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mjc

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 5)

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I think you are overstating the importance of a circulator. It  depends on a number of factors (heat source, bath size, bath size relative to what is being cooked, etc.)

It may be critical in some situations but it is not critical in all applications. A PID controlled rice cooker or multicooker or table-top roaster works fine with or without something added for circulation. The natural convection in my multicooker is such that the temperature is pretty constant. The tabletop roaster because it is side-heated doesn't have the same convections patterns and there is a tiny bit more variation -- which a $10 aquarium airpump easily solves. Even in the roaster, the temperature distributes evenly enough that I no longer bother to  use the pump.

I would seriously consider involving some some of circulator- it is critical to the process of temperature stability and safety.

randall

Its better to overstate for safety reasons I would like to think- especially for the majority of folks here that dont have ServeSafe certification, or understand the nuances for modified atmosphere cooking/storing protocols.

Even the smallest baths Ive seen (and I trained in a 2-star Mich with multiple IC stations) in restaurants all have a IC; with water baths being much cheaper than a IC- still choose a circ.

Ive asked the water bath vs IC question to most of them, and discussed at length with Dave Arnold at FCI, and the common opinion is that circulation is key, can you LTC w/o - sure, but its not good practice.

randall

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Circulation in a water bath can be very important, but it is possible to live without it in some cases if you are careful.

The point of circulation is to make sure that you don't get cold spots so there is even heating all over the food.

The factors that make circulation more important are:

- How big is the bath/pot?

- How much food is in the bath/pot?

- Is it clumped together, or spread out?

If you have a large crock pot / rice steamer / roaster controlled by a PID it will work very well with it if you keep the food in the center, keep it from touching or clustering and have a good ratio of water to the amount of food.

To prevent food from clumping you can use use things to separate it (cake cooling racks, mesh baskets made for deep fat frying...), either from other bags of food, or from the bottom or sides of the pot or bath.

Or you can use binder clips to clip the bags to a rack you put over the top of the pot. Or magnetic clips for something similar.

On the other hand if you jam it full of sous vide bags that are all touching one another you will not get even cooking.

In fact, even if you do have a stirred / pumped water bath or immersion circulator you can overload it to the point where the stirring or circulation still does not prevent cold spots and uneven cooking.

An aquarium pump with bubbler can do a reasonable job of forcing water circulation - it isn't as good as a circulation pump. It is OK for home use but don't crowd the bath. Make sure the bubbles are coming up on all sides - if you have a bubbler over in one corner of a large pot and there food blocking the flow to the other side of the pot, it won't do you much good. The bubbles are what stir the water so they need to be reasonably distributed.

Some of the posts above talk about "water bath" and "immersion circulator" as two separate things. Laboratory water baths come in two forms - those with pumps which are basically indentical to an immersion circulator, but have a built in tank. They are also called "stirred water baths" but in reality it is a pump not a stirer.

There are also "utility water baths" which are unstirred and have no pumps. The unstirred ultility baths are very simliar to an improvised outfit with a PID controller and a rice cooker, or roaster.

In general water baths with pumps usually have better temperature control, and are more expensive. But generally they are worth it. Restaurants that do a lot of volume production really ought to use a bath with a circulation pump. Home users may also find it convienent if they do large quantities.


Nathan

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Quick SV report:

Brined 1.5" thick pork rib chops for about 1 hour in sugar/salt mix, then popped them in the water bath with nothing else in the bag for 12 hours at 131 degrees as per Douglas Baldwin (*thanks Douglas!).

Then I fished them out and seared them in a pan with smoking vegetable oil for a couple of minutes.

I am a pork chop enthusiast but the texture and flavor here went well beyond anything I had previously cooked. This was a remarkable demonstration of what can be done with this method. Also a pan sauce would have been super-easy using the juices from the bag. Good, good stuff

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Has anyone done beef or veal bone marrow before? I did one a while ago by default when I did an osso bucco... the osso bucco was done at 82.2 for about 6 hours, I think... it was good, but the marrow stole the show...

Has anyone done just a marrow bone? If so, what temp/time and how did it come out? Any suggestions??

Thanks!

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I'm guessing a whole marrowbone would be quite slow to come to temp, since the object to be cooked is insulated by a thick layer of bone. I would either thinly slice the bones (as they would be for osso bucco), or remove the marrow beforehand.

