used as a base for many sauces. Made of beef stock, mirepoix, a brown roux, and herbs.

    Hollandaise: A sauce made of butter, egg yolks, and flavorings (especially lemon juice)

    Mirepoix: A French Culinary term that refers to a rough dice of carrot, onion and celery that forms the basis of a wide variety of stocks, sauces and soups

    Mother Sauce: A basic sauce used in the production of other sauces. The five leading hot sauces are: béchamel, véloute, espangole, tomato and hollandaise

    Onion pique: Is a traditional French culinary technique where a chef attaches one or more bay leaves to an onion by pushing whole cloves through the leaves into the onion

    Pureé: Any food (usually a fruit or vegetable) that is finely mashed to a smooth, thick, smooth consistency

    Roux: A mixture of flour and fat that, after being slowly cooked over low heat, is used to thicken mixtures such as soups and sauces. There are three classic roux — white, blond and brown.

    Tomato sauce: Made with puréed tomatoes to give the sauce texture and flavor. This type of sauce may be referred to as Coulis (koo-lee).

    Véloute: (French) A sauce made with veal stock, cream, and tightened with a white roux

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with Internet for multimedia presentations
    • smart board or projection screen and projector


    • card stock
    • disposable plates
    • rubber spatulas
    • sauce pots (2 quarts)
    • sauté pans
    • stock pots
    • wire whisks


    • French Bread – 1 loaf per lab group – for taste testing each sauce
    • recipe ingredients

    • copies of all handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
  • Anticipatory Set

    Before class begins:

    Prior to class:
    Use the sources below to select Mother sauce recipes or use recipes of you own.

    Print terms on a half-sheet of card stock and the definition on the other half. Tape the terms to a wall.

    As students walk into the classroom, hand the definitions to various students.

    Have a tomato/pasta sauce simmering on the stove so students can smell the sauce as they walk into class. The sauce can be a commercial sauce or one that you prepared.

    Disney Pixar’s Ratatouille – Present a quick review of the role of the Saucier in a commercial kitchen using the film clip from scene selection 7 if available.

    The student will answer the discuss questions:

    • Why is the role of the saucier crucial to the recipe?
    • What ingredients are necessary to create a palatable sauce?
    • How are sauces used in food presentation?

    Many terms in culinary arena are french. Pronounce the terms correctly for the students or have them listen to a computer program such as that will correctly pronounce the words. Instruct students to write down the terms as you introduce them. Hold a discussion and allow students to determine, and write down the correct definitions.

    Have correct definitions placed on wall next to terms. Allow time for students to practice pronouncing terms to each other.

    Option: Distribute graphic organizer Mother Sauce Connections KWL Chart (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and ask students to write three points about what they already know about Mother Sauces and what they would like to learn about them.
    Revisit the KWL chart in lesson closure to complete the chart about what three points students learned in this lesson.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Review lesson objectives, terms, and definitions.

    Introduce PowerPoint™ Mama Mia! The Secret’s in the Sauce! (see All Lesson Attachments tab).
    Distribute graphic organizer Mother Sauces (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students should take notes as you review the five mother sauces.
    View YouTube™ video recipe:
    Bechamel Sauce
    Chef Keith Snow
    This classic Mother sauce is one of the 5 foundational sauces in French cuisine. It can be used in many ways and many in variations, or compound sauces can spring from this.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • work with peers
    • check for understanding

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Divide students into lab groups.

    Distribute copies of your selected recipes for lab or allow students to research recipes using the internet or cookbooks available. Each group will make a different sauce so that everyone may sample.

    Distribute graphic organizer Steps to Creating a Sauce (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Assist students as they list the steps for their sauce and other sauces that can be made from the mother sauce. They may use their textbook or the internet.
    The Venn Diagram is to illustrate the difference between the mireproix and the Cajun trinity vegetables. They share the onions and celery and the difference is the carrots in the mireproix and bell pepper in the trinity.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • peer tutor
    • shortened assignment

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Remind students of lab and food safety rules before they begin preparing their recipes.

    Each group will complete a Lab Prep Sheet (kitchen brigade format) with executive chef, sous chef, prep cook, line cook, and dishwasher or whatever brigade format you choose. Groups should work together as a team displaying positive work habits, attitudes, and communication skills to produce a flavorful product.

    Distribute Rubric for Lab Experience (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that student may understand what is expected.

    Lab groups will prepare one of the five mother sauces: Béchamel, Espagnole, Véloute, Tomato and Hollandaise.
    All safety and sanitation rules learned previously will be followed.
    Equipment, utensils, and kitchen area will be cleaned and maintained before class ends.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • check for understanding
    • provide praise and encouragement
    • work in small groups

  • Lesson Closure

    Review lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Allow students to sample the sauces using the french bread to taste.

