I understood and learnt how to make tomato sauce - that is far from being a simple sauce - on my first stint at Meurice with Marc Marchand. Cooking it for a long time in the oven releases the tomatoes tannin and makes it unbelievably tasty. I've sometimes even forgotten to add the ham bone in!
I was at the Royal Monceau as a commis. The Chef de Partie was getting the prep ready (2 x 30 eggs, one batch for the béarnaise and the other for the hollandaise). He was whisking both sauces simultaneously, one whisk in one hand and another in the other. As the commis I had the responsibility of adding the butter, passing it through the chinois and seasoning correctly.
The symbol of Nouvelle Cuisine. Which I was working with Louis Grondart at Drouant, he patiently explained the finer details of what made this sauce great. It's not the colour of the meat that makes the colour of the juice, but the colour of the onions that must not be too caramelised. Also, he highlighted the importance of wetting the ingredients at the right temperature to get all the flavours and so that it is perfect at the end.
This has been the focus of my research for the last 2 years. It's the SOMETHING of the terrine. I am ever astounded by the purity of gelatin. Honest and crystalline once congealed, it's incredibly precise and represents the apex of taste. It's this emotion that I strive to find, as every remarkable produce deserves respect; it's a matter of extracting the taste, not changing it.
Tomato sauce | p51, "Sauces"
Hollandaise/Béarnaise Sauce | p29 and 47, "Sauces"
Veal jus | p56, "Sauces"
Chicken Extraction | p63, "Sauces"