Béarnaise Sauce | Nostalgic Food Memory

I was recently asked to contribute to a magazine for a senior research project and give a story around a Nostalgic Food Memory.  This recipe for a béarnaise sauce is quite nostalgic for me. Béarnaise sauce is my mother’s favourite and it reminds me of her father. Here is my contribution:

When it comes to food, my father’s mother and my mother’s father have been the most influential in my life. My grandmother taught me all about food and life, and my grandfather taught me all about life and food. My memory of my grandmother always revolves around Friday night suppers and roast chicken. I can remember the sideboard in her dining room being laden with roast potatoes, peas, gem squash and the lovely roast chicken we were going to eat for supper. My grandmother passed away when I was 12 and roast chicken dinners became a nostalgic reminder of my gran. My dad would let me carve the chicken and I remember as if it were yesterday, my sister and I alternating between who got the parsons nose, and who got the wishbone. To this day, a roast chicken dish reminds me of my dad and my grandmother. My clearest food memory of my grandfather is a dinner he held for his 80th birthday. He had some smart French chef cater the event and I was told in no uncertain terms that I had to try the béarnaise sauce with my meal. I didn’t know it at the time, but béarnaise sauce is my mom’s favourite. When I think of my mother and grandfather, I think of beautiful fillet steak with an unctuous béarnaise sauce to go with it.

So, for this project I chose to make roast chicken quarters with a béarnaise sauce so that I could be transported right back to moments of bliss and happiness with my family who now live so far away from me.

What is your nostalgic food memory?

Béarnaise Sauce
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Béarnaise Sauce

Recipe Category: Sauce
All Rights Reserved: An original recipe from Lavender and Lime


  • 15 mls finely chopped onions
  • 45 mls roughly chopped tarragon
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 smal bay leaf
  • 37.5 mls champagne vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 15 mls water
  • 125 g butter, cubed
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 squirt lemon juice


  • Place the onions, 30mls of the tarragon, the thyme, bay lead and vinegar into a saucepan
  • Season to taste and over a medium heat, reduce the liquid by two thirds
  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool
  • Return to a low heat and whisk in the egg yolks and the water
  • Whisk until thickened and then add the butter a cube at a time, whisking continuously
  • Adjust the seasoning, add the cayenne and the lemon juice and stir in the remaining tarragon
  • Serve immediately or leave over a bain-marie to keep warm


You cannot reheat the sauce as it will split

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