As I read the press release posted below, I couldn’t stop this David Bowie song from creeping into my brain. (Sorry, I had to share.) Lest you think I’m totally insane, the song does relate to the subject at hand: sous vide, a cooking method in which foods are vacuumed packed in plastic and then cooked in a liquid at a relatively low temperature. Short story: it started in France and then Thomas Keller wrote Under Pressure and sous vide became the new “it” food.
My first Dallas sous vide experience was several years ago at the Mercury. Lately, I’ve seen sous vide dishes on the menu at The Mansion and Lola. But Chef Ward is going over the top with his newly expanded sous vide menu. Foodies, all aboard. (Go, girls!) Full release below. resos: 972-960-7774.
CREDITED AS ONE OF FIRST TEXAS CHEFS TO COOK SOUS VIDE, INNOVATIVE MERCURY RESTAURANT EXECUTIVE CHEF
CHRIS WARD EXPANDS SOUS VIDE MENU
AS QUOTED FROM THOMAS KELLER’S NEW BOOK, UNDER PRESSURE:
“SOUS VIDE IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT CULINARY INNOVATIONS
OF MODERN TIMES ALLOWING THE CHEF TO PRODUCE DISHES THAT WOULDN’T
BE AS FINE OR CONCEIVABLE WITHOUT IT.”
Dallas, Texas — Credited as one of the first Texas chefs to serve dishes prepared by the sous vide cooking process, Chris Ward expands his menu to offer sous vide dishes from Dover Sole to beef short ribs which have been braised for 48 hours prior to serving.
Ward began to adjust his recipes to the sous vide process five years ago and will launch cooking classes this year to teach other restaurant and home chefs how to cook foods sous vide. He began learning the sous vide technique over a decade ago from Michelin-starred chefs in France.
Sous vide was developed in France by Scientist Bruno Goussault as a method to enhance the flavor of food with the power of precise temperatures in cooking. Due to its exactness, sous vide cooking offers unprecedented temperature control and renders flavors and textures to food that no other cooking process can.
The food is hermetically sealed in a specially designed pouch and slowly cooked at a slightly lower-than-usual yet exact temperature for minutes or days; the natural fibers of the food soften and dissolve leaving the food tender enough to cut with a fork.
This gentle method of cooking also allows the preservation of the food’s flavor, aroma and nutrients. Meat, lamb loin, turkey and veal tenderloin cook evenly and uniform producing meltingly tender dishes.
Vegetables and fruits cooked in an oxygen-free environment remain colored and the flavor and nutrients are not lost in the cooking water or atmosphere. Carrots taste more like carrots and apples more like apples.
According to Ward, “small amounts of herbs and marinades have dramatic effects used with the meats and the sous vide process enhances the flavor of delicate fish. Foods traditionally braised in simmering stock, sauteed, roasted or poached can now be cooked consistently to medium-rare pink with sous vide.”
According to Bruno Goussault, “Sous vide is clearly going to become the pillar of food safety as it is a packaged product wherein all vegetative types of pathogenic bacteria have been destroyed and for which the risk of recontamination has been all but eradicated in a safer product. And it is likely to continue to amaze us in the future as its usage evolves, and as more chefs embrace sous vide for their own imaginative ends.”