Sous Vide, with its French origins, literally means Under Empty. Sous Chefs are the chefs who work under the Head Chefs and Vide refers to emptiness.
In cooking, Chefs have been using Sous Vide methods around cooking in vacuums, with pressure and low constant temperatures since the 1970s.
With the advent of modern smart devices, Sous Vide cooking has moved into the kitchens of many a home cook. With no need for huge immersion circulators the size of cricket bats or water vats you risk drowning in, now everyone can cook!
The air is removed from bags with your ingredients sealed inside, said bags are popped into pots of water with precise temperature control. Sounds easy enough doesn’t it?
Well, you’ll have your food cooked by a smart device and an app, but you’re not going to get anything by way of varied textures, flavours and colors without some true culinary skills applied on top.
In recent years, Sous Vide cooking has gotten a bad rep that I don’t think has been entirely fair.
I had the pleasure of being invited to a home dinner recently with Sous Vide being the central cooking method, supplemented by boundless creativity and skills of the chefs.
I was impressed by the different techniques applied to different food groups that when put together made for an excellent meal.
Dinner commenced with a beautifully dressed Ceviche, the fish was cured well, flavour hits were balanced and on point!
We then moved to a traditional Dang Gui Duck Salad. The earthy sweetness and bitterness of the vege contrasted beautifully with Sous Vide Duck that was tender and had sufficient bite all at the same time!
From there, it was like listening to the radio on a Sunday evening, with the Top 10 hits that kept coming and coming.
I tasted the best iteration of salt-baked fish I’ve ever had, and was treated to a modern spin on a Japanese donburi.
The entire menu was well thought out and well executed from start to finish, so I say, “Mes compliments au Chefs!”
Penning this post almost 10 days after the food has been digested, I find myself still thinking about how certain elements of the dishes had been executed. And that to me is the hallmark of a meal that I truly enjoyed. One that not only tasted great on the spot but has gotten me thinking about different aspects of the dinner even with the passage of time.