The Unique Way Yannick Alléno Perfects Sauce Extractions

In a video interview for Unilever Food Solutions, Chef Yannick Alléno can be seen swirling sauces in wine glasses, smelling each ingredient as if discovering a bouquet of wine. Alléno uses extraction techniques to perfect many of his sauces, and the chef has become known for his unique approach to building texturally rich and enticing sauces to complement his dishes. Alléno offers the example of a white mushroom extraction that has been cold-reduced two times, describing the notes of the iodized sauce as subtle layers of lobster and carcass. While explaining the creation, Alléno takes a sip of the sauce from a wine glass as if he were sipping a freshly poured blend. 

The sauces Alléno samples and presents have been cooked at a steady, controlled temperature for half a day, he shares, and he encourages tasters to experience the sauce by noticing sensations and flavors on the tongue even after the sauce has been eaten. With the mushroom sauce, for example, Alléno describes that the prepared ingredient can remain on the tongue for a long time, even after the sauce has been swallowed, so a diner will experience the taste long after a plate is cleaned and cleared. 

The art of the sauce

According to Alléno, making sauces is one of the key ways a chef can elevate and modernize dishes, regardless of the type of cuisine. Though you may not be able to prepare sauces in a controlled environment at home, you can mirror Alléno's approach to sampling and trying the sauces you create in your own kitchen. 

While putting together and mixing your own sauces at home, keep Alléno's wine-tasting method in mind and sample the sauces you make — independent of other ingredients. As you taste your creations, notice the different notes that your sauces offer, from the moment the sauce hits your tongue until after you've finished the sample. Over time, your palate will evolve, and you'll be able to not only describe the subtle nuances each sauce presents but also season and salt each creation like a true culinary professional. Once the sauce is perfected, your meals will never be the same.