Ah, those classic French dishes. Back in the day, they were the height of cuisine. Over time, however, changing tastes and an overabundance of kitchen shortcuts led to many of them to fall out of favor. Duck à l’Orange, a beautiful dish when prepared in the right kitchen, became a cloyingly sticky sweet mess. Chicken Cordon Bleu, a wonderful convergence of haute cuisine and comfort food, devolved into an overly breaded sodium bomb that most have only sampled from the freezer aisle.
Dining these days, though, is a high-demand, ever-changing business and many chefs are looking to the past for inspiration. Old techniques and classic sauces are appearing on menus, often in new and novel combinations. One dish that is getting a new lease on life owes its revival to a TV reality show—Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen. Yep, Beef Wellington is back on people’s minds. Bad pastry and a propensity to be overcooked all but killed it off in the 80’s, but in the right hands it can be a showstopper.