In The Name of Bisque

I read something today that got me to thinking about what's in a name. Within the world of classic French cuisine, titles of dishes and names of techniques and recipes can be a very confusing subject to research and contemplate. What I was reading has to do with the origins of the word "bisque". Apparently, this term was originally used to describe a stew like dish of various game-type birds, most notably a soupy-stewy dish made with pigeon. That information threw me for a bit of a loop. I was under the impression that a "bisque" is, and always was, a rich, creamy soup made from, and strongly flavored with, the shells and/or meat of various crustaceans such as lobster, crab, shrimp, crayfish, etc. I'm interested in doing some deeper research to see if I can trace the etymology of the word "bisque" more closely, but for now, we'll stick to extolling the glories of a well made seafood bisque.

Modern chefs will often take liberties with what they choose to call a certain dish, naming something after a classic preparation that may or not have much in common with their updated creation. "Bisque" is certainly no exception. There have been many instances where I have seen almost every type of cream soup, from roasted tomato to asparagus to celery root, called a bisque on upscale restaurant menus. It sounds fancier and more sophisticated, so maybe it can fetch a slightly higher price.

When it comes down to it, a well-made, crustacean based bisque is one of the very best things you could ever hope to eat. The incomparable combination of a velvety cream soup texture in harmony with the deep, sweet, soul-satisfying flavor of lobster or crab is truly an experience to savor. My students just spent their last class perfecting their lobster bisque technique, and their soups came out wonderfully. I should know...I tasted every one of them, twice.

Featured Culinary Schools

Refine School Matches
Hide filters

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
            • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
            • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
            • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
            • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found
            • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
            • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
            • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
            • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
            • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses