à la carte

adzuki beans

agnolotti (crescent-shaped filled pasta)

aioli (Greek garlic sauce)

al dente (just cooked, with the slightest resistance to the bite, applied to pasta and risotto)

Alfredo (uppercase, as in fettucine Alfredo)

amandine (garnished with almonds — NB not almondine)

amaretti (biscuits, plural)

amaretto (type of liqueur)

amatriciana (Italian sauce, as in pasta all’amatriciana)

amchoor (ground mango seasoning)


amuse-bouche, amuse-gueule (generic term for very small appetiser)

ananas (French for pineapple, not banana)

ancho chilli

andouille, andouillette (French sausages)

angel-hair pasta

antipasto (use the plural, antipasti, only when comparing different things from an antipasto selection)

arborio rice

asafoetida (resinous Indian spice)

au gratin (topped with cheese or breadcrumbs mixed with butter)

au poivre (with pepper)

b’stilla (Moroccan pie)

baba ghanoush (eggplant puree)

bagna cauda (Italian sauce served warm as dip for vegetables)

baguette (iconic French loaf)

baklava (filo pastry dessert)

ballotine (boned meat, fish or fowl tied in a bundle)

Balmain bug (one cap)

barbecue (not barbeque)


bavarois/bavarese (French and Italian variations for a cream dessert)

beancurd (one word)

bearnaise sauce

bechamel sauce (no accent)

beef Wellington

Beefalo (brand name for meat from cattle/buffalo hybrid)

been stroganoff

beggar’s chicken

beggar’s purses

bento (boxed Japanese lunch)

beurre blanc/beurre noir/beurre noisette (French butter sauces)

bibimbub (one-pot Korean meal)

biltong (South African dried beef)

bird’s eye chilli

bird’s nest soup


biscotto (Italian biscuit; plural, biscotti)

bisque (cream soup)

bissara (Moroccan broad bean dip)

bistecca (Italian for steak)

Black Forest cake

blini (small buckwheat pancakes)

blue swimmer crab

blue swimmer crab (three words)

blue-eye cod (not blue-eyed)

bocconcini (small nuggets of fresh mozzarella)

bok choy (Chinese cabbage)

borlotti beans

borscht (beetroot soup)

bouillabaisse (classic French fish stew)

braciola (Italian for roulade)

brandade de morue (pureed cod)

brazil nut (lower case)

bread and butter pudding (no hyphens)

breadcrumbs (one word)

bresaola (Italian cured ham)

brioche (yeast bread with butter and eggs)

brochette (skewer – hence en brochette)


bucatini (hollow pasta)

buche de Noel (French Christmas cake shaped like a log)

bulgolgi (Korean barbecued beef)

cacciatore ("hunter-style": usually with tomatoes, onion, mushrooms)

caesar salad (lowercase)

cafe au lait (milk coffee)

caffe corretto (espresso with a dash of liqueur)

Cajun (uppercase)

calamari (squid)

calasparra (Spanish shortgrain rice)

calf’s liver (note singular calf)

calf’s testicles (note the singular calf and apostrophe)

Callebaut (brand of Belgian chocolate)

calzone (stuffed pizza)

canapé (small bread pieces with savoury garnish)

cannellini (white beans)

cannellini beans

canneloni (filled tubes of pasta)

cannoli (filled pastry tubes)

canola oil

capellini (very fine long pasta)


carambola (star fruit)


cardamom (Indian spice)

carnaroli rice (similar to arborio)

carpaccio (extremely thin slices of raw beef)

casareccia (pasta, also known as strozzapreti – "priest-stranglers")

cassata (fruit dessert)

cassoulet (French stew)

caster sugar (not castor)

cavatappa (corkscrew pasta)

caviar (varieties are beluga, osetra, sevruga)

cepe (boletus mushroom)

ceviche (raw fish marinated in citrus juice)

challah (traditional Jewish yeast bread)

chamomile (not camomile)

channa (Indian yellow spilt peas)

chanterelle (mushroom)

chantilly cream

chapcae (stir-fried Korean veggies and noodles)

char-grill, char-grilled, char-grilling hyphen

charlotte (lowercase as food term: charlotte russe, apple charlotte)

chateaubriand (recipe for thick cut of beef)

chicken tikka

chickpea (one word)

chiffonade (shredded lettuce or herbs)

chilli (plural, chillis)

chilli con carne

chopsticks (one word)

chorizo (Spanish sausage)

choux pastry

choy sum (Chinese flowering cabbage)

ciabatta (flat Italian bread)