Cooking marrow sous-vide is genius, though. Roughly speaking, I imagine cooking marrow sous-vide has much of the same advantages as cooking foie gras sous-vide.


Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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That marrow in the osso bucco was a revelation... everything else in the dish was a waste of time, by comparison... I was thinking now of doing an "upscale" pho bo - where I have the pho broth, but clear like a consomme (I've done this before in the pressure cooker - works great), little ravioli filled with the cooked marrow (which take the place of the rice noodles and the marrow that gets usually integrated into the broth), and some raw prime rib eye sliced thin that is "cooked" in the broth at the last minute... finish with chives to act as the sliced raw onion/scallion component...

ETA: It's a great idea to have the butcher slice the marrow bones into 1" thick slices... I didn't think of that ..

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I'm having some problems getting rid of the milky-white stuff when doing fish this way. I tried Thomas Keller's recommended "quick salt cure" method, but that didn't seem to work. I've yet to try the brining method, but I was wondering whether there was a recommended salt:water ratio.

Thanks for any advice.

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What temperature are you cooking the fish to? Above a certain temp, I don't think it's possible to avoid.


--

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Hmmm...the tuna I did last night seemed to be overdone at 140F, but the milky white appears at 120F, too.

Keller does the following:

1) Bass 143.6F

2) Monkfish 147.2F

3) Tuna 139.1F

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My latest SV experiment form a couple of weeks ago involded pork belly. I brined a skin on piece and cooked it with some ginger and garlic at 150 for 24 hours. I then let is rest under a heavy weight in the fridge overnight. Then I removed the skin and seared it. Here it is served with Soba, Napa Cabbage, a thin cucumber slice, a soy pudding sauce and sesame.

gallery_5404_94_31157.jpg

The texture was pretty good and the taste was rich and porky. Oddly enough not much ginger or garlic flavor came through. I was worried these might be overwhelming actually. I would like to cook at maybe a slightly higher temp and a shorter time, say 155 for 15 hours or so. I am hoping to get the fat a bit softer.

I am thinking of trying a piece of pork butt soon too. The idea is along the lines of barbeque flavor. I do not think it is a good idea to cook it with bbq sauce, but maybe apply a good rub, sear it, add a little liquid smoke and CSV. Whenit is done I can brush with bbq sauce and torch lightly. Does that sound right? Any suggestions to timing/temp? Should I treat it like a piece of chuck and cook in the high 30s for 36 hours?


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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More results:

Short rib and lamb shoulder with salt and pepper 135 for 36 hours. Both produce great texture-

sous vide for braised items like this is truly unparralleled in cooking. The liquid produced by both is useless for sauce as far as I'm concerned.

Brought some to work and my restaurant will be buying an IC perhaps just a sous vide magic setup now.

Matt

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Is this something practicable and or do-able for the (maybe slightly below) average home cook? Cooking in a vacuum packed bag...what are the benefits, anyway? Saw it mentioned in a article and was curious...

I have to respond to Suzanne F's comment: sous vide cooking is not like cooking en papillote, which is steaming. The vacuum bag allows intimate contact with the cooking medium (convection) for efficient heat transfer and precise temperature control (also not true for en papillote, where steam temperatures may rise significantly above the desired done temp.). Last, a marinade or flavor medium stays in intimate contact with the item.

You can achieve a fair level of success with a home vacuum sealer, but your ability to include a liquid is very limited. I don't know if Food Saver bags have been tested for leaching of undesirable chemicals under high temperature, and this question begs to be answered given the growing popularity of sous vide.

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...  I don't know if Food Saver bags have been tested for leaching of undesirable chemicals under high temperature, and this question begs to be answered given the growing popularity of sous vide.

Ron, its not a problem with proper bags.

http://www.foodsaver.com/FoodStorage.aspx?id=fsv


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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You can  achieve a fair level of success with a home vacuum sealer, but your ability to include a liquid is very limited.

This thread is getting so long details are easy to miss. Most of us freeze the liquids (including fats and oils) before vacuum sealing them, which solves this issue.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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You can  achieve a fair level of success with a home vacuum sealer, but your ability to include a liquid is very limited.  I don't know if Food Saver bags have been tested for leaching of undesirable chemicals under high temperature, and this question begs to be answered given the growing popularity of sous vide.

