The blog of

The painter, the restaurant owners and the opera singer

The painter, the restaurant owners and the opera singer
You might well have noticed that there are recipes involving names that have been so overused (often for any old thing) that they have almost become common nouns.
12,7893.4/5 for 8 ratings
Grade this page:

Last modified on: September 25th 2012

The painter, the restaurant owners and the opera singer

Here are three examples that are commonly found on restaurant menus.


This should be: a dish of raw beef, sliced very thin, seasoned and covered with a thin film of olive oil, often served arranged on a plate.

carpaccio st georges by carpaccio

This comes from: the name of Vittore Carpaccio, a Venetian Renaissance painter, famous for the reds in his paintings, red like beef. Some even claim that his painting "The Triumph of Saint George" was the inspiration.

But it is often: anything sliced thinly, such as: scallop carpaccio, pineapple carpaccio, etc.


This should be: a delicious caramelized apple tart cooked upside down (with the pastry on the top) and turned out before serving.

tatin tart Hotel Tatin

This comes from: the name of the Tatin sisters, who ran a restaurant in Lamotte-Beuvron, central France, and who invented the dessert in the early 20th century.

But it is often: anything with pastry on the top (or underneath) which looks vaguely like an upside-down tart, such as: tomato tatin, diced-chicken tatin, etc.


This should be: a peach Melba – a dish of vanilla ice cream, raspberry coulis, poached peach, praline marzipan and Chantilly cream.

peach melba nellie melba

This comes from : the name of a famous Australian opera singer of the late 19th century, Nellie Melba, for whom the great chef Alain Escoffier invented this dessert.

But it is often: anything served with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, such as: strawberry melba, pear melba, etc.


Well, I've just mentioned the examples most commonly encountered in France and in French. But you will notice that they all involve a proper noun, someone's name.

Of course, you can have fun combining anything you like. Let's see… “Strawberry Melba with a Carpaccio of pear Tatin” : put a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a dish, add a layer of thinly-sliced and caramelized pears, a disc of crisp sweetcrust pastry, a few strawberries and top with whipped cream.

But… ooh, I admit, that does sound rather good!

Back to top of page

Lasts posts

Other pages you may also like

Should I believe my oven?
Should I believe my oven?
When I set my oven to 200°C, is it really at that temperature? The actual temperature can be measured easily if you have an accurate thermometer.To check my own oven (a “De Dietrich” model UMP501), I placed the probe of the thermometer in the oven, closed the door, set it to 200°C and...
5,5863.9/5 for 7 ratings
Fruits which can ruin your jelly
Fruits which can ruin your jelly
There are many ways of making a fruit mousse, but one of the simplest is to prepare a fruit jelly (basically a fresh fruit coulis with gelatine) and then mix this jelly before it sets completely with whipped cream.The result is perfect for filling a charlotte, for example.But do beware;...
5,156 23.6/5 for 15 ratings
What is the difference between bakery and patisserie?
What is the difference between bakery and patisserie?
If you were to ask any baker, they would be likely to give you a one-word answer: fermentation. It's true that this sums it up well: the bread baker always works with fermented doughs made with yeast or leaven (sometimes called “leavened” doughs). These need time to rest and rise, often for...
27,439 44.1/5 for 27 ratings
In praise of slow cooking
In praise of slow cooking
For a lot of dishes, whether they're cooked fast or slow, hotter or cooler, doesn't really matter. Take a cake for example, as long as it's not actually burnt, when it's done, it's done and it needs to come out of the oven otherwise it will start to dry out and harden, then burn. But for plenty...
3,3453.4/5 for 8 ratings
Well-cooked meat
Well-cooked meat
Yes, it's true that this might apply less to chains of grill restaurants, but in a traditional French restaurant it happens to me fairly often: he raises an eyebrow with a slightly haughty look and asks, “Well done, well done?” or maybe “Are you sure, sir? It is quality meat,” which is a...
7,766 13.5/5 for 8 ratings

Post your comment or question

I am not a leaving thing

Follow this page

If you are interested in this page, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the page is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your email with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page