17 Courses of French classical menu sequence with examples

A French classical menu is the standard of a menu created by the french, it is consists of 17 courses. The food service staff must know the sequence in which the classical menu is presented
In the modern context, guests do not have that much time to dine, nor health-conscious generation allows themselves to overeat, so the french classical menu has been reduced. 

however, now we are going to look at the 17 courses of the french classical

17 Courses of French classical menu sequence
17 Courses of French classical menu sequence

    1. Hors-d-oeuvre (Appetizer)

    It is the first course of the french classical menu. This course consists of dainty and delicate dishes of tangy, salty nature, aimed at stimulating appetite. It is usually served from a rotating trolley or a tray a small amount of each variety being placed on the plate to make up a portion.
    There are generally two types from the service point of view.
    1. General Hors-d-oeuvre
    2. Classical Hors-d-oeuvre

    1. General Hors-d-oeuvre: 

    In this course served all cold preparation that includes salad, cold meat preparation, fish preparation, and so on

    Cover:  Half plate, hors-d-oeuvre plate, fish fork, fish knife
    Examples of  General Hors-d-oeuvre:  Russian salad, Fish mayonnaise, Chicken galantine, Pate-de-faiegrar (paste of goose liver)
    General Hors-d-oeuvre/chicken galantine
    Chicken galantine

    2. Classical Hors-d-oeuvre: 

    Classical hors-d-oeuvres are including the following:
    A) Fruit juice/Soft drinks: In this course, various types of juices are served such as tomato juice apple juice, grapefruit juice, served in a pony glass on an underplate over a dolly paper.
    Classical hors-d-oeuvres/fruit juice
    A glass of orange juice
    Cover: Pony glass, an under-liner plate with a teaspoon.

    B) Grapefruit: Grapefruits are served in a grapefruit cup, place on an underplate over a dolly paper with a grapefruit spoon. If the exact grapefruit cup is not available, it may be served in a half plate in some fancy shape napkin folding.
    Classical Hors-d-oeuvre/grape fruit
    Cover: Grapefruit cup, underplate, and a grapefruit spoon or a teaspoon.

    C) Melon:  There are various types of melon such as Cantaloupe, Honeydew, watermelon, charantis. Served on half-plate on a bed of crusher ice fruit fork and knife. If the melon is overripe a dessert spoon or a teaspoon is also given.
    Classical Hors-d-oeuvre/honeydew
    Honeydew melon
    Cover: Haif plate, fruit fork, and a fruit knife, dessert spoon, or teaspoon 
    D) Shellfish cocktail:  Any shellfish like shrimp, prawn, crab, and so on, are put in sauce, which is made with mayonnaise sauce, tomato ketchup, chilly sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, and garnished with chopped parsley and a slice of egg. It is served in a cocktail glass on an underplate over a doily paper with a teaspoon.
    Classical Hors-d-oeuvre/Shellfish cocktail
    Shellfish cocktail
    Cover: Cocktail glass, underplate, and teaspoon.

    E) Oyster: Oyster is a type of seafood, it is eaten row but not alive. They are freshly part of sea-shell. Oysters are served by six or dozen as a portion in deep plate on a bed of crushed ice. The deep plate is placed on a large plate over dolly peper. The oyster fork is placed on the right side of the cover.
    Classical Hors-d-oeuvre/Oyster
    Oyster on a bed of crushed ice

    Cover: Oyster fork, deep plate, large plate.

    F) Caviar: It is the roe of sturgeon fish, caviar is served by weight. If the guest asked for certain caviar then the whole container is placed in front of the guest, after consuming the guest has given a charge on the basis of difference in the weight. 
    Classical Hors-d-oeuvre/caviar
    Caviar sandwich
    Some types of caviar:  Beluga, Kaluga, Sevgura, Oscietre, Botarga, Malossal.
    Cover: Cold half-plate, caviar knife.

    2. Potage (Soup)

    Potage or soup is the second course in the french classical menu. All classes of soups, such as clear, cream, puree, veloute, broth, bisque, and chowder come under the course. 
    In the absence of an appetizer on the menu, soup assumes the role of an appetizer. It stimulates the appetite for the heavier food
    Soup is served in a soup bowl or soup plate on an underplate over a doily paper. soup is placed on the cover.
    There are basically two types of soup thick soup and thin soup in the menu. There may be a choice between thin soup and thick soup, thin soup is written first in the menu

    Thick soup:

    • Puree soup:  Pea soup, potato soup
    • Cream soup:  Cream of tomato
    • Veloute:  Chicken veloute
    • Bisque:  Crab bisque
    • Cowder:  Manhatten clam chowder

    Thin soup

    • Consomme:  consomme cereals, consomme julienne
    • Broth: Scotch broth, chicken broth
    Potage/ puree soup
    A bowl of puree soup

