Going to culinary school in France meant that our main focus was, of course, French cuisine. And as I quickly learned, French cuisine is all about sauce. At the end of each day, we nervously brought our version of what had been demonstrated earlier to our chef for critique. It was usually a composed plate of protein and sides, but what did the chef always taste first? The sauce.
He'd swipe his fork and knife through the sauce, judging viscosity and eyeing color before tasting and passing judgment. No matter how perfectly cooked and executed the other components were, the sauce mattered the most.