    Evaluation/discussion question and answer:

    • What was your favorite sauce?
    • What would you do different in making the sauce?
    • What dishes would you use this sauce in?
    • Would you make this sauce at home for your family?

    Remind students that a quiz will be taken for the mother sauces.

    Option: Revisit the Mother Sauce Connections KWL Chart (see All Lesson Attachments tab) to complete the chart.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Lab will be assessed with the Rubric for Laboratory Experience (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Students will be assessed with the handout Mother Sauce Quiz (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • allow more time for written responses.
    • give much encouragement and praise

  • References/Resources


    • Gisslen, W. (2007). Professional Cooking, Sixth Edition, Chapter 8, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons pages 159-171.
    • Beasley, E. (2007) FS Prep Culinary Curriculum Lessons, Third Edition, Unit 4, Sauces, Chicago, IL: Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation, pages 4—76 to 4—80.



    • Video Recipe: Bechamel Sauce
      Chef Keith Snow
      This classic Mother sauce is one of the 5 foundational sauces in French cuisine. It can be used in many ways and many in variations, or compound sauces can spring from this.
  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Ezine Articles

    Using computers with internet access allow students to work in pairs and select and read one of the 3 ezine articles listed above. For each article the pair will:

    • create a list of 10 vocabulary words from the article
    • create a concept map summarizing the article
    • bullet list five (5) key points from the article

  • Quotes

    What is sauce for the goose may be sauce for the gander, but it is not necessarily sauce for the chicken, the duck, the turkey or the guinea hen.
    - Alice B. Toklas

    Of all the items on the menu, soup is that which exacts the most delicate perfection and the strictest attention.
    - Escoffier

    The difference between good and bad cookery can scarcely be more strikingly shown than in the manner in which sauces are prepared and served. If well made….they prove that both skill and taste have been exerted in its arrangements. When coarsely or carelessly prepared….they greatly discredit the cook.
    - Eliza Acton

    It is the sauce that distinguishes a good chef. The Saucier is a soloist in the orchestra of a great kitchen.
    - Fernand Point

    Sauces are the orchestration and accompaniment of a fine meal, and enable a good chef or cook to demonstrate his talent.
    - Curnonsky

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies


    • Mama Mia! The Secret is in the Sauce! The Five Mother Sauces
    • Presentation Notes – Mama Mia! The Secret is in the Sauce! The Five Mother Sauces
  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizer

    • Mother Sauce Connections KWL Chart
    • Mother Sauces
    • Mother Sauces (Key)
    • Steps to Creating a Sauce


    • Mother Sauces Quiz
    • Mother Sauces Quiz (Key)
    • Rubric for Laboratory Experience
  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • My favorite sauce is ………………..
    • I use _________ sauce in …………….
    • Homemade sauce is better than can or jar sauce because………
    • Can or jar sauce is better than homemade because…………

    Writing Strategy

    RAFT writing strategy

    • Role – restaurant chef
    • Audience – customers
    • Format – newsletter
    • Topic – new menu item

  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • My favorite mother sauce is ………………
    • The Cajun Trinity is used in foods such as ……………
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    Allow students to prepare a protein dish to compliment their mother sauce.

  • Family/Community Connection

    Invite a guest chef to speak to students about the role of Saucier in the kitchen brigade.

    Prepare one of the mother sauces at home for family to taste.

  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career, Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    STAR Events

    • Culinary Arts – A team event – recognizes participants enrolled in occupational culinary arts/food service training programs for their ability to work as members of a team to produce a quality meal using industrial culinary arts/food service techniques and equipment.
    • Food Innovations An individual or team event – recognizes participants who demonstrate knowledge of the basic concepts of food product development by creating an original prototype formula, testing the product through focus groups, and developing a marketing strategy.
    • Illustrated Talk – An individual or team event – recognizes participants who make an oral presentation about issues concerning Family and Consumer Sciences and/or related occupations. Participants use visuals to illustrate content of the presentation.


    • Culinary Arts
      The competition will encompass both hot and cold food preparation and presentation. Contestants will demonstrate their knowledge and skills through the production of a four-course menu in a full day competition. The contestants will be rated on their organization, knife skills, cooking techniques, creative presentation, sanitation food safety techniques, and above all, the quality and flavor of their prepared items. The high school competitors will work from one menu with standardized recipes. The college/postsecondary students will work from a market basket format and write their own menu and recipes the night before the competition.

  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to lesson. For additional information on service learning see:

    Possible ideas:

    • Develop a service project with the teacher, life skills teacher and guest chef to prepare an “each-one, teach-one” learning lab using the recipe for Tomato Sauce. Culinary students demonstrate, prepare and serve the tomato sauce and pasta to life skills students.

  • All Attachments