Food Processors and French Cooking


A Frenchman invented the food processor to help restaurants and catering companies speed up the food preparation time back in the 1960s. Pierre Verdon invented the first food processor and called it the “Robert Coupe”. It wasn’t until 1972 that he designed a food processor for the home user called the “Magimix”.

In the United States, Carl Sontheimer brought out a food processor called the Cuisinart in 1973. Popular Chefs like Julia Child immediately embraced the food processor as a huge time saver and other companies soon offered similar models to the Cusinart. In the late 1970s, and sales of food processors skyrocketed to 100s of thousands.

Food processors are of two basic styles. Some have a single bowl and a flat blade that, depending on the skill of the operator, can do just about any task. That’s how the original design of Pierre Verdon worked. These days there are many accessories that include extra bowls, a lid, chopping blades, mixing blades, and disks for slicing and shredding. There are many sizes now too. From Mini Food Processors that have a capacity of 3-4 cups, Small Food Processors that hold 6-9 cups, and the full size Food Processors that can hold up to 14 cups.

Many Chefs have created different methods to take advantage of the flexibility of all the accessories and attachments. You can now find recipes on everything from Ice Cream to Salsa. There are cookbooks dedicated to using the food processor to make just about any type of meal or dish. I’ve even seen a recipe for homemade soap!

The Mini Food Processor has had a huge impact on meal preparation since it is small and convenient. Most user complaints about a food processor is the time it takes to drag it out and then clean it for 5 minutes of use. The new Mini models are small and can be left right on the kitchen counter for quick cutting or chopping chores. These units also are dishwasher safe and that cures the clean up problems.

Many of the most popular French cooking recipes call for some type of food preparation with a food processor. Although originally designed for restaurants and catering companies due to the volume of cutting and chopping, even home users can benefit from the timesavings and flexibility. Anyone can quickly learn how to add fresh chopped vegetables to any meal.

And when it comes to making just about any type of dough for baking, a food processor really comes in handy. Making fresh pasta, rolls or bread, pastry, and many fancy desserts is a quick process. Most food processors come with a handy guide to making just about any type of dough.

French cooking is all about using simple beginnings to come up with magnificent meals full of flavor and presented with a flourish. The French style of cooking involves sauces and spices that transform your everyday vegetables into a gourmet meal. The art is in both the preparation and the presentation, and no detail is left to chance.

Common cooking techniques like blanching, which is boiling or scalding fruits and vegetables to hold color and make skin removal a snap. Reducing sauces (removing moisture) to increase the flavor and create rich color and texture. Roasting vegetables and meats before combining into dishes that adds a unique and caramelized look, texture, and taste. Making fresh spices from raw ingredients have a much richer flavor that enhances any vegetable, meat, or fish.

French meals are often served by course with palate cleansers to allow each dish to be savored with it’s own flavor and taste. The French enjoy both cooking and eating; they rarely rush any of the necessary techniques for preparation or serving. A well-prepared French meal is an event and meant to be leisurely enjoyed.

French cooking is an art and a food processor comes in real handy to save time and work. If you enjoy cooking and spend a lot of time in the kitchen, a food processor can make life a lot easier. Throw in a few French cooking techniques and you can be a French Chef.