recipes and blog

The sous vide blog is all about slow cooking food under vacuum to create sublime tastes and textures. Sous vide Australia bringings chefs that are cooking sous vide together for forum and discusion.

I also import some of the best sous vide equipment in the world in to Australia and stock all of the accessories. Check out the web site for all that stuff Sous Vide Australia.

Bookmark this page or subscribe to the RSS feed to get regular recipes and tips for cooking Sous Vide.

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If you have any questions about any of my recipes or ideas, please contact me by email here

At Home with Sous Vide, by Dale Prentice

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
 At home with sous videThe Spouse and I are devoted to Masterchef: we watch it religiously and this 2014 series is the best yet.   The spouse is a keen cook, you see, and so he’s always looking for beaut new ideas that are do-able at home. But until recently, there was one method of cooking that couldn’t be replicated at home, and that was sous vide, i.e. cooking in a low temperature water bath.  It’s a fabulous way of cooking that results in perfectly tender, evenly-cooked meat and fish, with delicious flavour and texture.

So you can imagine how pleased I was to discover that Sunbeam have brought out a sous vide cooker for domestic kitchens, and DJ’s had parcelled it – on special – with the vacuum food sealer machine as well.

Pork bellyThe first experiments were with the recipe book that comes with the instructions.  We tried hapuka and salmon, and a scrumptious pork belly (free range, of course) with beetroot relish.

But then it was time to try something a bit more ambitious.  So now we have The Cookbook – and already we have had some delicious dinners using its recipes.

Dale Prentice is the director of Sous Vide Australia, and is also an experienced chef, working with the likes of Greg Malouf and George Calombaris.  At Home with Sous Vide, however, begins with the basics and – while there are some advanced restaurant dishes made with hard-to-source ingredients - most of it is not too difficult for keen home cooks.

There’s an introductory chapter covering the principles of sous vide: planning ahead, buying wisely, preparing the food, sealing it in a vacuum bag, and cooking safely.  After that comes a list of the top 10 ingredients, which – as well as the ones you’d expect (pork belly, confit duck, salmon) – contains some surprises.  Who knew that you could cook custard or rhubarb in a sous vide machine?

Chicken Ballotine

There are then five sections: eggs, poultry & game, meat, fish, and fruit & vegetables, again with some surprises.  A Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake with hazelnuts, and scrambled eggs!  We haven’t tried those yet, but (as our Facebook friends know) we have tried Anthony Fullerton’s chicken Ballotine – and then a variation of it created by the ever inventive Spouse.  Tonight,  it was a simple weekday salmon dish again, but the flavour is brilliant when it’s cooked sous vide and there are no worries about whether the thick end is cooked right through.

There are some other lovely recipes to try.  I like the look of Barbecued Chicken with Moroccan spices, the Chicken and Pistachio Terrine, the Spicy Syrian Eggplant with Labneh and Ryan Clift’s Pork Belly with Milk, Truffle Puree and Salsify (but I think we’ll need a trip to The Vital Ingredient to pick up some Sosa black powder and the xanthan gum for the puree).  Christine Manfield’s Snapper with Toasted Walnut Crumble and Yoghurt Relish sounds divine, but I think we’ll probably skip Shannon Bennett’s Pademelon, Pumpkin and Smoked Bone Marrow.  (Two days to brine the bone marrow? And where do we get a pademelon from?  Would we want to eat a cute little pademelon?)

The book is generously illustrated to provide ideas for plating, and there’s a step-by-step sequence at the beginning of the book too.

Author: Dale Prentice
Title: At Home with Sous Vide
Publisher: Sous Vide Australia, 2013
ISBN:  9780987526328 (hbk, 223 pages)
Source: Our personal recipe book collection, purchased from Sous Vide Australia

Availability

Direct from Sous Vide Australia (and they delivered it within 48 hours!)

Posted by: Lisa Hill | July 14, 2014

 

The rise of sous vide in restaurant food preparation

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

What is sous vide ?

Sous vide cooking is a combination of two distinct process.

The first is vacuum packaging.

Food items are prepared either raw or partly cooked then chilled to below 3C before being seal in plastic pouches under 99.9% vacuum.

