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francois

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 2)

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I installed one of those on my electrical range more then a year ago and coudn't be more happy about it : it was not too expensive, can be used with about any pot and for a wide range of applications.  I can use it to make 40 C salmon or to make 72h short ribs and it does not take any space at all.

Here is a link to the post I made about it a while ago.  PID modified stovetop

Cool!

Simple, elegant design, few parts, excellent documentation, fails safe (unless the SSR fails as a short, but that should be very rare), inexpensive.

What is the rating on the SSR?

Doc

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I installed one of those on my electrical range more then a year ago and coudn't be more happy about it : it was not too expensive, can be used with about any pot and for a wide range of applications.  I can use it to make 40 C salmon or to make 72h short ribs and it does not take any space at all.

Here is a link to the post I made about it a while ago.  PID modified stovetop

Cool!

Simple, elegant design, few parts, excellent documentation, fails safe (unless the SSR fails as a short, but that should be very rare), inexpensive.

What is the rating on the SSR?

Doc

Thanks! The SSR I got is rated 25 A, it is plenty since a single large stovetop element should need about 10 A max. I got this one because it was the least expensive. As for safety, what I do for long runs is that I turn the stove knob to a low setting (2 or 3). The PID automaticly ajusts itself (reacts) to that setting even if I turn the knob while it is already on. If the SSR was to fail open (which is not the comon fail mode) the pot would probably come to a light boil that would last for a very long time since the pot is covered. I thought about adding ultra fast fuses and a thermal fuse but it was just too cumbersome for the actual risk.

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What would these controllers be controlling, exactly?  Presumably you're not going to wire them into an electric stove.

The problem with the RANCO controlers is that they are of the ON/OFF type so would definatly have a significant variation in the temp because the controler cant shut off the power until it has reached the target temperature, inevitably causing overshooting. These controlers are better at controlling fridge temperatures for beer making or even charcuterie.

What you want to efficiently controle the liquid temperature over a short or long periods is a PID controler, which uses a mathematical algorithm to can calculate how much heat should be applied to heat to a given temperature without overshooting and then appling constant heat to maintain that temp.

I installed one of those on my electrical range more then a year ago and coudn't be more hapy about it : it was not too expensive, can be used with about any pot and for a wide range of applications. I can use it to make 40 C salmon or to make 72h short ribs and it does not take any space at all.

Here is a link to the post I made about it a while ago. PID modified stovetop

I may seem a bit complicated but it is acutally very easy, and you dont need to cut up anything in the oven wiring (well I did because I was lazy but you dont NEED to..)

Trans-mega-ultra cool! The trick plan. Simple, cheap too. Thanks for the links.

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Food & Wine has an article this month about a Napa Valley garden party the features Thomas Keller and his recipe for the famous fried chicken they serve at Ad Hoc in Yountville. I've had Ad Hoc's fried chicken and love it so much, so I was excited that the recipe showed up in the magazine. I made it last night and it was really good, although I did scorch some of the chicken. Still, the chicken was juicy and the crust was crispy, and for a first effort, I thought it went very well.

I was talking to a friend about it this morning and he suggested sous vide. Process the chicken to temperature in the brine and then dredge and fry it at a fairly high temperature to make it crispy. We agreed that the juiciness of the meat would be amplified using this method and a nice contrast to the crispy crust.

Does this sound like it would work? Or would the frying negate the benefits of the sous vide?

I have been bringing steaks to temperature sous vide and then giving them a rapid sear. This works extremely well. I think your idea should work just as well with the chicken. A few days ago I had a superb meal at Akelare in San Sebastian, Spain. One of the many wonderful dishes was suckling lamb cooked first sous vide and then for a few minutes in a very hot oven - delicious.

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I have been bringing steaks to temperature sous vide and then giving them a rapid sear. This works extremely well. I think your idea should work just as well with the chicken. A few days ago I had a superb meal at Akelare in San Sebastian, Spain. One of the many wonderful dishes was suckling lamb cooked first sous vide and then for a few minutes in a very hot oven - delicious.

Thanks, Ruth. I've done the same with steaks, as well, and they always come out great. I was just concerned that frying the chicken post sous vide might do more "damage" to the meat than the pan sears I've done previously, but I guess it's basically the same concept. My main concern would be overcooking the chicken since it'll take a little while to get the breading the right color, unless of course the oil is really hot (> 400F?) to reduce the frying time.

I don't know when I'm making fried chicken again, but I think I'm going to give this method a shot.

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I promised the results of my experiments and here they are. I am using a Ranco controller and a Rival 5 quart slow cooker. My reference is a Thermopen instant thermometer.

With a set temperature of 120°F the system had a max temp of 123 ° and a min temp of 119°. The average was 121.7 ° over 6 hours. The over shoot does exist. I’m thinking that it can be compensated for. I will cook something over the weekend and report the result (perhaps a pork tenderloin, @145° target).

So far, for $100, just plug and play, I think that it will work fine. I will also evaluate it with a hot plate and a standard stock pot.


Edited by wijit01 (log)

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An on-off controller like the Ranco is bound to have some overshoot. In most cases this is not critical, beacues the tempertaure you cook at is not absolutely critical to within the tolerance.

The places where you need to be careful are things like salmon mi-cuit, or rare beef where there really is a difference in the outcome over a couple of degree range. However, for many things there isn't.

A PID controller would work a lot better. This is because in addition to on and off it will ramp the power up and down gradually.

There are many web sites on converting espresso machines to PID control - a similar procedure would allow you to change. Here or here are some examples. This is a bit more expensive, and of course a bit more electronically involved.

Note that the espresso machine kits ought to work as-is, but you can probably get by with a lower wattage/voltage solid state relay, depending on your slow cooker.

Pielle's PID stove top is a great idea - indeed it is a kitchen gadget that I don't have, which is pretty rare.

Somebody OUGHT to make a PID controller that you can just plug in, like the Ranco, but if they do, I don't know about it.


Edited by nathanm (log)

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Pielle linked to Auber Instruments. Looks like great stuff.

http://auberins.com/index.php?main_page=pr...1&products_id=1

If this doesn't have a plug on the back I am sure a person could call him and ask for the addition. It's only $45 plus a probe.

I use a Alfa FW9000 countertop steam table for my "tank" using a Julabo unit, but I've been wanting to play low tech. The steam table was only $100 and has a spigot for draining. Using the PID and just the steam table for heat might be enough.

I also thought of getting a Hydor Koralia #1 fish tank circulation pump just to see if it can handle the heat. I'm really curious.


Edited by pounce (log)

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An on-off controller like the Ranco is bound to have some overshoot.  In most cases this is not critical, beacues the tempertaure you cook at is not absolutely critical to within the tolerance.

The places where you need to be careful are things like salmon mi-cuit, or rare beef where there really is a difference in the outcome over a couple of degree range.   However, for many things there isn't.

A PID controller would work a lot better.  This is because in addition to on and off it will ramp the power up and down gradually.

There are many web sites on converting espresso machines to PID control - a similar procedure would allow you to change.   Here or here are some examples.   This is a bit more expensive, and of course a bit more electronically involved. 

Note that the espresso machine kits ought to work as-is, but you can probably get by with a lower wattage/voltage solid state relay, depending on your slow cooker.

Pielle's PID stove top is a great idea - indeed it is a kitchen gadget that I don't have, which is pretty rare.

Somebody OUGHT to make a PID controller that you can just plug in, like the Ranco, but if they do, I don't know about it.

Nathan, thanks for all your great work on this thread. You have taught me a lot.

Oh yes, a PID will work better and I’m working on that too. Pielle's excellent explanation and links have lead me to make a hand held PID controller. I have the parts that Pielle used (about $50 from his source, really fast shipping!) and instead of wiring them to a stove burner, I’ll use the two ends of a short 16 gauge extension cord and a project box. I think I’ll convert the thermocouple to a plug-in style so it’s not flopping around. It will be like PID version of the Ranco controller. A bit more esoteric to program and rather larger as the relay on mine will be mounted inside the box but it should work fine. I’ll write up the results (with all credit to Pielle for the original work) when done.

Right now I’m calibrating the Ranco to run a Proctor Silex hot plate to keep a stock pot at 125°. Not bad, some overshoot early on (2°), gonna let it stabilize for a while. It seems to get better as time passes.


Edited by wijit01 (log)

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Report on Ranco control of Proctor Silex Fifth Burner Hot plate.

Set temp was 125°F. Thermopen monitored the temperature. I used an AllClad eight quart stock pot, filled with 115° tap water. I set the hot plate to HI.

After 10 minutes, the bath was at 128°. I turned the plate down to MED-LO. I checked the system every 15 minutes or so. After resetting the control, the temperature never got above 126° and never got below 124°. It averaged 125.4° for 3 hours.