With the right FoodSaver and just a little bit of care, one can vacuum pack bags with liquid in them -- even without freezing. FoodSavers with the Pulse option can deal with liquid as long as you pay attention and stop pulsing once the liquid starts getting sucked in. They have removable drip trays so some liquid getting sucked in is ok. These ones seem to have a better sealer so that the liquid does not prevent sealing. The FoodSavers without the pulse option are a little trickier unless you freezed the liquids.

The FoodSaver bags are designated as food safe for cooking -- unlike the ZipLoc vacuum bags. Of course, I can't vouch for their testing. But I would trust those bags ahead of bags not designed for cooking.

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What temperature are you cooking the fish to?  Above a certain temp, I don't think it's possible to avoid.

Hmmm...the tuna I did last night seemed to be overdone at 140F, but the milky white appears at 120F, too.

Keller does the following:

1) Bass 143.6F

2) Monkfish 147.2F

3) Tuna 139.1F

a tip to stop the milky white is to brine your fish for 15-20 minutes in a basic brine (sugar salt water - spice optional) It will stabilize the fat.

good luck!

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Latest dinner.

We had a surplus of sage on a home herb bush so did pork, sage and apple.

Seasoned the pork with salt and pepper, added a slice of apple, some frozen olive oil, and three sage leaves (see picture).

bagged%20pork.jpg

Cooked at 57C for two hours.

Made sauce from roux, some chicken stock, grated apple, chopped sage, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, and a small amount of sherry vinegar.

Pork came out exactly as it went in, but cooked. Put sauce under and around the pork so as not to interfere with ready made garnish design. We're just out of summer, hence the salad.

The apple slice was cooked but still crisp so it added some texture to the dish.

pork%20dinner.jpg

New dish, first time I've done it, needs a bit of work on presentation but shows some promise. Thought I'd put it here to show what can be done with "vacuum sealed garnishes."


Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Hello, S-V Gang!

It's been a while...

Well, I have some good news: there is a new S-V book available now.

gallery_57905_5970_54993.jpg

I like the description of the technical aspects ( by none other but Bruno Goussault), as well as European style recipes.

Can't wait to give some of those a try!!!


"It's not from my kitchen, it's from my heart"

Michael T.

***************************************

My flickr collection

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Mike, how does it compare to the other two book?

Worth the money?


“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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My latest SV experiment form a couple of weeks ago involded pork belly. I brined a skin on piece and cooked it with some ginger and garlic at 150 for 24 hours. I then let is rest under a heavy weight in the fridge overnight. Then I removed the skin and seared it. Here it is served with Soba, Napa Cabbage, a thin cucumber slice, a soy pudding sauce and sesame.

gallery_5404_94_31157.jpg

The texture was pretty good and the taste was rich and porky. Oddly enough not much ginger or garlic flavor came through. I was worried these might be overwhelming actually. I would like to cook at maybe a slightly higher temp and a shorter time, say 155 for 15 hours or so. I am hoping to get the fat a bit softer.

I am thinking of trying a piece of pork butt soon too. The idea is along the lines of barbeque flavor. I do not think it is a good idea to cook it with bbq sauce, but maybe apply a good rub, sear it, add a little liquid smoke and CSV. Whenit is done I can brush with bbq sauce and torch lightly. Does that sound right? Any suggestions to timing/temp? Should I treat it like a piece of chuck and cook in the high 30s for 36 hours?

I have SVed many times Pork butt and Pork rib meat at 82.2 C for 8 hours with very good result. Your idea of rub, sear, liquid smoke all sounded right on. Let us know the final result.

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You can  achieve a fair level of success with a home vacuum sealer, but your ability to include a liquid is very limited.  I don't know if Food Saver bags have been tested for leaching of undesirable chemicals under high temperature, and this question begs to be answered given the growing popularity of sous vide.

With the right FoodSaver and just a little bit of care, one can vacuum pack bags with liquid in them -- even without freezing. FoodSavers with the Pulse option can deal with liquid as long as you pay attention and stop pulsing once the liquid starts getting sucked in. They have removable drip trays so some liquid getting sucked in is ok. These ones seem to have a better sealer so that the liquid does not prevent sealing. The FoodSavers without the pulse option are a little trickier unless you freezed the liquids.

