Cuisine Solutions’ Chief Scientist Dr. Bruno Goussault pioneered the sous-vide method in the 1970s. Over the decades, he has trained and taught famous chefs and home cooks alike. Now it's your turn to learn from the master. Have a question for Dr. Goussault? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch this space for his answers, and be sure to read the "Ask the Master" column in the latest issue of Sous-Vide magazine.
1 What is happening to meat on a molecular level when you cook it sous-vide?
Beef tenderloin, for example, has long fibers. When you cook it, the time of cooking is long because the heat needs to pass from one fiber to another. And when you cook under pressure, the meat can’t grow. So, the retraction of the connective tissue must happen differently than with just cooking over a flame in a traditional way. The results are a more tender, juicy, and flavorful cut of meat.
2 So many readers have told us that they only cook proteins using sous-vide because it seems easier. What’s the benefit of cooking vegetables using the method?
It seems like nobody works with vegetables with the same attention as they do meat. That may be because you have a lot of people who believe that vegetables have no taste. But it’s just not true. What we’re doing today is discovering new ways to enhance the flavor of vegetables—to give them the best taste when cooked at a precise temperature. It’s about finding the localization of flavor—is it in the root, stem, or leaves? Is it in the core or the periphery? We are testing all of it to find out where the best flavor is.
3 What are your favorite ways to use extracted flavors?
These flavors can be used in a number of ways. Cryoconcentration really enhances the natural flavors of fruits and vegetable juice or extract and the results can be used as key ingredients in various recipes. I think cocktails and sauces are two of the best ways to showcase these flavors—but anyone who knows me will tell you that I usually stick to my favorite drink: red wine.
4 Any advice for those thinking of trying sous-vide for the first time?
Sous-vide is a process of cooking and you still need to respect the same traditions and standards. What is good in a traditional kitchen is also good in sous-vide cooking.