It’s clear from the data that a lower source heat setting reduces overshoot. Once the system was at temperature, at low heat, it cycled more often but for shorter periods. I did not see significant temperature variation within the pot. The frequent cycling may provide the necessary convection. Long term control within 1° or 2° looks possible.

I will continue to experiment, this time with a rack of lamb (131° set point, for 12 hours, with a finish sear) and report how it goes.

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Apologies if someone has asked a similar question (well...several questions) on this very long thread (I skimmed and searched and didn't find anything).

First question (well..two questions): I'm thinking of cooking ox heart sous vide, since it works so well for tough muscles that are typically braised. What would my cooking time and temperature be for something like this? Also should I pre-slice it into the serving sizes or wait until it's done to cut it up?

Second question: I was rendering lard the other day, and was reading the recent sous-vide-style chicken broth thread, and wondered if sous-vide would be a good way to render lard and other fats? Theoretically the fat would just melt off of the skin, membrane, etc. Less clean up, no watching that it doesn't burn, more consistent temp... Although one wouldn't get the cracklings, but I rarely end up using many of them anyway before they go bad (too rich to eat very many of them).

I love my vacuum sealer for all sorts of things and have been beginning to dabble with sous-vide here and there.

Thanks much for any thoughts. Very interesting thread.

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First question (well..two questions): I'm thinking of cooking ox heart sous vide, since it works so well for tough muscles that are typically braised. What would my cooking time and temperature be for something like this? Also should I pre-slice it into the serving sizes or wait until it's done to cut it up?

Heart muscles is TOUGH because it is constantly in use. I would try 180F/82C for 8 hours. This ought to be enough, but you may need to take it longer. This will create a texture similar to a traditional braise, which is probably what you are familiar with.

I would cut it into serving portion and bag each separately.

You could cook it down to 140F/60C but then it would require days and that may not be what you are looking for.

Some experimentation will be necessary to get the results you want.

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Second question: I was rendering lard the other day, and was reading the recent sous-vide-style chicken broth thread, and wondered if sous-vide would be a good way to render lard and other fats? Theoretically the fat would just melt off of the skin, membrane, etc. Less clean up, no watching that it doesn't burn, more consistent temp... Although one wouldn't get the cracklings, but I rarely end up using many of them anyway before they go bad (too rich to eat very many of them).

This is a great idea! I have done this in a way when I make pork confit or pork belly, but have not done it only for the fat output. Sous vide is a great way to do this.

There are multiple processes for rendering fat. Here are some suggestions.

The traditional method for home use is to cook chucks of fat on the stove at low temperature.

If you cook confit style sous vide (i.e. meat with some oil in a bag at 160F/71C to 180F/82C), then rendering will occur.

However if you really want to render the fat well you must grind or homogenize the fat with water first. Put the fat to render in a blender with water (nearly to cover). Blend it until it is very fine and smooth. The best fat rendering always involved grinding to very fine pieces - it dramatically increases yield. A food processor would also work.

Or you could put through a meat grinder but yield will be better if you pass through a blender or food processor after the meat grinder. This will eliminate the cracklings, but will get you much better fat yield.

Once you have the blended fat and water (a fat-shake), you need to heat it.

Here are various methods:

1. In a pan, in the oven, at 225F/110C for 8 - 12 hours.

2. In a covered pot on a set up like Pielle's PID stovetop, or a laboratory hot plate with a temperture control, or a hot plate or slow cooker with the Ranco themostat. The thermostat should be set at 180F/82C. Let it go for 8-12 hours.

3. Put the fat-shake mixture in a pressure cooker at 250C/121F (1 bar or 15 lbs pressure) for 30 min.

4. Seal the fat-shake mix in a sous vide bag and cook in a water bath or other method at 180F/82C for 12 hours. The fat can be poured off the top. If you clip the top corner off the bag, you can pour the fat off pretty well.

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Seal the fat-shake mix in a sous vide bag and cook in a water bath or other method at 180F/82C for 12 hours.  The fat can be poured off the top.  If you clip the top corner off the bag, you can pour the fat off pretty well.

I really like the method, and it should work for duck fat as well as for lard. But just for safety reasons I might be tempted to chill the vacuum bag in ice water before trying to pour off the fat, but the fat is likely to congeal non-uniformly in ice water so maybe it would be better to actually refrigerate the bag until the fat is completely solid. Then it should be possible to cut off the bottom of the bag, drain the water, remove and dry off the fat, then trim off any residual gunk.