The FoodSaver bags are designated as food safe for cooking -- unlike the ZipLoc vacuum bags. Of course, I can't vouch for their testing. But I would trust those bags ahead of bags not designed for cooking.

I had used regular 3mm bag with Foodsaver. I usually put food with liquid in bag than squueze out as much air as I can than seal. As long as you do not use their own brand bag, you do not get vacuum but sealing only. Even with a chamber vacuum sealer, you do not vacuum out all the air anyway.

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Curing Lardo in Sous Vide - I have lots of Berkshire fat back from my charcuterie so I decided to make some Lardo (brine/cured with herbs over 3 months.) I was able to use much less space /containers, and eliminate a majority of the oxygen which Ill assume is helpful. The chamber vacuum came in handy to seal in all the liquid.

gallery_63095_6539_80398.jpg

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Mike, how does it compare to the other two book?

Worth the money?

gallery_57905_5970_60755.jpg

I don't know.... It's a good book, but I find a few points to be very questionable ( e.g. - the author suggest cooking all fish @56C to the internal temp of 54C - first, why not cook at 54C? second, salmon @54 is overcooked/monkfish @54 may even be undercooked). Some of the recipes, esp. the ones involving cooking in jars are closer to "preserving/canning" than "sous-vide", but it's still an interesting approach.

Finally, there is the cost - $125 is a lot for a book of that caliber, I think. Again, there is a lot of good info, though...


Edited by MikeTMD (log)

"It's not from my kitchen, it's from my heart"

Michael T.

***************************************

My flickr collection

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hi. if anyone could help it would be highly appreciative. I want to do short ribs for 36-48 hours. What is a good temperature 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit? Thanks.

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So who has the experience with Sous Vide Corned Beef. My guess is hot and long.


Even Samantha Brown would have hard time summoning a "wow" for this. Anthony Bourdain

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    • By ronnie_suburban
      It’s the first day of cooking in Alinea's Food Lab and the mood is relaxed. We’re in a residential kitchen but there’s nothing ordinary about it. Chef Grant, along with sous chefs John Peters and Curtis Duffy are setting up. The sight of the 3 steady pros, each in their chef’s whites, working away, does not match this domestic space. Nor does the intimidating display of industrial tools lined up on the counters. While the traditional elements are here in this suburban kitchen: oven, cooktop, sink, so too are the tools of modern restaurant cookery: pacojet, cryovac machine, paint stripping heat gun…wait, a paint stripping heat gun?
      In the physical realm, the Food Lab is a tangible space where the conventional and the unconventional are melded together in the quest for new culinary territory. With Alinea’s construction under way, the team must be resourceful. This meant that renting a space large enough to house both the office and the kitchen aspects of the food lab was out of the question.
      The decision was made to take over a large office space for the research and administrative aspects of Alinea and transform a residential kitchen into the Lab. Achatz and the team would work three days per week at the office researching all aspects of gastronomy and brainstorming new dishes, while managing the project as a whole. The remaining time would be spent in the kitchen executing the ideas formulated at the office. “At first I thought separating the two would be problematic,” says Grant “but in the end we are finding it very productive. It allows us to really focus on the tasks at hand, and also immerse ourselves in the environment conducive to each discipline.” The menus for opening night—containing as many as 50 never-before-served dishes--must be conceived, designed, tested and perfected. The Alinea team does not want to fly without a net on opening night.
      On a more abstract level, the Food Lab is simply the series of processes that continually loop in the minds of Chef Grant and his team. While there is no single conduit by which prospective menus--and the dishes which comprise them--arrive at Alinea, virtually all of them start in Chef Grant's imagination and eventually take form after brainstorming sessions between the Chef and his team. Menus are charted, based on the seasonality of their respective components, and the details of each dish are then laid out on paper, computer or both and brought to the kitchen for development. In this regard, the Food Lab provides something very special to the Chef and his team. “We consider the food lab a luxury,” says Grant. Once Alinea is open and the restaurant’s daily operations are consuming up to 16 hours of each day, time for such creative planning (aka play) will be scarce. Building a library of concepts, ideas and plans for future menus now will be extraordinarily valuable in the future. Otherwise, such planning sessions will have to take place in the 17th and 18th hours of future workdays, as they did when the Chef and his team were at Trio.
      Today, several projects are planned and the Chefs dig into their preparations as soon as their equipment setup is complete…
      Poached Broccoli Stem with wild Coho roe, crispy bread, grapefruit
      Stem cooked sous vide (butter, salt, granulated cane juice)
      Machine-sliced thin bread
      Dairyless grapefruit “pudding”
      Dried Crème Brulee
      Caramel orb shell made with bubble maker and heat gun
      Powdered interior made with dried butterfat, egg yolks, powdered sugar & vanilla
      PB&J
      Peeled grapes on the stem
      Peanut butter coating
      Wrap in brioche
      Broil
      Micro-grated, roasted peanuts
      Instant Tropical Pudding
      Freeze Dried Powders of coconut, pineapple, banana
      Young coconut water spiked with rum
      Muscovado Sugar
      Cilantro
      Candied Chili
      Jamaican Peppercorn
      Vanilla Bean
      The steps required to comprise each dish are, as one might imagine, intricate and numerous. For the Poached Broccoli Stem, Chef Grant begins by separating the broccoli stems from the florets. The stems are stripped of their fibrous exteriors and pared down until they are uniform in size. Grant comments on the use of the second hand part of the vegetable: “This dish started with the roe. Every year we receive the most amazing Brook Trout Roe from Steve Stallard, my friend and owner of Blis. Typically, we serve the eggs with an element of sweetness. I find it goes very well with the ultra fresh salinity of the week-old roe. This time around we wanted to take a savory approach so I began looking into complimenting flavors in the vegetal category. About the same time, our group had a discussion about secondary parts of vegetables and the stem of broccoli came up. I had a past experience with the stem and found it to be very reminiscent of cabbage. Knowing that cabbage and caviar are essentially a classic pairing, I felt confident that we could work the dish out. Now I'm struggling to decide if this is a broccoli dish or in fact a roe dish, I think they really battle for the top position and that helps makes the dish very complex."