    Examples of Potages are

    • Consommé julienne: Clear soup garnished with strips of root vegetables
    • Consommé Celestine: Clear soup garnished with strips of savory pancakes.
    • Consommé royal: Clear soup consists of shredded vegetables, minced mutton.
    • Bisque d’homard: Thick lobster-flavoured soup
    • Creme de tomato: Cream of tomato soup.
    • Minestrone soup: A thick Italian vegetable soup
    • Petite marmite: Clear soup, made from a variety of meats and vegetables
    • Vichyssoise:  A thick cold soup made of  puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock
    • Green Bean Soup:  Cream of Green Beans
    • Bouillabaisse: A fish stew

    Cover: Soup bowl or soup plate, underplate, soup spoon.

    3. Oeufs (Egg)

    It is the third course of the french classical menu. All types of egg preparations (except plain boil egg)  are included in this course.
    The egg may be given in place of fish course after appetizer and soup courses, It is advisable to include either egg or pasta in table d’hote luncheon menu. 
    They are not included in set dinner menus as this makes one feel quite heavy during dinner
    Oeufs/boiled egg
    Examples of oeufs are
    • Oeuf Poche florentine:  poached egg on a bed of spinach coated with cheese sauce & gratinated
    • En cocotte:  A French way of baking eggs in a water bath in the oven
    • Omelette chasseur: omelet with chicken livers and mushrooms.
    • Egg chimay: Boiled egg with mushroom sauce and cheese.
    • Omelette espagnole: flat omelet with onions, pepper, tomato
    • Oeufs en cocotte a la creme: egg cooked in its own dish in a bain-marie and garnished with cram.
    • Oeufs sure le plant:  An elegant egg dish
    • Egg morney

    4. Farinaceous / Farineaux (Pasta or Rice)

    It is the fourth course of the french classical menu. This is Italy’s contribution to the courses of the menu. It includes different kinds of rice and pasta. made from an unleavened dough of wheat flour mixed with water or eggs.

    Pasta dishes are spaghetti, lasagne, and gnocchi. There are more than 200 varieties of pasta. The ingredients, size, shape, and color determine the type of pasta.
    Example of Farinaceous / Farineaux
    • Spaghetti bolognaise: Spaghetti blended with minced lean beef with rich brown sauce.
    • Spaghetti napolitine: Spaghetti in a tomato- and garlic-flavored sauce.
    • Spaghetti alla carbonara: Spaghetti pasta, with raw eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, bacon.
    • Ravioli di borragine: Ravioli dumplings, filled with ricotta cheese and Borage, served with butter and walnuts
    • Gnocchi alla romana: Soft dough gnocchi dumplings, made with, eggs, milk and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and baked with butter and pecorino Romano cheese
    • Lasagne alla napoletana: A Neapolitan dish of baked lasagne flat-shaped pasta, made with several layers of lasagne sheets alternated with ragù sauce, mozzarella cheese
    • Cannelloni ricotta e spinaci: A baked pasta dish, made with cannelloni, filled with a sauce of ricotta cheese and spinach.

    5. Poisson (Fish)

    It is the fifth course of the french classical menu. Fish is soft and fibred and tender meat, which is easily digested and help to prepare the appetite for the havier course to come
    There are basically two types of fish preparations
    1. Poached fish preparation: Either covered with sauce or served with a sauce such as hollandaise. mousseline. or mayonnaise separately.
    Examples: fillet of pomfret veronique, fillet of sole morney, fillet of pomfret florentine
    2. Fried, grilled, or baked fish: Which is often dry and served with its appropriate accompanying sauce separately.
    Examples: fillet of pomfret orly, fillet of sole meuniere, fillet of pomfret colbert, grilled gerring.
    Cover: Half plate, fish knife, fish fork
    Poisson/baked fish
    Baked fish

    Examples of poission:

    • Sole meuniere: Sole shallow fried in butter.
    • Sole colbert: Sole, flour, egg, and breadcrumbed and deep-fried, the fillet are rolled back of backbone in preparation.
    • Sole cubat: Filled with sole poached, dressed on a mushroom puree, and coated with cheese sauce.
    • Fillet de pie frite: Fillet of plaice deep-fried and accompanied by a mayonnaise-based sauce flavored with capers, gherkins, and parsley.
    • Trocon de turbot poche: Cutlet of turbot poached with an egg and butter-based sauce.Blanchailles diables: whitebait well seasoned with cayenne pepper and deep-fried. 

    Cover: Half plate, fish knife, fish fork.