This process has many benefits to the chef;

  • marinade volumes can be reduced with enhanced results,
  • likely hood of cross-contamination after sealing is greatly reduced,
  • likelihood of accidental food spillages are minimised
  • food is held firmly so that the rigors of cooking will not damage the presentation of the food item.

The negatives are;

  •  the food is now stored in a moist anaerobic environment,
  • This removes the chef’s ability to use their senses to assess the foods condition.

The second process is precisely controlled low temperature cooking.

This takes place by submerging the vacuum pouch of prepared food in to a water bath, controlled by an immersion circulator or on racks in a Combi oven on the steam or mixed steam convection setting. Cooking temperatures are generally between 55C to 90C. Cooking times will range from 10 minutes to 72 hours. The use of combi ovens for short cooks of less than 2 hours or below 70C are not recommended as the oven is not designed to control heat with the required accuracy nor is air a satisfactory medium for heat transfer.

The benefits to the chef are;

  •  control of doneness to one tenth of a degree Celsius,
  • complete consistency,
  • the ability to hold product long enough to achieve pathogen kill steps for HACCP without compromising doneness,
  • improved moisture or texture of the cooked item,
  • the ability to cook tough cuts of meat- meltingly tender- whilst retaining a medium rare appearance.
  • Sous vide also allows the chef to cook with the sole aim of achieving 6-7 decimal reductions of Salmonella, Listeria and E.coli and still have a desirable food product.
  • Most of all sous vide spreads the work load of a chef across the whole working day and creates a more managed work flow during the pressures of service.
  • Sous vide items are precooked to predetermined time/temperature values then chilled rapidly in a way not possible with any other method of cookery as the food is vacuum packaged allowing for direct contact in an ice slurry,
  • Items are then stored at fridge temperatures then reheated using one or a mix of water-bath, grill, pan, oven or deep fryer. Sous Vide cooking removes the possibility of undercooked food being accidently served to consumers. The chef at the pass is only required to achieve appearance and correct reheat temperature,
  • doneness has already been achieved.

In affect sous vide low temperature cooking is a refined extension of the cook chill process.

Vietnamese pork bun

How many kitchens are using sous vide cooking in Victoria?

My company is the largest supplier of ‘purpose built’ hospitality sous vide equipment in Australia. We are one of ten companies Australia wide that import this type of equipment for restaurant kitchens. My company Sous Vide Australia has sold over 800 sous vide units in Victoria in the last four years and I am aware of Class 2 Retail and Food Service Businesses in every municipality within Victoria that are using sous vide cooking.

At home with sous vide – cookbook

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Hi all

We are starting to get some feed back on or cookbook, At home with sous vide.

Tried a few and very happy with everything so far. Love the book, congratulations, and thanks, well done.
Alan Woods 

Mike Emmett Moroccan carrots and the beetroot relish are a staple. 
The roast chicken is amazing. The dashi lamb is amazeballs

Chicken terrine by TrissaliciousOn the shoot

 

Get your copy know At home with sous vide

A sensible approach to cooking

with big pictures and good advice.

From E-Gullet thread

Best Cookbooks for Sous Vide/LTLT Cooking

 Posted by nickrey on Yesterday, 11:13 AM

Dale’s book is out.

The link for it is here. It is A$69.95. The book is hardcover, 223 pages and covers sous vide cooking from basics up to some quite advanced restaurant dishes.

After an introductory chapter on cooking with sous vide, he covers cooking of five different classes of food: eggs, poultry & game, meat, fish, and fruit & vegetables.

From my experience, the times and temperatures given are appropriate and well within accepted safety guidelines.

The basics are covered well and recipes are clear and concise. They are accompanied by pictures showing plating of the dishes.

Dale is a trained and very experienced chef who moved into selling sous vide equipment after adopting it in his own kitchen many years ago.

He has sourced recipes from 36 other chefs as well as presenting his own take on a number of dishes.

This is possibly the first book to bridge the gap between a simple presentation of sous vide cooking (eg. Douglas Baldwin and Jason Lodgson’s books) and the restaurant books that can verge into the complex. He does it well and the involvement of a range of chefs allows you to see their different approaches to using this cooking medium.