Doc

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First question (well..two questions): I'm thinking of cooking ox heart sous vide, since it works so well for tough muscles that are typically braised. What would my cooking time and temperature be for something like this? Also should I pre-slice it into the serving sizes or wait until it's done to cut it up?

Heart muscles is TOUGH because it is constantly in use. I would try 180F/82C for 8 hours. This ought to be enough, but you may need to take it longer. This will create a texture similar to a traditional braise, which is probably what you are familiar with.

I would cut it into serving portion and bag each separately.

You could cook it down to 140F/60C but then it would require days and that may not be what you are looking for.

Some experimentation will be necessary to get the results you want.

Thanks much--that gives me a ballpark. I've braised hearts in liquid on the stovetop at a bare simmer for about 4 hours to good result, so doubling that seems reasonable at a slightly lower temp.

Happy to report back with the results (will be eaten on Sunday).

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Seal the fat-shake mix in a sous vide bag and cook in a water bath or other method at 180F/82C for 12 hours.  The fat can be poured off the top.  If you clip the top corner off the bag, you can pour the fat off pretty well.

I really like the method, and it should work for duck fat as well as for lard. But just for safety reasons I might be tempted to chill the vacuum bag in ice water before trying to pour off the fat, but the fat is likely to congeal non-uniformly in ice water so maybe it would be better to actually refrigerate the bag until the fat is completely solid. Then it should be possible to cut off the bottom of the bag, drain the water, remove and dry off the fat, then trim off any residual gunk.

Doc

I am definitely going to experiment with this now the next time I need to render fat! I'm pretty done with both the stovetop and oven methods, for all the reasons I mentioned above that the sous vide would eliminate.

I'm thinking that if one were to leave a big enough margin above one of the sealed ends (easier to do with the non-vacuum end), that might give a big enough handle to be able to hold the warm bag of fat and snip and pour it from one corner without risk of burning oneself.

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Report on Ranco control of Proctor Silex Fifth Burner Hot plate.

Set temp was 125°F. Thermopen monitored the temperature. I used an AllClad eight quart stock pot, filled with 115° tap water. I set the hot plate to HI.

After 10 minutes, the bath was at 128°. I turned the plate down to MED-LO. I checked the system every 15 minutes or so. After resetting the control, the temperature never got above 126° and never got below 124°. It averaged 125.4° for 3 hours.

It’s clear from the data that a lower source heat setting reduces overshoot. Once the system was at temperature, at low heat, it cycled more often but for shorter periods. I did not see significant temperature variation within the pot. The frequent cycling may provide the necessary convection. Long term control within  1° or 2° looks possible.

I will continue to experiment, this time with a rack of lamb (131° set point, for 12 hours, with a finish sear) and report how it goes.

Ahem........ I annoys me that several persons on this thread have taken the effort to invent a time machine, go back in time and post messages that obviously rip-off my idea of pork confit using sous vide.

I would appreciate it that in the future/past that all will/would refrain from doing such things.

I’m stealing ideas as fast as I can.

BTW, re: Rack o’ Lamb ala Sous Vide...........Eh. I’ve had better. The Ranco unit did just fine though.

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I will continue to experiment, this time with a rack of lamb (131° set point, for 12 hours, with a finish sear) and report how it goes.

BTW, re: Rack o’ Lamb ala Sous Vide...........Eh. I’ve had better. The Ranco unit did just fine though.

Keep trying with the rack: I've had several people tell me after I served this CSV that it was the best lamb they've ever had. 131F sounds a little high: I did it at 127F for a medium-rare after the sear.

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I think 127° is a good suggestion, maybe even 125°. The 131° was part of a recipe I found elsewhere.

I think that I will also reduce the cook time to just get it up to temperature. I don’t think that the really long time at heat did it any good.

I’ve done steak to the lower temp, in a 140° bath, relatively fast and it was great.

Ya cook, ya eat, ya learn.

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Just wanted to report that the ox heart cooked sous vide (per NathanM's 180F/82C for 8 hours suggestion) came out fabulous. The heart was sliced into about 1/2" thick slices. I kept it real simple, just s/p and some frozen cubes of stock. I cooked it the day before, then chilled and reheated just before serving with an orange-cognac gastrique and a mizuna salad with mandarins and crispy pig's ear (see below for more info on that).

Beautiful rose-pink color, fork tender. Although one of my dinner guests who is a big heart lover said it was maybe too tender--that he missed the chewiness. However another guest said you could have served it to anyone without telling them it was heart and they would have had no idea!