      Chef Grant processing the broccoli

      The stems are placed in a polyethylene bag, along with butter, salt and granulated cane juice. The bag is sealed with a cryovac machine

      The sealed stems are placed in a 170 degree F water to cook, sous vide, until extremely tender; about three hours

      Broccoli stems after cooking
      The crisp bread element is fabricated via the use of an industrial deli slicer. Chef Grant then brushes the sectioned pieces of poached broccoli stem with eggwash, affixes them to the thin planks of brioche and places them in a fry pan with butter.

      Grant's mise...not your ordinary cutting board

      Poached Broccoli Stem and Crisp Bread cooking

      Ready for plating

      A bright green broccoli puree is made with a vita-prep blender. Here, Chef Grant "mohawks" it onto china given to him by Thomas Keller

      Smoked Coho roe has arrived via Fed-Ex, courtesy of Steve Stallard

      Chef Grant devises a plating scheme for the Poached Broccoli Stem while Curtis looks on

      Chef Grant ponders one potential plating of the dish. He called this incarnation 'predictable' and started over.

      Another plating idea. This version is garnished with broccoli petals and ultra-thin slices of connected grapefruit pulp cells. The yellow petals are stand-ins for what will ultimately be broccoli blossoms
      Grant is still displeased at the dish's appearance. "The dish tastes as I envisioned it....texturally complex, with the crispness of the bread, the soft elements of the floret puree and stem, and the pop of the eggs. The buttery richness from the bread gives the stem the flavor of the melted cabbage I loved at the [French] Laundry. And the hot and cold contrasts from the roe and broccoli …I like it…..I just don’t like the way it looks.” Another attempt and the group agrees, it is better but not “the one.” The use of the thinly sliced cross sections of peeled grapefruit energizes the group. In the next rendition, they make small packets with the ultra thinly-sliced grapefruit containing the roe...

      A third plating configuration for Poached Broccoli Stems; this one featuring the packets of roe wrapped in ultra thin sheets of grapefruit pulp cells
      At this point the team decides to move on and come back to it next week. After some conversation they decide that in the final dish, broccoli will appear in at least 5 forms: poached stems, floret puree, some raw form of the stem, the tiny individual sprouts of broccoli florets, and the blooms. Grant feels that Poached Broccoli Stem could be ready for service, although he still envisions some changes for the dish that will make it even more emblematic of his personal style. “Our dishes continue to evolve after they hit the menu. It is important for us to get to know them better before we can clearly see their weaknesses.”
      The thought for the dried crème brulee originated over a year ago when a regular customer jokingly asked for a crème brulee for dessert. “He said it as joke, I took it as a challenge,” says Grant. "Of course, we never intended to give him a regular crème brulee.” The team tried various techniques to create the powder-filled caramel bubble while at Trio to no avail. An acceptable filling for the Dried Crème Brulee has been developed by the Chef and his team but several different methods, attempted today, to create the orb from caramelized sugar have been less than 100% successful.

