Commercial cookery: all about stocks

Interested in a career in commercial cookery?Certificate III in Commercial Cookery introduces you to the fundamentals of cooking, such as making sauces. You may even wish to pursue as a saucier chef who is responsible for the mainstay ingredient of most dishes – the sauces.

A stock is a flavoured liquid extracted from a related food product. With livestock, this flavour is extracted by good quality bones, a mirepoix of fresh quality vegetables, bouquet garni, and water slowly simmered over a period of time. Once the liquid has reached the stage where maximum flavour is extracted without clouding or ruining the stock, it is then used as a base for braising soups and sauces.

A basic stock includes the following ingredients:

* Mirepoix (rough cut vegetables, i.e. carrots, celery, onion and leek)

* Bouquet garni (herbs, i.e. thyme, parsley and rosemary, etc.)

* Bones (washed uncooked for white stocks, or oven browned for brown stocks)

* Water (always cold to start)

Whilst the number of stocks that can be produced is virtually endless. There are several main stocks commonly used for commercial cookery. These include the following:

White stocks (fonds blanc)

* Veal and beef: simmered for approximately 8 hours

* Chicken: simmered for 4-6 hours

* Fish: simmered for 20 minutes only

Brown stock (fonds brun)

* Veal, beef; lamb and game: brown bones and vegetables – boil and simmer for approximately 8 hours


Stock syrup: sweet stock prepared by using sugar and water and reducing

* Game stocks, i.e. venison, kangaroo and duck

* Vegetable bouillon

* Shellfish

* Pork stock for Asian soups

The methods of production for most stocks are similar. Any flavour variance, using different herbs, is more dependent on the individual nature of each dish.

A saucier chef is often the specialist of the food station assigned to, in a kitchen. Learn how by undertaking a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery.