13 Classic French Dishes You Need to Master at Home

Katie Sweeney

At culinary school, students are taught traditional French techniques, like how to make the mother sauces, the difference between julienne and chiffonade, and the importance of mise-en-place. Why? Because in the food world, French cookery is considered the basis of all other styles of cuisine. If you know how to make a fricassee or hollandaise, you can certainly make macaroni and cheese or Caesar salad.

What if we apply the same sort of thinking to the home cook? If the culinary student should master the techniques of a world-renowned Parisian chef, shouldn’t the home cook master the techniques of the everyday French kitchen? Julia Child certainly thought so—this is what she built her entire career upon!

However, in the past couple of years, the emphasis on home cooking has trended toward faster, easier preparations, and French classics have fallen by the wayside. Isn’t it high time we take back the kitchen? We think so. Why not slow down, cook authentic French country food, and enjoy the meal with a bottle of good wine? To inspire you to tie on your apron and channel your inner grandmère, here are 13 quintessential French dishes every home cook should perfect. Bon appétit!

What is your favorite French dish to make at home?

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