To understand the sauces you find in a French restaurant one must understand first that stock or a roux is an element in every sauce. There 5 main categories of stocks: fonds, fummets, essences, glaces and jus. The stocks are then classified by color - typically brown and white - which is determined by the ingredients, cooking time, texture and consistancy. Stocks or Les Fonds are typically made from veal, poultry, fish, shellfish, game or vegetables. The roux are made from cooking equal parts of flour and fat and are classified as Roux Blanc or white roux, Roux Blond or blonde roux and Roux Brun or brown roux.
With the help of these stocks and roux the mother sauces are the created, with the exception of Hollandaise. The mother sauces are:
Espagnole made with brown stocks and roux.
Sauce Velouté made with white stocks and roux.
Sauce Tomate made with white stock and tomatoes.
Hollandaise made with egg yolk, water, pepper and clarified butter.
Mayonnaise is considered the cold mother sauce and is made with egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, oil and salt and pepper. I made my own mayonnaise for the first time today!