clafouti (fruit and batter pudding)

cock-a-leekie (Scottish chicken soup)

coeur à la creme (cream dessert, traditionally made in heart-shaped moulds)

compote (fruit cooked in sugar syrup)

confit (meat cooked and preserved in its own fat)

congee (rice porridge)

conpoy (dried scallops)

consomme (clear soup)

coquilles St Jacques (sauteed scallops in their shells)

corn-fed (adjective, one word)

cornflour (one word)

cos lettuce

cotechino (Italian pork sausage)

coulis (thick puree, singular)

couscous (small semolina grains)

couverture (high-grade cooking chocolate)

crabcakes (one word)

crabmeat (one word)

creme anglaise

creme brulee

creme caramel

creme chantilly

creme fraiche

creme fraiche

creme patissiere

crepe (no accent)

crepe suzette (plural, crepes suzette)

crespelle (thin Italian pancakes)

crispy-skin duck

croquembouche (tower of choux pastries)

croque-monsieur, croque-madame (grilled French sandwiches)

crostini (small pieces of toasted bread)

crostoli (Italian fried pastries)

crouton (browned cube of bread)

crudites (raw vegetables for dipping)

cumquat (not kumquat)

daikon (Asian radish)

dashi (Japanese soup stock)

dauphine potatoes

deep-fry, deep-fried

degustation menu (tasting menu – many small servings of different dishes)

demi-glace (rich brown sauce)

desiree potato

Dijon mustard

dim sim (Chinese dumpling)

dim sum (alternative name for yum cha)

dolce (Italian for dessert. Plural is dolci)

dosa (Indian pancake)

duck à l’orange

dukkah (Middle Eastern spice mix)

Eccles cake

eggs benedict

enchilada (Mexican corn tortilla with meat/cheese filling)

enoki mushroom


escabeche (Spanish fish stew)


fajita (grilled steak and garnished wrapped in a soft tortilla)

farfalle (butterfly pasta)

fedelini (fine long pasta)

fettuccelle (thicker version of linguine)

fettuccine (flat, narrow pasta)

filé (ground sassafras)

filo pastry (not phylo or other variations)

fines herbes (mixture of finely chopped herbs)

fish and chips

fishcake (one word)

flageolet (type of kidney bean)

florentine (nutty biscuit)

Florentine (referring to dishes prepared with spinach or mornay sauce)

focaccia (Italian bread)

foie gras (goose liver)

foie gras (goose liver)

fondue (melted cheese for dipping)

food court

frangipane (the pastry, as opposed to frangipani, the flower)

frappe (slushy frozen drink)

French fries

French toast

frittata (Italian omelette)

frog’s legs

fruitcake (one word)

fruits de mer, frutti di mare (French and Italian, respectively, for seafood)

fugu (Japanese blowfish)

fusilli (long, spiralled pasta shape)

gado gado (Indonesian vegetables with peanut sauce)

gai larn (aka Chinese broccoli/Chinese kale)

galangal (root used to flavour Thai dishes)

ganache (chocolate/cream mixture)

garam masala (Indian spice mixture)

gateau (French for cake: plural, gateaus)

gazpacho (Spanish vegetable soup)

genoise (classic sponge cake)

gianduja (hazelnut-flavoured chocolate)

gnocchi (plural)

goat’s cheese (note the apostophe)

goulash (Hungarian stew)

granita (coarse sorbet)

gravlax (salmon cured in salt/sugar/dill)

gremolata (garnish of shredded parsley, lemon peel and garlic)

grissini (Italian breadsticks)

guacamole (mashed avocado)

gumbo (Creole stew)

haemul chon-gul (Korean seafood stew)

halal (prepared according to Muslim dietary laws)

halva (Middle Eastern confectionery)

harissa (fiery north African condiment)

hoisin sauce

hollandaise sauce



hors d’oeuvre (small savoury appetitiser)

hot cross buns

hot dog (two words)


hundred-year-old egg

ice-cream (hyphenate)

ikan bilis/ikan teri (dried anchovies)

Illawarra plum (bush fruit)

Illy (Unlike Good Living, we will capitalise this brand of coffee)

jaboticaba (aka Brazilian tree grape)

jalopeno (hot chilli)

jalousie (latticed pastry with filling)

Jerusalem artichoke

john dory (lowercase)

julienne (foods cut into matchstick strips)

kaffir lime

kalamata olives

kalbi (Korean charcoal ribs)

kamaboko (Japanese processed fishcakes)

kimchi (Korean cabbage pickle)