I enjoyed browsing through the book and will use a number of techniques from the book in my own cooking.

 

New cookbook, At home with sous vide

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Get your discounted copy of the cookbook here before the 11th October

SousVideBook_Cover_fa

Sous Vide: A New Approach to Cooking
At Home with Sous Vide celebrates the gentle art of low-temperature cooking. Discover the way an exact approach to cooking
can transform food, and the incredible flavour and texture that can be achieved when cooking meat, fish, eggs, vegetables
and even fruit sous vide. Director of Sous Vide Australia, teacher and chef, Dale Prentice provides 74 easy-to-follow recipes, including 37 dishes from some of the world’s most renowned chefs, restaurants and sous vide enthusiasts. Each recipe is beautifully photographed and broken down into step-by-step components. From simple salads to easy dinner recipes for beginners to more elaborate dishes for the confident cook, At Home with Sous Vide takes this amazing new style of cooking out of the restaurant world and into the home.

Clockwise from top: Confit Garlic, Moroccan Carrot Salad, Kipfler Potato Salad with Seeded Mustard Dressing, and Pickled Quince.

Sous Vide vegetables

Sous Vide vegetables

Recipe List
Eggs
Son-in-law Eggs
Scrambled Eggs on Toast with Crisp Pancetta and Confit Tomatoes
Slow-cooked Duck Egg Yolk with Creamed Spinach and Dukkah
Garlic Flan with Exotic Mushrooms
Crème Caramel
Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake with Hazelnuts
Chai Ice Cream, Brandy Snap and Apple
Pain Perdu, Spiced Ricotta and Poached Rhubarb
Poultry & Game
Chicken Ballotine with Spring Vegetables and Green Pea Mousse
Barbecued Chicken with Moroccan Spices
Poussin Two Ways with Coriander Yoghurt
Squab with Foie Gras and Truffles
Chicken and Pistachio Terrine
Confit Turkey Wings
Cooking Geese
Spiced Chicken Breast with Miso Mayonnaise, Kombu Crumb and Pickled Radishes
Quail, Confit Duck and Foie Gras Terrine with Pistachio Soil, Ruby Beets and Goat’s Cheese
Pademelon, Pumpkin and Smoked Bone Marrow
Meat
The Perfect Steak
Hot and Sour Beef Salad with Roasted Rice
Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine Glaze
Blackmore Wagyu Strip Loin
Spiced Intercostals with Jerusalem Artichokes, Potato Butter
Soy-braised Brisket Sandwich
Corned Silverside
Japanese Lamb Shoulder with Pea and Wasabi
Cordero a la Vainilla (Slow-cooked Lamb Breast with Vanilla and Almond Milk)
Spring Lamb with Slow-roasted Tomato Sauce
Pork Belly with Milk, Truffle Purée and Salsify
Milanese Lamb Shanks with Cauliflower
Spicy Tamarind Lamb Ribs

Spiced Lamb Rump with Peppered Rosemary Oil
Slow-cooked Pork Neck, Cuttlefish and Cabbage Salad with Tonkotsu Sauce
Pork Rib-eye Roast with Sautéed Cabbage and Apple Soubise
St. Louis Ribs
All-belly Porchetta
The Bun Mobile’s Pork Belly
Carnitas Pork and Corn Tortillas
Cotechino with Bitter Greens and Relish
Pork Tongue and Tuna with Pork Fat Curd
Pig Tail Croquettes with Aioli
Fish
Slow-poached Blue-eye Cod with Miso Marinade and Cucumber Water
Soft-cured Salmon with Fresh Fennel and Smoked Yoghurt
Cod Terrine with Smoked Mashed Potatoes, Red Capsicum Oil and Pickled Mushrooms
Coral Trout with Potato Scales
Fennel, Lime and Sumac Prawns with Russian Salad
Baby Squid with Crisp Confit Duck Neck
Snapper with Toasted Walnut Crumble and Yoghurt Relish
Smoked Diver Scallops
Millefeuille of Calamari and Salmon
Antipasto of Octopus and Artichokes
Fruit & Vegetables
Salad of Pickled Baby Beetroot, Crispy Quinoa and Manchego Custard
Compressed Honey Pineapple with Whipped Ham, Pickled Curry Tapioca and Chilli Oil
Carrot Cake Starter
Mushroom Bird’s Nest
Spicy Syrian Eggplant with Labneh
Kipfler Potato Salad with Seeded Mustard Dressing
Braised Shallots with Golden Raisins
Moroccan Carrot Salad
Peach Schnapps and Strawberry-infused Watermelon with Black Peppercorn Sorbet
Apples and Rhubarb with Anzac Biscuit Ice Cream
Thyme-poached Apricots with Sticky Orange Cake
Pears in White Wine with Chocolate and Sponge
Poached Blood Plum Merengada
Basics
Beetroot Relish
Confit Garlic
Stocks and Jus
Pickled Quince
Instant Raspberry,
Chilli and Thyme Vinegar

