Cutting-Edge Culinary Techniques: Sous Vide
While chefs have numerous options for transforming food from raw to cooked, the sous vide process continues to gain popularity among professional and amateur chefs. Sous vide, which is a French term meaning "under vacuum," involves vacuum-packing food in plastic, cooking it at a lower temperature than normal for an extended period of time, and quickly cooling it. Despite some food safety concerns, chefs rave about the benefits of this culinary method as a tool for an exceptionally delicious meal.
Culinary Advantages of Sous Vide
The sous vide technique began in France in the 1970s as an experiment in cooking foie gras with less shrinkage. Food prepared in the sous vide manner emerges moist, intact, colorful, and full of flavor. No fats are needed in this cooking process, so the food is healthier. With this technique, high volumes of food can be prepared very quickly for the commercial industry (airlines, hotels, retail stores).
Safety issues are the main concern of critics. Health officials are worried that low temperatures in cooking might encourage botulism and listeria, two very toxic bacteria. However, technology has kept pace with this culinary trend, as chefs utilize equipment designed for complete sealing of the food and for accurate maintenance of cooking and cooling temperatures.
The development of the sous vide method highlights some advantages to becoming a chef. A culinary career is an evolving profession since chefs are continually experimenting with food and preparation methods. Also, science is an ingredient in the kitchen as chefs strive for both safety and taste. Lastly, culinary careers often lead to international collaboration among chefs.