In the future I might do a duo--one piece done sous-vide and the other marinated and grilled to get a contrast between the tender and the chewy.

I also sous-vided the pig ear confit at the same time as the heart (put it in for an extra two hours beyond that for the heart), and that also came out great (then cut them up and deep fried them after they were done).

So thanks for the guidelines for a newbie at this!


Edited by Anna Friedman Herlihy (log)

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I'm not sure that I buy the "spatially uniform" bit.  The reason lab heaters circulate the water is to maintain all the water at the same temperature.  For something like a crock pot, I have my doubts as to whether it could maintain the temperature with any precision and uniformity.  For one, I think the very nature of the way the heating element works would likely cause the temperature to overshoot with some frequency, and the temperature would likely swing with a range of several degrees.  Now, your friend may not think that temperature accuracy of +/- 5C is a big deal, but it can make a really big deal on what you're cooking when you're trying to take advantage of the technology's full power.

I'd also be curious if you could ask your friend what features, exactly, a recirculating water bath heater would have that would not be used in sous-vide cooking.  My Lauda has settings for temperature and fail-safe cutoff temperature, and it recirculates the water (mine is a stand-alone heater that I can clip on to any water vessel, rather than an all-in-one water bath).  That's pretty much all it does, and it's accurate to 0.1 degrees C.  All of these features I'd say are used in sous-vide cooking.

I agree with the above quotes quite strongly.

Baths without circulation pumps do work, but they are prone to temperature stratification, and even worse, dead space between food items.

One way to get a non-circulating pump is take a crock pot, rice cooker or hot-plate with a pot and add thermostatic control (PID or On-Off) such as Ranco, or the new sous vide conversion unit that was briefly posted to this thread, then disappeared.

However, there are also laboratory water baths that lack a circulating pump - the most common brand is Precision (but other brands make them). They are a bit cheaper than a circulating pump water bath. They are sometimes called "utility water baths". In a lab they are NOT used for precise temperture control.

If you have one bag of product is the middle of a large crock-pot or non-pumped lab water bath it is probably going to be OK. This is particularly true if you are cooking at 170F or above because at those tempertatures there is substantial convection in the water (i.e. what we normally call simmering).

But if you are cooking at lower temp (rare beef, barely cooked salmon) or if you put a bunch of bags in at the same time the circulation can be a BIG help. If you are working in a restaurant, or you cook in quantity, then a circulating water bath is cheaper than a non-circulating one when you consider how much more you can load it. It may look big but you can't really pack it as full as you could with a circulator.

If on the other hand you are experimenting at home, are on a budget, or are doing just one or two bags at at a time, then a modified crock pot / rice cooker or non-circulating water bath may work out just fine.


Edited by nathanm (log)

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I'm picking up a pid unit that is designed for sv early next month and will be doing some testing. I'm going to be using a steam table for the heating source along with the pid and thermistor probe.

One thing I mentioned earlier in the thread is how I might try an inexpensive aquarium circulator. I’m curious if they can handle the temps.

I'm also thinking trying a simple aquarium air pump as the circulator. The air pump will be external to the bath and would not be affected by the water temp where a submerged motor could suffer. The idea is to set an aquarium style bubble wand in the bottom of the bath under a Cambro drain shelf and just let the air pump percolate the water from below. Sort of a low temp boil. My theory is that the bubbles will circulate the water enough to keep the temp consistent. I imagine that the air will act to also cool the water which I think may actually help to correct any overshot of the temp. I’m getting this theory from the design of my current circulator that has a cold water system designed to be used in tandem with the heating element to stabilize the temp of the bath quicker.

If the air pump bubbles circulate enough water and an all-in-one PID solution with probe is under $100 I’d imagine using a crock pot or rice cooker would be a practical alternative to a lab unit.


Edited by pounce (log)

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I'm picking up a pid unit that is designed for sv early next month and will be doing some testing. I'm going to be using a steam table for the heating source along with the pid and thermistor probe.

One thing I mentioned earlier in the thread is how I might try an inexpensive aquarium circulator. I’m curious if they can handle the temps.

I'm also thinking trying a simple aquarium air pump as the circulator.

Another solution to consider might be a small swamp cooler circulating pump (which costs less than $20) in which the motor drives the pump impeller through a fairly long (maybe 10") vertical shaft. In a swamp cooler the pump impeller housing sits on the bottom of the sump and pumps water at a constant rate over shreaded aspen pads. The motor sits up out of the water. For sous vide you might have to arrange to suspend the pump in some way to keep it stable with the motor safely out of the water. For a shallow pan you could let the impeller housing sit on the bottom, and on a deep pan you could suspend the pump at the top of the pan and put a tube on the pump output that would send the water to the bottom of the pot (or anywhere you want it). Since all of these pumps are nearly constant speed and move a lot of water, you might want to add a speed control to throttle it back.