DALE PRENTICE
Dale Prentice trained as a chef in Melbourne, Australia, having worked in many venues in his 17 years at the pass. In his last role as executive chef at Stones of the Yarra Valley, he shared his kitchen with many renowned chefs—including Greg Malouf, Philippe Mouchel, Frank Camorra, George Calombaris and Riccardo Momesso. It was at Stones of the Yarra Valley that he first implemented sous vide cooking as a way of expanding the existing kitchen. After only a short period, Dale became obsessed with sous vide and the benefits it brought to a commercial kitchen. Sous Vide Australia grew out of this passion and a need to share these amazing benefits with everyone he knew. Since 2009, Sous Vide Australia has grown rapidly
and Dale is often asked to give lectures and training in sous vide cooking and equipment all over Australia.

Recipe contributions by:

Shannon Bennett, Melbourne
James Blight, Melbourne
Madalene Bonvini-Hamel, London
Marsha Busse, Melbourne
Raymond Capaldi, Melbourne
Ryan Clift, Singapore
Roberto Cortez, Washington
Stefan Cosser, London
Kerby Craig, Sydney
Dallas Cuddy, Singapore
Patrick Dang, China
Andrew Dargue, London
George Diamond, Sydney
Adam Draper and Emma
D’Alessandro, Melbourne
Wylie Dufresne, New York
Mark Ebbels, Singapore
Brad Farmerie, New York
Harold Fleming, Brisbane
Anthony Fullerton, Brisbane
Florent Gerardin, Melbourne
Bruno Goussault, USA
Jarrod Hudson, Melbourne
Jason Logsdon, Connecticut
J. Kenji López-Alt, New York
Christine Manfield, Sydney
Garen Maskal, Melbourne
Philippe Mouchel, Melbourne
Nathan Myhrvold , Washington
Spencer Patrick, Port Douglas
Darren Purchese, Melbourne
Tom Randolph, Perth
David Roberts, Melbourne
Michael Ryan, Beechworth
Wayne Smith, Tasmania
Joe Strybel, Illinois
Pablo Tordesillas, Brisbane

Get on board and help us crowd fund this great cookbook at http://pozible.com/sousvide

 

Thank you to every one that has contributed so far, you have all done your part in this process.

Now, lets get this over the line! 2 weeks left means that time is running out, our only chance to succeed in this crowd funding campaign is for you to go to your email lists and ask your friends to get us there. My list are exhausted, this is where you the supports step up to the plate and carry us that extra mile.

All rewards are dependent on us reaching the target, we are now in your hands.

Thank you so much for the faith you have shown in what will be a land mark work for sous vide cooking.

