It’s been a long journey from 1971 when Dr. Bruno Goussault made the first step towards perfecting the sous vide method as a way of improving the tenderness of roast beef. At the time Dr. Goussault discovered that if the beef was vacuum sealed in a specially designed pouch and slow cooked at low temperatures it showed very little sign of shrinkage and obtained notably enhanced flavors compared to conventional cooking methods. And so the sous vide revolution began.
Up until recently sous vide has been categorized as a complex cooking technique only to be utilized by professional chefs in upscale restaurant environments. Complaints commonly heard included “the equipment is too expensive…” and “it’s time consuming for a home cook…” Valid arguments perhaps for someone in the 1990’s.
Today we see the evidence of how far sous vide cooking knowledge has come by its frequent appearance in high-ratings cooking shows and within the kitchens of popular chef personalities, the abundance of affordable sous vide circulator options available for home use, and more recently its entrance into mainstream marketplace in many of our favorite grocery stores. Sous vide has exploded onto the culinary scene in a big way over the last decade and means to stay in the forefront of gourmet food enthusiasts’ minds as we move forward into 2015.
Uninterrupted 15 Minutes of Fame
Top cooking shows such as Top Chef and Iron Chef America have helped usher sous vide into mainstream television through specific challenges and technique tests. Many times chef contestants are tasked with creating original dishes with limited tools and time. Sous vide often comes to the rescue in these cases producing surprisingly delicious results, delighting judges and fans alike.
How so? Well, it’s simple. No other cooking method produces such consistently excellent textures and flavors, or maintains the natural integrity of foods so well. As the protein slow cooks in the water bath, the chefs are free to spend more time wowing the judges with plate presentation and dramatic extras they might not have been able to do if they had to wait for a chicken to bake or a veal chop to sear. That’s why the technique is trusted by the world’s top chefs and favored by passionate foodies.
Prevalent Chef Thomas Keller did his part driving sous vide cooking technology into the spotlight with a cookbook dedicated to his love of cooking food at precise low temperatures. Keller’s “Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide” not only celebrates culinary innovation but serves as a how-to manual for those looking to join in the sous vide movement at home.
Tools Within Reach
Sous vide devices are now numerous in size and type, with many options priced within the reach of home cooks. Once considered an expensive “hobby” for professional chefs with professional budgets, sous vide cooking now has a real face that we all can relate to. Start-up brands like Anova, Nomiku and Mellow along with veterans such as Polyscience have designed circulator equipment specific to home kitchen use, keeping in mind space restraints while encouraging creative versatility. Smartphones are also included in the technological mix with many companies implementing convenient apps for obstacle-free sous vide food preparation. We predict the access to tools and mobile applications will escort in a new generation of foodies and sous vide cuisine enthusiasts in 2015.
Grocery Store Takeover
Sous vide cooking steps out of the comfort zone of upscale restaurant kitchens and into new territory - retail store shelves. Retail food shops are not only using sous vide products because of their consistent quality and recipe varieties, they are proudly boasting their support with clear indication of foods made using sous cooking methods.
Cuisine Solutions is pleased to see sous vide receive this kind of exposure with more and more consumers becoming aware of the method’s benefits and delicious possibilities. Stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes, and brands like Plain Smart Bison and Prime Life are all on board with products aimed to delight consumers looking for chef-made delicious cuisine with restaurant quality without restaurant prices. Check your local stores for tasty sous vide products such as Korean-Style Pork shoulder, Grass Fed Beef Sirloin, Bison Bourgignon and Bison Burgers!