King Edward potato

King Island cream


kiwi fruit

Kobe beef (Japanese beef from pampered cows)

kofta (Indian cheese)

korma (Indian curried meat dish)

kosher (prepared according to Jewish dietary laws)

krupuk udang (dried tapioca/prawn wafers)

kueh teow (Malaysian noodles)

kulfi (Indian ice-cream)

kumara (fancier name for sweet potato)

laksa (Indonesia sweet/sour soup)

larb (Thai salad)

lasagna (a wide, flat pasta noodle)

lasagne (the dish made from the above)

lasagnette (ribbon pasta with fluted edge)

lassi (Indian yoghurt drink)

lemongrass (one word)

licorice (not liquorice)


lyonnaise (style of potatoes, sausage, etc)

madeleine (Proustian pastry)

mahi mahi (Pacific fish)

maltagliati (hand-cut pasta ribbons)

mandarin (not mandarine)

mandu (stuffed Korean dumpling)

marinade (noun), marinate (verb)


marrowbone (one word)

masala dosa (filled Indian pancake)

mascarpone (rich cream cheese)

massaman curry

matzo (unleavened bread)


mee krob (Thai crispy noodles)

melba sauce (raspberry puree)

melba toast


mermaid’s tresses (Chinese dish of shredded greens)

mesclun (mixture of young salad greens)

mezze (Greek hors d’oeuvres)


millefeuille (multi-layered flaky pastry)

minestrone (Italian vegetable soup)

mizuna (Japanese green)


mole (Mexican savoury chocolate sauce)

mollusc (not mollusk)

monkfish (one word)

morel (mushroom)

mortadella (Italian smoked sausage)

moussaka (Greek dish based on eggplant and ground meat)


mud crab (two words)

mudcake (one word)

muesli (naturalised as English: no accent)

munthari (pea-sized native fruit with apple-like flavour)

Murray cod

naan bread

nam pla (Thai fish sauce)

nam prik (various condiments and sauces used to accompany Thai dishes)

nama udon (boiled wheatflower noodles)

Nambucca rock oyster

nameko mushroom

napoleon (French pastry)

napoletana (italian sauce)

nasi goreng (Indian fried rice)

nem nuong (Vietnamese pork meatballs)

nicola potatoes

nonya (Chinese Straits cuisine)

nori (dried seaweed)

nuoc cham (Vietnamese condiment based on nuoc nam)

nuoc nam (Vietnamese fish sauce)

NutraSweet (trademark, with intercap)

orecchiette (pasta shape, literally "little ears")

osso buco (veal shanks)

ox tongue


oysters Kilpatrick

Pacific oyster

pad thai (Thai noodle dish)

paella (Spanish rice dish)

paella valenciana

pakora (deep-fried Indian fritter)

palm sugar (no hyphen)

panch phora (Indian seasoning mix)

pandanus (leaf used for wrapping or flavouring, also known as screwpine)

panettone (sweet yeast bread)

panforte (dense, flat cake from Siena)

pan-fry, pan-fried

panino (Italian roll; plural, panini)

panna cotta (cream dessert)

panzanella (Italian bread salad)

papillote (paper frill used to decorate tips of bones, drumsticks, etc)

pappadam (lentil flour wafer)

pappardelle (Italian noodles)

parmesan cheese (lowercase)

parmigiana (cooked with parmesan cheese)

parmigiano (parmesan cheese)

pashka (Russian cream dish)


pate (spreadable ground meat dish)

pavlova (lowercase)

pawpaw (not papaya)

Peking duck

penne (angle-cut pasta)

pepper mill (two words)

perciatelli (hollow pasta)

pesto (basil/garlic/pine nut mixture)

petit four

pho (Vietnamese soup)

piccalilli (mustard pickle)

pig’s cheek (note the apostrophe)

pilaf (Middle Eastern rice dish)

pine nut (two words)

pink fir apple potato

piperade (Basque dish based on olives and green peppers)

pipi (shellfish)

pipi (small shellfish)

piri-piri (Portuguese chilli sauce)

piroshki (small Russian turnover)

pissaladiere (open savoury tart)

pistou (French version of pesto, or the vegetable soup flavoured with it)


poha flakes (parboiled, flattened, dried rice)

polenta (maize meal)

polpetti (Italian meatballs. Plural)

polpettini (same but smaller)

pomelo (citrus fruit)

porcini mushrooms

potato galette

potstickers (Chinese dumplings)

prix fixe (fixed price)

prosciutto (cured ham)

provencale (no accent)

puree (no accent)