Dale and Libby Prentice

SOUS VIDE Workshop with Dale Prentice – Director – Sous Vide Australia

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Australian young chefs' club LogoWACS young chef logo

The Australian Young Chefs’ Club Presents:

 

SOUS VIDE Workshop

with Dale Prentice – Director – Sous Vide Australia

 

An introduction to sous vide

• Short demonstration

• Lunch

• The perfect eggs (chicken, duck and quail)

• The effects of long cooking (36 hour – Carnitas pork tortilla)

• Using sous vide to enhance flavour (Vanilla infused lamb belly and Syrian eggplant)

• Using sous vide to modify texture (Brides vales of squid in black and white)

• Sous vide dessert

• Hands on

Sous Vide Beef cheeks

When: Saturday, 10 August, 2013

Time: 11am to approx. 2.00pm

Where: Holmesglen Tafe

Moorabbin Campus

Cost: $20 for young chefs

$40 for other attendees

For bookings and further information, contact Enzo Frisini – 0437 885 000 / e-mail: enzofrisini@live.com

Dale Prentice – Sous Vide Australia

Dale Prentice has been the Director of Sous Vide Australia since 2009 and the former Executive Chef of Stones of the Yarra Valley; a large events venue in Melbourne’s picturesque Yarra Valley, and is looking to share his knowledge with interested professionals at an upcoming workshop.

Over the last eight years Dale has cooked with Greg Malouf of Momo’s, George Calombaris of The Press Club and Helenic Republic, Philippe Mouchel of PM24, Riccardo Momesso of Sarti and Frank Camorra of Movida, at his Stones of the Yarra Valley kitchen.

Organic, local, free range and sustainable produce define Dale’s passionate style of cookery.

Dale lectures at culinary institutes and consults to industry on sous vide processes and techniques, and is currently writing Australia’s first sous vide cook book with recipe contributions from chefs and bloggers from all over the world.

The book will be released on the 1 December.

Sous vide spanish onion 

When & Where?

  • Holmesglen Institute – Moorabbin Campus
  • Room TBA
  • 10 August, 2013
  • Workshop starts at 11am – Finish time around 2.00pm

 Duck egg with dukkah

 What’s included?

  • An introduction to sous vide
  • Short demonstration that will become lunch, then 2 hours hands on
    • The perfect eggs (chicken, duck and quail)
    • The effects of long cooking (36 hour – Carnitas pork tortilla)
    • Using sous vide to enhance flavour (Vanilla infused lamb belly and Syrian eggplant)
    • Using sous vide to modify texture (Brides vales of squid in black and white)
    • Sous vide dessert

Cost:

  • $20 for young chefs under the age of 25 (includes a free 12 month membership to the ACFV valued at $25)
  • $40 for other attendees
  • A maximum of 20 participants
  • Aimed at young chefs and apprentices

 How to pay:

  • Direct transfer to the Australian Culinary Federation Victoria

Account Number 251119

BSB 033-305 – in the description, please state your full name and the letters ‘SVW’

  • Cash on the day

What to bring:

  • Must wear presentable chefs uniform (including hat) or entry will be denied
  • Non slip enclosed shoes
  • Knives / tools
  • Pen and note pad

 Sous Vide at home

To book your place, contact:

Artisan, Sourdough and Wood Fire Bread Workshop

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

The Australian Young Chefs’ Club

Artisan, Sourdough and Wood Fire

Bread Workshop
with Baker and Pastry Chef James Stone

  •  Introduction to artisan baking techniques

    World Association of Chefs

    World Association of Chefs

  •  Production of bread dough’s
  •  Ciabatta
  •  Turkish Pide
  •  Baguette
  •  Light lunch
  •  Dough development / mixing techniques
  •  Sourdough starters
  •  Italian flat bread
  •  Bread tasting
  •  Hands on up to 20 participants
  •  Open to Young Chefs and Industry Apprentices

YCC_Artisan Bread workshopflier 13_7_2013 V2 

Saturday 13 July 2013

Australian Young Chefs Club

Australian Young Chefs Club

9am to 4.00pm
William Angliss Institute of TAFE
555 La Trobe Street
Rooms FG01and FG02 – Enter via King Street
Cost – $20.00
For bookings and further information, contact Enzo Frisini – 0437 885 000

e-mail: enzofrisini@live.com

Move over microwave, home sous vide is now kitchen king.

