Culinary Dictionary – English-French – Geneviève de Temmerman
Reviewed by Françoise Herrmann

Publisher: Editions Scribo in Paris (France)
Publication date: March 2008
ISBN 2-913516-11-4 (France)
Available from:
58 € (approx. $90.00)

Scribo’s much anticipated English to French Culinary Dictionary (compiled by Geneviève de Temmerman) has just rolled off the press. If you already have Scribo’s specialized French to English dictionary Cartes et Menus de restaurant and the pocket A to Z of French food, this latest tool, designed for professionals in the restaurant industry and translators, is a welcomed addition. The Culinary Dictionary is a 454-page dictionary that includes translation of more than 15,000 entries, definitions, translation tips, indexing of regional varieties, an annotated conversion table for units of measurement and terminology coverage that spans cooking (ingredients and preparations), pastry making, catering, menus, recipes and basic utensils from an international perspective. As for Cartes et Menus de restaurant, the Culinary Dictionary features the following Scribo hallmarks: an explosion of variety and concordant derivatives for most headwords; definitions, indexing, translation tips; and the charting of technical territory that is unmapped in general purpose dictionaries of institutional stature.

More than 60 sorts of succulent potato savories!
And more than 30 varieties of beans! Scribo dictionaries explode with details and concordant derivatives. The following is a small extract of the potato [pommes (de terre)] listing:
- Baked potatoes: pommes de terre au four; pommes de terre à la boulangère.
- Baked potatoes (France - baked potatoes are more often seasoned, sliced, baked in cream, and crusted on top): gratin dauphinois.
- Baked potaoes (US – baked potatoes are often served as a one-dish meal, with “toppings” like cheese, bacon bits, poached eggs, sour cream, ham, chili, chicken, etc.): pommes de terre au four en plat complet (plat unique).
- boiled potatoes: pommes de terre à l’anglaise (bouillies)
- buttered potatoes : pommes de terre au beurre ; embeurrée de pommes de terre
- château potatoes (France – small potatoes sautéed in butter, sometimes with piece of fat bacon): pommes (de terre) château
- cold potato salad with an oil dressing: salade de pommesde terre à l’huile.
- Darphin potatoes (France – shredded potatoes shaped into a thick pancake and oven-baked: pommes (de terre) Darphin.
- dauphine potatoes (France – fried croquettes made from puréed potatoes and savoury chou pastry): pommes (de terre) dauphine
- duchesse potatoes (France – mashed potato mixed with butter and egg yolk, then bread-crumbed and fried or baked as croquettes.: pommes (de terre) duchesse.
- French fied potatoes [US]: frites
- Idaho potato [US] – grosse pomme de terre blanche farineuse
- Indian potato – igname
- jacket potatoes – pommes de terre en chemise, pommes de terre en robe des champs
- Lyon-style potatoes (France – potatoes sautéed with onions) : pommes de terre à la lyonnaise.
- mashed potatoes : purée de pommes de terre
- matchstick potatoes : pommes (de terre) frites, pommes alumettes.
- new potatoes : pommes de terre nouvelles
- oven-grilled creamed potatoes : gratin dauphinois
- oven-grilled potatoes: gratin de pommes de terre
- parchment potatoes – pommes de terre en papillote
- Pont-Neuf potatoes (France – thick cut chips) : pommes de terre Pont-Neuf
- potato chips [US] : pomme de terre chips
- potato cooked in hot embers : pommes de terre sous la cendre
- potato crisps [UK]: pommes de terre chips
- potato croquettes : croquettes de pomme de terre
- potato masher : presse-purée
- potato pancake : paillasson de pommes de terre
- potato peeler : épluche-légumes, économe
- potato purée : purée de pomme de terre
- potato wafers : gaufrettes de pommes de terre

Also, 27 types of knives (couteau)! 34 types of pepper (1.poivre, 2. poivron, 3.piment)! Headwords explode like fireworks supplying you with a wealth of translations. There are also selected keywords for major food groups (e.g.; Apricot for fruit) where you are encouraged to replace the headword with your own selection and to use the concordances as models. So for example, using the Apricot (abricot) keyword listing, you could replace Apricot (abricot), in Apricot fool (mousse [d’abricots] à la crème), with pear (poire), rhubarb (rhubarbe), cherry (cerise), peach (pêche) or plum (prune), (mousse de […] à la crème).

Definitions, explanations and indexing
What are the four spices in four spice powder (quatre-épices)?
What temperature (in degrees F or C) is a moderately hot oven, a hot oven, a very hot oven, or an extremely hot oven?
What is a Zuppa Inglese [Italy] (“soupe anglaise”)? Hint: It has nothing in common with "soup"!
What is suimono, su, or sukiyaki? Hint: These are all indexed [Japan].
How would you translate hash browns? Hint: These are shredded breakfast potatoes.
How would you translate Jerusalem artichokes? Hint: These are unrelated to "artichokes".
How would you translate arugula hazelnut pesto? Hint: You would love to have your pasta smothered in it.
What is the difference between batter and dough? Hint: it is mostly a matter of consistency.

If you have no clue how to answer the above [and the hints are of no use], then you definitely need the >i>Culinary Dictionary. You will find the translations, definitions and indexing of this dictionary illuminating, especially if you pride yourself on being a gourmet (gastronome).

A specialized dictionary
Flour/sugar dredger: soupoudreur de farine/sucre
Pont-neuf potatoes : Pommes de terre Pont-Neuf (thickly sliced)
Drip-pan/grease-pan: lèchefrite
Jam pan: bassine à confiture
Lobster Thermidor [France]: homard thermidor (cubed or sliced lobster meat served in a split lobster shell coated with cream and mustard sauce, topped with grated cheese and browned; mushrooms and truffles are sometimes added).
Oysters Rockefeller [US]: huitres à la Rockefeller (recouvertes d'épinards hachés, panées et cuites au four) [oven-baked, topped with spinach and breadcrumbs]
Oyster stew [US]: brouet d’huîtres au lait et à la crème.
To shuck oysters : écailler les huîtres
Parkin [UK]: gåteau à l’avoine et au gingembre


The Culinary Dictionary is a technical dictionary, custom-researched with restaurants and the faculty of culinary schools. There are entries on every page unlisted in your general-purpose institutional giants, which will assist you for translations of menus, food preparations, catering, and recipes.

At the end of the day
Scribo’s Culinary Dictionary comes with one blank "Notes" page at the end of each letter section and an invitation to supply feedback, comments, and annotations to this first edition. This feature promises that this dictionary will grow in ever more useful and complete ways. In the interim, you will want to purchase this dictionary whenever you are translating for the restaurant and catering industry, just in case you get stuck on those horned-shaped oriental pastries (Cornes de Gazelle) or dining with Lucullus. Scribo’s Culinary Dictionary is an indispensable supplement to your dictionary collection. Get it and bon appétit!