    6. Entree (First meat course)

    Entree is generally small well-garnished dishes, this course is said to be an entry to a meat course. which comes from the kitchen ready for service, they are always accompanied by a very rich gravy or sauce.
    When a releve follows the entree then potatoes and vegetables are not served, if a releve does not follow the entree then potatoes and vegetables would be served with entree
    An entree is the first meat course of the french classical menu. Entree may be served as the main course.
    Entree/first meat course
    Beef steak with sauce

    Examples of Entrees are

    • Poulet saute chasseur: saute chicken in a rich brown sauce flavored with tomato and mushroom.
    • Supreme de volaille a la king: Breast and wing of chicken cooked under a cover in the oven.
    • Emincee de volaille a la king:  Minced chicken with savory rice.
    • Foie de veau au lard: Liver with bacon.
    • Steak Diane: Minute steak shallow fried and flavored with onion and mushroom sauce finished with red wine and cream.
    • Rognons saute turbigo: kidneys shallow fried and blende with rich brown sauce garnished with chipolata sausages.
    • Fillet/Rump steak grille: Fillet/Rump steak grilled and garnished with tomatoes, mushroom, watercress, and straw potato.
    • Chautebriand: Double fillet steak grilled.
    Cover: Half plate, small knife, and fork.

    7. Releve (Main meat course or joints of meat)

    It is the seventh course or main course of the french classical menu. Releve is normally larger than entrees and takes the form of butchers’ joints, which have to be carved. These joints are either peeled or roasted. A sauce or roast gravy, potatoes, and green vegetables are always served with this course.

    Joints of meat like lamb, mutton, beef, veal, and pork -cooked by various cooking methods, especially braised, roasted, and boiled are served in this course. It is the heaviest of all the 17 courses of the french classical menu
    The main dish may consist of any of the following:
    • Saddle of mutton
    • Baron of beef
    • Boned sirloin
    • Braised ham
    Service of releve: Releve is served on a large plate or full plate, large fork, and large knife arranged on the cover before guest hand. If rice is served as an accompaniment then an A.P spoon is also provided.
    Entree/joints of meat
    Joints of meat

    Examples of Releves are

    • Contrefilet de boeuf roti a l anglaise: boned and roasted sirloin of beef.
    • Carre d agneau roti:  roast best end of lamb
    • Cuissot de porc roti puree de pommes: roast leg of pork with apple sauce.
    • Gigot d agneau roti sauce menthe: roast leg of lamb with mint sauce
    • Tom Kerridge’s braised ham hocks in Cumberland spices
    • Mustard and Thyme Baron of Beef Au Jus
    • Herby stuffed saddle of lamb with crushed roasties
    Cover: Large plate, large knife, large fork

    8. Sorbet (Rest course)

    sorbets are water ice flavored with champagne or wine or liqueur and essences and are served in a tall glass with a teaspoon/sundae spoon. It is the rest course of the french classical menu.
    It is intended to give rest during a long meal and to stimulate the appetite for the rest course, During this course, Russian cigars and cigarettes are passed around.
    Raspberry sorbet

    Examples of sorbets are

    • Champagne sorbet
    • pineapple sorbet
    • lemon sorbet
    • raspberry sorbet
    Cover: Water tumbler or tall glass, and underplate with a teaspoon. Cigar cutter and matchbox.

    9. Roti (Roast)

    In this course, roasted poultry and game birds are included. If poultry or game birds are cooked by any other cooking method, then those dishes will not be considered as a roast course. 
    Salad is served separately on a half-moon plate with this course. Orange salad is offered with roast duck. This second heaviest course of the 17 courses of the french classical menu.
    It is served on a large plate from a platter by service grear or served as a Pre-plated dish with proper accompaniment and garnish. A large fork and large knife are arranged on the cover.
    Roti /roasted chicken
    Roasted chicken

    Examples of Roti

    • Poulet roti (Roasted chicken) accompanied with bread sauce and roasted gravy.
    • canton roti (Roasted duck) accompanied by apple sauce and roasted gravy.

    Cover: Large plate, large knife, large fork.

    10. Legumes (Vegetables)

    All vegetable preparation comes under this course. Vegetables may be served as the main course on a shorter menu. Different types of vegetables such as mushrooms, artichokes, carrots, broccoli, asparagus are served in this course. 

    These are vegetable dishes that can be served separately as an individual course with its own sauce like hollandaise sauce or beurre fondue, or can be served along with the entrée, relevé, or roast courses.