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Sous vide cooking has quietly snuck into our lives for most people without their knowing. Poached eggs at the local café, shredded pork belly roll from the sandwich shop, perfectly cooked lamb rump down at the pub, identical eye fillets all cooked to a perfect medium rare at a wedding, tiny little petit vegetables all cooked exactly the same garnishing you fancy dinner at a fine restaurant, all cooked sous vide. Gently, quietly cooked in water, not much warmer than a good bath after a long day at the office. Yet the food tastes so good each bite the same perfectness as the last.

tenderloin sous vide

sous vide steak

(more…)

Food safety for Sous Vide cooking

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

This great guide is written by Phil Preston the CEO of PolyScience. PolyScience continue to be the leaders in sous vide, rotary evaporation, sonicprep, anti griddle and The Smoking Gun for all of your molecular food  and cooking hardware. Sous Vide Australia bring PolyScience to Australia giving you access to the most creative, reliable and useful food tools to enhance your culinary creativity.

When Cooking Sous Vide, Food Safety Should be Your #1 Priority

Posted on 

When Cooking Sous Vide, Food Safety Should be Your #1 Priority

By: Philip Preston

The sous vide cooking method can provide tremendous culinary benefits in both home and professional kitchens. Most notably, the method allows users to control heat with extraordinary precision. In fact, no other process enables both chefs and home cooks to monitor temperature with such ease. However, as with any cooking method, technology alone cannot guarantee results if it is not used correctly.

Fundamentals of food safety are especially important when cooking sous vide because the easy-of-use nature that makes the method so attractive, may also create complacency among users. Consequently, even seemingly basic and logical kitchen safety steps should be reviewed by everyone involved to avoid potential problems.

  • Always use only the freshest ingredients.
  • Ensure hands, tools, and work surfaces are clean.
  • Move products directly from refrigerated storage to preheated baths.
  • Don’t overload preheated baths with cold products because temperature recovery times may be significantly lengthened
  • When undertaking cook-and-chill recipes, use an ice bath to chill rapidly.
  • If a bag becomes bloated, it could be a sign of bacteria spoilage and should not be used.

Taking safety a step further, PolyScience has developed unique software that models the thermal conductivity of proteins in both heated water and ice baths to help you make informed cooking decisions. More specifically, the PolyScience Sous Vide Toolbox iPhone / iPad Application is a practical tool for predicting core temperatures and provides valuable insights into pathogen reduction. Users simply enter the type of protein being cooked along with its shape, size, starting temperature, and desired core temperature, and the application automatically calculates the minimum cook time.

Although the software is already a truly remarkable tool that should be used by everyone cooking sous, we didn’t stop there. Instead, we continually seek new perspectives. Most recently, we enlisted the help of the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management’s O. Peter Snyder Jr., Ph.D., a leading food safety expert. Dr. Snyder concluded that the PolyScience Sous Vide Toolbox application “… is a professional aid to determining the time required for heating muscle foods in a controlled temperature water bath. Safety of a sous vide process is always verified by measuring the final core temperature of the food product with a temperature probe and meeting government food safety standards.”

Polyscience Sous Vide iPhone app

New Polyscience Sous Vide Toolbox for iPhone iPad

Dr. Snyder has also provided detailed insights to help our customers even better understand and minimize sous vide associated food safety risks (see our website at:www.cuisinetechnology.com/DrSnyder).

sous vide salmon image

Safe sous vide image

 

 

$10000 Chef 2013 at Food Service Australia

Friday, May 17th, 2013
register for Food Service Australia now!

Food service Australia

Sous Vide Australia are a sponsor of the ‘Chef’ competition at Food Service Australia for the third consecutive year. Now in the round under the dome of the stunning Melbourne Exhibition buildings June 2-4 2013 the competition will be quite the spectacle. Cameron Smith will as always be taking us blow by blow through the action and asking the chefs to think and talk whilst competing, this always separates out the geniuses from the good cooks.

The one hour heats will see these chef pushed to the limits and sous vide as a way to achieve reliable results under pressure. Each competitor will have PolyScience state of the art Sous Vide Professional – Chef series circulator attached to our 18 litre custom Cambro tank. The powerful Henkleman Jumbo 35 is the chamber vacuum machine of choice, fast and efficient. With $10000 for first prize and a PolyScience – Sous Vide Professional -Chef Series immersion circulator for the runner up provide by Sous Vide Australia these high caliber chefs are going to be performing at their best.