puttanesca (pasta sauce)

quandong (native fruit)

quenelle (shaped dumpling)

radicchio (red-leafed green)

ragout (no accent)

ragu (Italian meat sauce)

raita (Indian yoghurt salad)

ratatouille (provencale vegetable stew)


ribollita (Tuscan soup)


rigatoni (ribbed pasta)

rijsttafel (Dutch version of Indonesian dining)

rillettes (cooked, ground meat preserved in fat)

risotto (Italian rice dish)

roma tomatoes (lowercase)

rosehip (one word)

rotelle (wheel-shaped pasta)

roti (unleavened Indian bread)

rouille (chilli/garlic sauce)

roulade (rolled-up dish)

roux (flour/fat mixture)

sabayon (light, foamy custard)

Sacher torte (rich chocolate cake)

salade nicoise (no accent)

salsa (Italian or Mexican sauce)

saltimbocca (veal, sage and prosciutto parcels)

sambal (Asian condiment)

samosa (filled, fried Indian pastry)

san choy bow (Thai pastry)

sashimi (slice raw fish)

satay (not saté)

sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)

saute, sauteed (no accent)

scallopine (plural)

scotch fillet (lower case s)

semifreddo (chilled or frozen dessert)

sformato (Italian moulded dish)

shabu-shabu (Japanese meat dish coooked at the table)

shark’s fin soup

sheep’s eyeball (note the apostrophe)

shepherd’s pie (note position of apostrophe)

shiitake mushroom

shimeji mushroom

shish kebab (skewered meat and vegetables)

shoei jeau (spring roll pastry)

shungiku (Japanese green)

Sichuan (formerly Szechuan)

silver dory (new marketing name for red dory/sun dory)

smoothie (not smoothy)


snow pea (two words)

sorrel (sharp-tasting herb)

soubise (bechamel sauce with cream and/or onions)

souffle (no accent)

sourdough bread


souvlaki (skewered lamb chunks with vegetables)

soybean (one word)

spaghetti carbonara

spaghettini (slightly thinner than spaghetti)

spanakopita (Greek savoury pie)

spare ribs (two words)

sponge cake (two words)

star anise (seeds used for flavouring)

steak and kidney pie (no hyphens)

steak diane

steak tartare

stir-fry, stir-fried

succotash (Southern US dish of beans, corn and peppers)

sukiyaki (stir-fried Japanese dish eaten with raw egg dip)



sushi (sliced raw fish with rice)

sweet-and-sour (adjective)



Sydney rock oyster

Szechuan (use Sichuan instead)


tagine (Moroccan stew)

tagliarini (thin pasta noodles)

taglietelle (alternative name for fettucine)

tahini (ground sesame seed paste)

tandoori (nothern Indian cooking style)

tangelo (graperfruit/mandarin hybrid)

tapas (Spanish-style appetisers)

tapenade (anchony and olive paste)

tartare sauce

tarte tatin (French apple tart)

Tasmanian Pacific oyster

T-bone steak

T-bone steak

tempeh (fermented soybean cake)

tempura (Japanese dish of battered fish/vegetable pieces)

tentsuyu (dipping sauce for tempura)

teriyaki (cooked in Japanese soy mixture)

Thousand Island dressing

thousand-year-old egg

tiramisu (Italian dessert)

tod mun pla (Thai fishcakes)

tom kah gai (Thai coconut soup)

tom yum (Thai soup)

toor (yellow-coloured split pea)

tuile (thin, crisp biscuit)

tung hao (Japanese green)

turmeric (spice)


udon noodles

upside-down cake

urad (Indian beans)

vacherin (cream-filled meringue dessert)

veloute sauce (stock-based white sauce)

verjuice (acidic flavouring liquid)

vermicelli (between spaghetti and spaghettini in size)

vichyssoise (cold potato and leek soup)

vitello tonnato (Italian veal dish with tuna sauce)

vol-au-vent (hyphenate)

Waldorf salad

Wallis Lake oyster

warehou (type of fish. Sounds better than its other name: snotty-nosed trevally)

warrigal greens (native spinach)


weiner schnitzel

whitebait (one word)

witlof (not whitlof or witloof)


yabby (not yabbie)

yakitori (grilled, marinated chicken pieces)

Yamba prawns

yellowfin tuna

yoghurt (not yogurt)

Yorkshire pudding (note uppercase y)

yum cha

za’atar (Middle Eastern herbs and spice blend)

zabaglione (foamy cream dessert)

ziti (long, thick, hollow pasta)

zuppa inglese (Italian trifle)