What a way to start off the New Year! On January 22, 2014 we attended the Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals’ (CAFP) “Molecular Gastronomy” event hosted by Humber College*. Chef John Placko demonstrated innovative cuisines where science and culinary arts intersect to create new techniques and dishes including sous vide cooking.
Sous vide cooking means “under vacuum,” in French. Food is vacuum-sealed in strong plastic bags and cooked in a circulating water bath at low temperatures for a long time to lock in juices and flavour without added fat. For example, after 75 minutes at 60°C, meat was slightly pink but fully cooked, tender and incredibly flavourful. Chef Placko’s unique Australian ingredients took the spotlight and we sampled pepperberry seasoned kangaroo loin cooked sous vide and served with a sweet chili sauce. Yumm!
You too have probably eaten sous vide cooked foods in restaurants or while travelling on planes or trains and didn’t even know it! This innovative approach to cooking is used by food service professionals in hospitals, rail and airline companies, and even the military. Sous vide machines are also found in the homes of French cooks, but North American consumers are just starting to show interest as the first home sous-vide machines are expected to come to market. Watch for more innovation in this unique cooking trend.
(*Congratulations to our colleague Susan Somerville RD, the newly appointed Dean School of Hospitality, Recreation & Tourism at Humber College who hosted the event.)