I've been cooking for a long enough time. I've made all the so-called "mother sauces" numerous times. Right now for this post I couldn't type out what goes in to make each one. So what? BFD? Therein is why I have a paper in my bag with all this information written on it. Well ... not all of it, but the important stuff still. I get a lot of stupid noise working in kitchens full of 20-yo white guys for all kinds of stupid things like reading off of recipes, cheap old knives, my knives being wrapped in dish-towels, not having things memorized ... on and on. It's a really funny thing though, that at the end on the shift none of my stuff has come back, there were no re-fire calls on anything I've made. It's important to know stuff and perform well. In my opinion, that means getting the job done correctly, the first time. If using notes and pics is what it takes, NBD, knock your socs off. Do the job right.
The 5 "Mother" Sauces
Those basic sauces are the white sauce Béchamel, the light stock-based Velouté, the brown stock-based Espagnole; the two basic emulsified sauces, Hollandaise and Mayonnaise; and the oil and vinegar-based Vinaigrette. Tomato is considered to be among the 5 mother sauces, however, it actually came about later ... although it certainly has earned the title since it is the base for a large variety of sauces in today's cookery.
Basic Bechamel (White Sauce) with Variations
Basic Velouté Sauce with Variations
Basic Espagnole (Brown Sauce) with Variations
Basic Mayonnaise with Variations
Basic Vinaigrette with Variations
Basic Tomato Sauce Basic Tomato Sauce 2