The Key To Modernizing Any Cuisine, According To Yannick Alléno

Bringing fresh tastes and new life to the same old ingredients can be a tough job, but it's one many chefs happily take on. For Michelin-starred and award-winning French chef Yannick Alléno, the secret is in the sauce. When asked by Port Magazine about the challenges of reviving traditional French dishes, Alléno was quick to identify sauce as the component that has the ability to update and renew any meal. Sauces can be continually perfected, he explained, and options are endless when it comes to devising new ways to flavor food.

"It's like you as a writer, you will need verbs to describe and to write an article, well, cuisine is the same and the verb of the French cuisine is sauce," he told the interviewer. "So if you understand that, then you can move around and make something new with that, you can make a new salad, a new pastry, a new ice cream ... a new cuisine." 

Limitless culinary options

For the home cook, Alléno's advice offers encouraging inspiration to continually search for creative ways to make variations of classic favorites. Even something as simple as eggs on toast can be upgraded with the inclusion of a fresh, herbal sauce or a drizzle of chili oil mixed with soy sauce and scallions.

From adding simple ingredients to sauces like arrabbiata to dressing up non-dairy pasta sauce, chefs of all experiences have an entire world to play with when it comes to making new sauces and putting new twists on your favorite recipes. If you're needing inspiration for tonight's dinner, try our five-ingredient Tonkatsu sauce to serve with grilled sirloin, or create a tangy yogurt sauce that Claire Saffitz manages to pair with almost every dish that comes out of her kitchen. Mushroom soy sauce can add extra flavor to a basic stir fry, or plan to add the fermented Ghanaian shito sauce to tomorrow's soup lunch. Imagine Alléno cheering you on, and don't be afraid to experiment.