Very popular with grilled meats and fish, sauce béarnaise is an offspring of hollandaise, made with egg yolks, butter, vinegar, white wine, chopped shallots, tarragon, chervil, parsley, pepper and salt.
It was invented in 1836 by chef Jean-Louis Françoise-Collinet, at the restaurant Le Pavillon Henri IV in St-Germaine-en-Laye. The sauce took the region’s name because Henri IV was born in Pau, in the Béarn.
If sauce béarnaise is a daughter of hollandaise, several sauces are hollandaise’s granddaughters. Béarnaise becomes sauce choron with the addition of steamed tomatoes and basil (named after its inventer, chef Alexandre Étienne Choron).
Sauce Foyot (or sauce Valois) is béarnaise with a meat glaze (glace de viande).
Then there’s sauce Colbert which is sauce Foyot with reduced white wine. So a great granddaughter of hollandaise.
Another is sauce Paloise, sauce béarnaise made with mint instead of tarragon.
Image by Alexander Guy