FSA 2013 will also host Apprentice of the year, Callebaut Chocolate Grand Prix sculpture competition judged by Adrian Zumbo, Global pizza challenge, Australia’s best pie, Bakery & Pastry Theatre and restaurant theatre.

Sous Vide Australia will be there right next to the ‘Chef 2013′ stage at stand F7. All of our circulator’s will be on working display including the New Creative series and the amazing fully programmable 7312. We also now carry the largest range of hypodermic temperature probes for sous vide available in Australia and some great new data loggers for uploading HACCP data straight to your lap top.

The new PolyScience brochures will also be available, these are a 26 page glossy with as much about sous vide cooking as there is about the products them selves.

See you June 2nd-4th  2013 at the Royal Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne.

Register online here for free entry

Do you run a gastro pub?

Friday, May 17th, 2013

This great article by http://allfoodbusiness.com/articles/can-a-sous-vide-help-your-restaurant/ looks at the place of sous vide cookking post the molecular revolution. Great read.

sous vide vegetables

low temperature cooking of Fennel

In the rush to explore molecular gastronomy as one of the new fads in the culinary arts, a few very practical finds have been discovered by chefs around the country. One of them is sous-vide cooking, which is a process that uses low, highly controlled temperatures over a long period of time. Ultimately, the temperature at which food is served is equal to the temperature at which it is cooked. Food is cooked in a vacuum-sealed bag inside a water bath, allowing no natural flavor to be lost and ensuring great texture.

One of the biggest advantages of sous-vide cooking is the use of controlled low heat. Every other type of cooking uses very high heat that requires food to be removed at precisely the right time. This yields a layered effect, in which outside layers are cooked more thoroughly and the inside remains at a constantly lower temperature. Additionally, the cell structure of the food dictates the time necessary to keep it under high heat. In this way, a New York Strip and a Filet Mignon that are an identical weight and shape take different amounts of time to cook. Sous-vide cooking occurs at the same low temperature over the course of hours, so that an entire piece of meat will be cooked the same throughout.

Advantages

The advantages for a steakhouse are obvious – narrowing the process down to a precise temperature and time would ensure that sous-vide cooked steaks are not only cooked accurately, but that they are cooked evenly throughout. According to Thomas Keller, renowned New York chef and sous-vide savant, his restaurant Per Se saw nary a re-cook in the months following their conversion to sous-vide preparation for beef.

In addition, steaks would be par-cooked (as is routine in most larger steakhouses) based on preparation standards and cooked up on a broiler to get the essential char that steak-lovers crave. In this way, cook times on the broiler would be the same for any steak, regardless of the way it is ordered. This has already provided huge benefits for fast-paced steakhouses around the world, who only need one broil cook and can spend more time in the prep than in the service.

Guest Response

The primary concern about cooking at low temperatures is the fear of contracting a bacterial infection or food poisoning. In fact, this danger has been long eliminated, as sous-vide users alternately chill and heat food to eliminate bacteria. This process maintains the cell-structure of the protein, allow it to maintain the natural flavor it would normally lose when being cooked at high temperatures. By all accounts, guest feedback to this process has been overwhelmingly positive, and has opened up new possibilities for traditional proteins such as chicken and fish. For example, adding herbs or seasoning to the vacuum-sealing process gives food an outstanding, bold taste.

Practical Benefits

Whether or not to use a sous-vide on a regular basis is up to the individual. Guests in most restaurants know what they like, and what they want out of a dining experience. That doesn’t mean that experimenting on daily specials or a menu item or two can’t lead to a new opportunity.

Sous-vide systems (including a vacuum machine and bags) run between $1000 and $10000, which can be steep when being considered for occasional use. That said, sous-vides have many uses, such as cooking vegetable mixes and poaching eggs. However, the accuracy with which temperatures must be maintained requires regular attention, which is not always possible in a fast-paced environment. Ultimately, sous-vide cooking could be the biggest impact from the gastro pub trend of recent years.