Does Australia need a sous vide training facility?

This article from Chicago business looks at the wonderful new facility at Kendel powered by PolyScience, are any Australian colleges interested in being the leader in Sous Vide training?

Kendall College’s sous-vide kitchen teaches school a lesson

October 24, 2012


low temperature cooking powered by Polyscience

TAFE college training in sous vide


Sous-vide cooking in the Kendall kitchens


Kendall College’s new sous-vide kitchen has been open for less than a week, but it has already taught the school, city and state a lesson in the French cooking technique and its legality.

Kendall administrators, as well as some chefs in the city, believed that the vacuum sealing component of the sous-vide technique was illegal in Chicago without proper paperwork — and authorization meant lots of paperwork. But the 1,300-square-foot kitchen, which opened Oct. 19 and is officially called the Cuisine Solutions Sous-Vide Training Kitchen, wasn’t subject to the same level of scrutiny as originally believed.

“We thought we had to go through the exact application process as a major food processor,” said Joe Monastero, Kendall’s director of food and beverage event operations.

In fact, Kendall and Cuisine Solutions managers heard tales of restaurant employees stashing vacuum-sealing equipment in offices, cars or even under desks to avoid being fined by City of Chicago health inspectors. Turns out, that has been a misunderstanding, Mr. Monastero said.

The training kitchen allows Kendall to offer certification through a five-class program. The first course begins in November and is open to culinary professionals, but will be extended to degree-seeking Kendall students in January. Classes are taught in partnership with Culinary Research and Education Academy of Alexandria, Va., the education unit of Cuisine Solutions.

Bruno Goussault, who developed sous vide in 1971, will teach some courses. Mr. Goussault, chief scientist at Cuisine Solutions, trained many chefs on the technique including Charlie Trotter, Dan Barber and Jean Georges Vongerichten.

Sous vide is a two-part preparation method that calls for vacuum sealed food (typically meat or fish) to be cooked at a constant low temperature. A circulating water bath is usually involved to keep cooking temperatures constant.

PolyScience, an equipment manufacturer in Niles, makes the water bath that most chefs use for sous vide. While the firm’s products are typically for industrial applications, a phone call from Yusho owner Matthias Merges nearly a decade ago introduced PolyScience to the culinary industry.

Mr. Merges, who was cooking at Charlie Trotter’s at the time, thought PolyScience’s immersion circulator would provide the ideal environment for sous vide. Not long after Mr. Merges called, New York chef Wylie Dufresne got in touch, too, said Philip Preston, PolyScience’s president. (The technique has become popular enough that PolyScience produces home versions for the domestic market.)

Meanwhile, Kendall administrators are glad they don’t have to pursue the legal strategy it had prepared. The school lined up sponsors to push legislation to allow restaurants and culinary schools the ability to conduct sous-vide cooking with less paperwork. (President Emily Williams Knight previously succeeded in passing a law that allows underage students to sip and spit alcoholic beverages as part of culinary training.)

— Lorene Yue


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