Techniques of Shaping and Carving Vegetables


Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

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To tourner (literally, “to turn”) is to cut or turn vegetables into traditional faceted-oval shapes. Like the traditional taillage cuts, these cuts are used to create a uniform shape that ensures even cooking and elevates the look of the finished presentation of a dish. It is one of the most difficult cutting techniques to master and requires patience and practice. In these beginning sessions in the classroom, tournage is practiced whenever there is an extra moment of time. It is also recommended that the student practice at home using the inexpensive potato. (Make sure that you have a use for the potatoes, as the foundation of classic cooking is the use of all ingredients, leaving no waste. Even the peels can be used to add to soups!) Once the technique is mastered, vegetables can be turned quickly to add a fine dimension to many simple dishes.