      Caramel blob awaiting formation. Chef Curtis kept this pliable by leaving it in a low oven throughout the day

      Chef Grant’s initial idea to use a metal bubble ring and heat gun (normally used for stripping paint) to form the bubbles does not work as hoped. Attempts to fashion them by hand also come up short.
      Says Grant, “At Trio we tried a hair-dryer. When Martin told me about these heat guns which get up to 900 degrees F, I thought we had it for sure. If it was easy everyone would do it I guess.” Eventually, Alinea partner Nick Kokonas garners the task’s best result by positioning a small, warm blob of sugar onto the end of a drinking straw and blowing into the other end. The results are promising. Curtis suggests using a sugar pump to inflate the orbs. That adjustment will be attempted on another day.
      “We intentionally position whimsical bite in the amuse slot, it tends to break the ice and make people laugh. It is a deliberate attempt to craft the experience by positioning the courses in a very pre-meditated order. A great deal of thought goes into the order of the courses, a misalignment may really take away from the meal as a whole.” For PB&J, the grapes are peeled while still on the vine and then dipped into unsweetened peanut butter. They are allowed to set–up, and then they are wrapped with a thin sheet of bread and lightly toasted. When the peeled grapes warm, they become so soft they mimic jelly. The composition is strangely unfamiliar in appearance but instantly reminiscent on the palate. PB&J is, according to Grant, virtually ready for service. There are a couple of aesthetic elements, which need minor tweaks but the Chef feels very good about today’s prototype.

      Chef John peels grapes while still on their stems

      Peeled grapes on their stems with peanut butter coating

      Chef Grant studies the completed PB&J in the Crucial Detail designed piece

      PB&J
      Often, creative impulses come by way of Alinea’s special purveyors. “Terra Spice’s support over the past couple of years has been unprecedented, and it has accelerated with the start of the food lab,” says Grant. “It is great to have relationships with people that think like we do, it can make the creative process so much easier. Often Phil, our contact at Terra, would come into the kitchen at Trio and encourage us to try and stump him on obscure ingredients. We always lost, but not from lack of trying. He even brought in two live chufa plants into the kitchen one day.” The relationship has developed and Terra team has really made an effort to not only search out products that the chefs ask for but also keep an eye out for new ingredients and innovations. In August, Phil brought by some samples of products that he thought the Alinea team might be interested in trying.

      Phil of Terra Spice showing the team some samples

      Coconut powder and other samples
      Grant recalls “the most surprising item to me was the dried coconut powder. When I put a spoonful in my mouth I could not believe the intense flavor and instant creamy texture, it was awesome.” That was the inspiration for what is now Instant Tropical Pudding. The guest is presented with a glass filled with dried ingredients. A member of the service team pours a measured amount of coconut water into the glass and instructs the guest to stir the pudding until a creamy consistency is formed.

      The rum-spiked coconut water being added to the powders
      At the end of the day, the Chefs assess their overall effort as having gone “fairly well.” It’s a mixed bag of results. Clearly, the fact that things have not gone perfectly on Day 1 has not dampened anyone’s spirits. The team has purposely attempted dishes of varying degrees of difficultly in order to maximize their productivity. Says Grant, “Making a bubble of caramel filled with powder…I have devoted the better part of fifteen years to this craft, I have trained with the best chefs alive. I have a good grasp of known technique. The lab's purpose is to create technique based on our vision. Sometimes we will succeed, and sometimes we will fail, but trying is what make us who we are." The team's measured evaluations of their day’s work reflect that philosophy.
      According to Chef Grant, “The purpose of the lab is to create the un-creatable. I know the level at which we can cook. I know the level of technique we already possess. What I am interested in is what we don't know...making a daydream reality.” With little more than 100 days on the calendar between now and Alinea’s opening, the Chef and his team will have their work cut out for them.
      =R=
      A special thanks to eGullet member yellow truffle, who contributed greatly to this piece
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