What does À la Grecque mean in cooking?

Greece, with its rich history and vibrant cuisine, has captured the imaginations and taste buds of people around the world. The influence of Greek flavors and culinary techniques can be found in various dishes, and one term that often appears on menus is “à la grecque.” This French phrase, meaning “in the Greek style,” adds a touch of Mediterranean charm to gastronomic experiences. In this article, we will explore the meaning of “à la grecque,” its origins, and the flavors that make this culinary style truly unique.

Understanding “À la Grecque”

“À la grecque” refers to a cooking method and style inspired by Greek cuisine. It involves marinating or cooking ingredients in a combination of olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, and aromatics, often resulting in dishes that are both flavorful and vibrant. The technique typically involves slowly simmering or poaching the ingredients to infuse them with the distinctive Mediterranean flavors.

Origins and Influences

The French term “à la grecque” reflects the historical connections between French and Greek culinary traditions. The technique was inspired by Greek methods of marinating and cooking ingredients to preserve them. French chefs and gourmands were fascinated by the flavors and textures of Greek cuisine, leading to the adoption and adaptation of this style in French cooking.

Flavors and Ingredients

The essence of “à la grecque” lies in the flavors and ingredients that embody Greek cuisine. Olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, thyme, and bay leaves often form the foundation of the marinade or cooking liquid. These ingredients infuse the dish with a combination of citrusy brightness, herbaceous notes, and the richness of olive oil.

Common “À la Grecque” Dishes

  1. Vegetables: “À la grecque” preparations are frequently used for marinating and poaching vegetables, such as artichokes, zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to penetrate the vegetables, creating a delightful balance of tanginess and earthiness.
  2. Seafood: Fish and seafood, such as octopus, mussels, or white fish fillets, can be cooked “à la grecque.” The marinade enhances the natural flavors of the seafood while imparting a refreshing Mediterranean essence.
  3. Poulet “À la Grecque”: Chicken cooked “à la grecque” involves slowly simmering chicken pieces in a marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs. The resulting dish is tender and succulent, with a wonderful infusion of flavors.
  4. Tzatziki: Though not traditionally labeled as “à la grecque,” the popular Greek sauce tzatziki showcases the essence of this cooking style. It combines yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and dill, resulting in a cool and refreshing accompaniment.

Modern Interpretations and Adaptations

Contemporary culinary enthusiasts have embraced “à la grecque” techniques, incorporating them into a wide range of dishes. Chefs experiment with various ingredients and adapt the cooking style to create unique and innovative interpretations that pay homage to Greek flavors. From “à la grecque” salads to modern twists on traditional dishes, the possibilities are endless.

À la Grecque used in a sentence

The chef prepared the vegetables à la Grecque, marinating them in a flavorful blend of olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs, resulting in a delightful Greek-inspired dish with a tangy and herbaceous flavor profile.


À la grecque” captures the spirit of Greek cuisine, infusing dishes with the vibrant flavors and freshness that define Mediterranean cooking. This cooking style embraces the use of olive oil, lemon, and aromatic herbs, creating dishes that are both satisfying and evocative of the sun-kissed shores of Greece.