    Examples of Legumes are:
    • Puree de pommes: Creamed potatoes.
    • Pommes au four: Baked jacket potato.
    • Petits pois au beurre: peas tossed in butter.
    • Epinards en branches: Leaf spinach.
    • Champignons grille: Grilles mushroom.
    • Choufleur morney: Cauliflower with cheese sauce.
    • Celeries braises: Braised celery
    Cover: Half plate, small knife, small fork

    11. Salades (Salad)

    Various types of salads are served during this course, including plain or simple salad or compound salad. It can be cold dish and green vegetables, 

    Some examples of salades
    • Coleslaw
    • Tossed salad
    • Andalouse
    • Waldorf

    12. Buffet Froid (Cold Buffet)

    In this course variety of cold meat and fish is included, together with salad leaves and dressing.

    cold buffet
    Buffet Froid (Cold Buffet)

    Examples of buffet Froid

    • Chicken galantine
    • Smoked SalmanHerb-Stuffed Pork Loin
    • poached salmon with herby mayonnaise
    • Mayonnaise d hommard: – lobster mayonnaise

    13. Entremets (sweets)

    The term Entremets means the entry of the sweet item. All kinds of sweet preparation, such as shuffles, custards, pudding, fool, bavarois, crepes, ice cream, pastries, whether cold or hot are included in this course.
    They are generally two types

    1. General Entremets

     Different types of pudding, cake, pastry, are served, it may be hot or cold. It is served either pre-plated or platter to plate with the help of a service spoon and service fork.
    Cover: Half plate, sweet spoon, sweet fork.
    General Entremets/cream caramel
    Cream caramel
    • Cream caramel
    • Apple strudel
    • Apple pie
    • Souffle,
    • Mousse.
    • Baked Alaska
    • Pineapple cake

    2. Ice cream

    They are two types
    A) Plain ice cream: Different colored and flavored ice cream like Vanilla, Chocolate, Mango, Orange. A scoop of any flavored ice cream is served in an ice cream cup and placed on an underplate over doily paper.
    Cover: Ice cream cup, underplate, ice cream spoon.
    B) Parfait ice cream: It is special ice cream with a layered. There are two or more layers, put one by one different flavored ice cream with fruits, nuts, and jellies in a parfait glass.
    • Tuty-fruity
    • Eiffel tower
    • Lewinsky
    • Tall beauty
    • Mid-night beauty
    • Caribbean delight
    Entremets/parfait ice cream
    parfait ice cream

    Cover: Parfait glass, parfait spoon, underliner

    14. Savourex (savory)

    They are generally salty and tangy course. small tit-bits are served in this course to remove the sweet taste from the mouth.
    They are generally three types

    1. meat savory

    Some examples of meat savory
    • The angle on horseback:  Poached oyster wrapped in bacon.
    • Devil on horseback:  Prunes rolled in bacon and grilled

    2. Fish savory

    Some examples are
    • Anchovies on toast:  Toast with fillets of anchovies decorated with sieved hard-boiled egg yolk and chopped parsley
    • Haddock on toast:  Poached haddock with cream sauce spread on the toast
    Fish savory
    Fish savory

    3. Cheese savory

    Cheese is offered to the guest at the tablet on a cheese board along with a cheese tray and Cheese Knife.

    15. Fromage (Cheese)

    Fromage is an alternative to the outdated savory course and may be served before or after the sweet course. It is usually served with butter, crackers, and occasionally.

    All types of cheese may be offered together with appropriate accompaniments, the ideal cheese board will combine hard, semi-hard, soft or cream, blue and fresh cheese.

    Some examples of cheese.

    • Gouda: Hard
    • Cheddar: Hard
    • Red cheshire: Hard
    • Brie: Soft
    • Ricotta: Soft
    • Demi-sel: Soft
    • Gorgonzola: Blue
    • Danish blue: Blue

    Quarter plate or cheese plate, small knife, small fork

    Recommended reading: 27 types of most popular cheese

    16. Dessert (Fruits)

    All forms of fruit and nuts may be served accompanied by castor sugar and salt.Prepared/pre-cut fruit should be considered as an example of a sweet course. 
    Fresh fruits that can be comfortably managed by the guest themselves at the table should be preferred on the menu.
    Fruits are served in the fruit basket, placed on the table at the time of this course. Cutlery provided as a fruit Knife and a fruit fork

    Types of fruit served in the dessert course

    • Soft fruit:  Banana papaya
    • Hard fruit:  Pears, apple
    • Citrus fruit:  Orange, sweet lime
    • Dry fruit:  Raisin, walnuts, cashouts, pistachio
    Cover:  Half plate, fruit fork, fruit Knife. A nutcracker is provided if nuts are served.

    17. Cafe(coffee)

    All types of teas and coffees are served in this course with or without milk. and this is the end of the meal.
    This is the end of the French classical menu

    Examples of cafe

    • Turkish coffee
    • cafe au latte
    • Espresso
    • Cappuccino
    Cover:  Demitasse or coffee cup and saucer, coffee spoon, sugar tong, milk pot, sugar pot, coffee pot.

    French classical menu PDF

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