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Sous-Vide

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Have always been interested in food science even more then cooking. This summer I will be experimenting with Sous-Vide both low and hi temps.
Useing different prep ways.
Just got a 190 page hardcover book from a Spanish Publisher by Joan Roca and Sal Brugu"es. I firmly believe this is the future of food service. What do you think?:D
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post #2 of 12
Both restaurants I work at use sous-vide cooking (using an immersion circulator... though it isn't entirely necessary if you have other methods of temperature control) and vacuum-packing for a variety of purposes, from low temperature cooking (bison tenderloin, whole eggs at 64 celsius) to high temperature cooking (pork belly, handmade sausage at 72 degrees celsius) to marinading (compressed watermelon, strawberries) to even custard making (an occasional cheesecake).

I firmly believe that it is a method that is useful in generating effects in food that are unobtainable or very hard to do so otherwise, it helps retain moisture, flavours (more so than say, poaching),and in the case of marinading uses up fewer ingredients to achieve the same effect (lowering food costs).

On the other spectrum (along the vein of mass production food vendors and fast casual restaurants) it is a good way to control food costs, inventory, portioning, and consistency. It's still very possible to screw up something that is cooked sous-vide, but it helps. Of course, lots of large scale food producers have been doing this for the past 30 years, which is where the technique came from.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #3 of 12
What exactly is a sous-Vide. I did a staunch one time at Christopher's Cruch bar and lounge. I think he used a Sous-Vide for Beef Fliet's wrapped real tight in plastic wrap and then placed it in this pot of water with some kind of eletronic device attached to it. After about 20minutes he pulled it out and marked it on the char-broiler. Im sure this thing im talking about is probly a fancy poacher.
post #4 of 12
I learned about Sous vide during my apprenticeship in the mid 80's. We were taught it would be the future for "institutional" cooking, as it had many features that Blue listed in his post.

Ironicaly, the whole idea was brough about by a high end Chef looking for a way to poach foi gras with a minimum of loss. Vacuum packaging was around in the 70's but quite expensive, but it was the bags that had the Chef stumped, He finally contacted Cry-o-vac to get some custom bags, the boys at Cry-o-vac saw the potential in the process, (no one had ever though of combining vacuum packing with cooking) and since there is more volume in institutional cooking than high end, the cryocav boys aimed for institutional.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #5 of 12
As I understand "sous-vide", it is French for "under vacuum" and we use it fairly extensively, not so much for "cooking" but for heating for service.

Dishes like "Coq au Vin", "Braised Short Ribs", etc., are cooked conventionally, portioned, and vacuum sealed and chilled and/or frozen. For service, a water bath held at 165°-170° F. is used to heat the defrosted vacuum sealed bags.
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Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #6 of 12
Ok that explains it. Thanks to both of ya!
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Pete, just heating in a simple water bath wont hack it.. The water must be circulated at an absolute constant temp. It has been found to work the best on seafood and fish items. The foods are not cooked conventionally, but are mostly cooked at lower or higher temps depending on what they are. Buy cooking at lower temps the item looks better, less loss of color,aroma and taste. I am experimenting all the time with it. It started about 1978 in France and as someone above mentioned on Pate and Foi Gras.:D
I worked on the concept in the early 80 s but it was slightly different It was sealed batch cooking done in temp controlled water circulated kettles then, piped into bags and vac. packed ,put in controled refrig for 32 days at 32 degrees. It was to expensive to pay off at that time. Bennigans Rest chain used it for soups and some entrees and sauces.WR GRACE CORP a leader in these experiments in Arlington Virg.
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post #8 of 12
There is no wasted time studying the science of cooking, and what happens to food when you cook it. Sous-vide is a fantastic vehicle to truly understand what happens to proteins at different cooking temps. That said, it has its place, and it has no place in my kitchen. I much prefer poaching in 140 degree olive oil -when I'm looking for that effect.

In an open kitchen, how good can you feel about sniping open a plastic bag for service?

I believe in using advanced cooking techniques, but I tent to favor the antiquated ones. When I serve a plate of food I never want the ingredients to be upstaged by the technique, -or the "plate art".(may I never "paint" a sauce)

just remember " use your powers for good, not evil"
-the moment an all Sous-vide restaurant opens, we must never speak those words again.
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
You run your kitchen your way and I;ll run mine my way. Everyone entitled to own opinion. The purpose is also for preservation of foods.
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post #10 of 12
Ed, I meant no disrespect to your OP, I was simply sharing a contrary opinion. I didn't say Sous-Vide has no place in kitchens, I've enjoyed fantastic results from it - I just prefer not to employ it in mine. However, as far as food storage and preservation, I Vac-seal all of my post-butchered and portioned meats for the walk-in, and often use it for curing meats -but I dont consider that "Sous-Vide"

Q. Is a "foodsaver" going to become a necessary tool in the kitchen A.-absolutely
Q. Is cooking "Sous-Vide" going to become a necessary preparation (i.e. grilling, sauteing) A. -I dont believe so.

I commend anyone who does it well, as long as it is the best preparation for the desired result -But Ive seen quite a few instances where chefs seeming just "Sous-Vide" things just so they can print it on thier menu, like a buzz word.

I just wanted to interject the idea that once Chefs lean how to Sous-Vide. they should ask themselves should I Sous-Vide?
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
We would not even think of writeing the discription of it on our menues. I am In the most exclusive club in Palm Beach, membership about 30,000. plus a year. .Rated 15 in top clubs of world.
I am just looking for the best ways to do things. I am not looking to save money, cause members dont care about saving money, or food or labor cost, they just want the best and most upscale and novel approach.
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post #12 of 12
buonaboy wrote:
"Q. Is cooking "Sous-Vide" going to become a necessary preparation (i.e. grilling, sauteing)
A. -I don't believe so...
I just wanted to interject the idea that once Chefs learn how to Sous-Vide, they should ask themselves, should I Sous-Vide?"

I have "played" on and off with the process for a couple of decades, long before I knew the term, sous-vide. In most instances, I just have not been happy with the texture of the finished product. As noted similarly in a post above, I have prepped whole beef tenderloins sous-vide, then finished them with moderately high heat for a finished look. On the other hand, using the sous-vide process in lieu of poaching salmon, when serving it chilled, results in a superior product. It just takes alot of time and, unless you're certain of outcomes, it can be risky.
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