I thought about the aquarium pump and had the same question about their ability to stand the temperature. I decided that I didn't want to do that test with a 120v power cord immersed in hot water. I think the air pump might work, but will probably allow air to collect under the bag(s) and float them, or trap air between them. I wouldn't worry too much about cooling the water with that little air. It certainly is less effective at cooling than taking the lid off.

Let us all know how your experiments come out.

Doc

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      The moment that Ferran Adria strode towards Thomas Keller on the stage at the CIA/Greystone’s World of Flavors’ “Spain and the World Table” Conference was electric -- as if a giant Van de Graf generator had been turned on. The feeling didn’t subside when Adria took the stage from Keller; it only became more pronounced as the packed crowd rose to its feet, raining applause, admiration and love on the Spanish master. Adria accepted the response with aplomb, and gave it right back to the audience -- and to his fellow Spanish cocineros, who were standing off to the side. He brought each one up to join him on the stage for a rousing thank-you to the conference organizers, sponsors and participants. Once this emotional release subsided, Adria got down to what everyone had been waiting for -- his discussion and demonstration.

      Ferran Adria, with eyes sparkling like the finest cava, began speaking Spanish in a voice as gravelly as the beaches of the Costa Brava, while Conference Chairman Jose Andres translated. The crowd, hushed and straining for every word, moved forward in their seats as Adria explained El Bulli and himself, with a lesson in recent culinary history thrown in. Ferran explained that El Bulli is not a business. While offshoots of El Bulli are operated on a for-profit basis, the restaurant runs without profit as a primary motivation. For example, he said, the greatest difficulty they have is distributing reservations. Given the extraordinary demand and the severely limited supply, he explained that they could simply raise the price of a meal to the point where the supply and demand met. Indeed, the price of a meal at El Bulli is in itself quite reasonable given the stature of the restaurant and well within means of most motivated diners should they be able to get there, and this is how Adria prefers it. He stated that he was not interested in cooking solely for those with the most money. He prefers to work for people with a true interest in exploring the limits of cooking with him. To this end he showed a short film depicting “A Day in the Life . . .” of El Bulli set to the Beatles’ song of the same name. The film showed a couple’s response to the experience.

      Ferran’s voyage into creativity began with a visit to Jacques Maxima at Le Chanticleer Restaurant in Nice, France. He learned from Maxima that to be creative is not to copy. This idea changed his entire approach to cooking -- from making classic cuisine to making his own. Aware of elaborate books of French cuisine, Adria resolved to catalogue his work, the results of which are the richly detailed El Bulli books, published by period. These books, as wonderful as they are, are huge and extremely expensive. During his presentation, Adria announced -- and demonstrated -- that the individual dishes photographed and described in a chronology within each book are all now available online at elbulli.com.

      He finished the philosophical discussion by talking about the general style of haute cuisine that he and others are engaged in. While others have coined the term “molecular gastronomy” to highlight the scientific component of the creativity involved, Adria rejected it, saying that all cooking is molecular: most of his techniques are in fact rather simple and don’t employ radical new technology. Most of the technology that they do use has been around for some time; they have simply adapted it to their own purposes. Nevertheless, he applauds contributions to gastronomy from Harold McGee and other food scientists, and welcomes their collaboration in the kitchen. He has yet to find a term that describes the movement: as of now, he feels that there really is no good name for this style of cooking.

      More than any other single thing, Ferran Adria is known for the use of “foams” in cooking. While he is proud of his achievements with foams, he stressed that while appropriate in some circumstances, the real utility of foams is limited. He bemoans their ubiquity -- and wishes to not be blamed for others’ poor deployment of the concept. In the course of describing this and other techniques, Adria made a point of stating that using them should not be inferred as copying. Techniques and concepts are to be used and shared. He invited everyone to learn and harness whatever they found interesting, and to employ it in to their own pursuits.

      Another set of techniques discussed and demonstrated by the master and his assistant, Rafa Morales from Hacienda Benazuza, included three types of spherification. These included the use of calcium chloride (CaCl) and sodium alginate as well as the converse, and exploration of a new agent, gluconodeltalactone. The original combinations of alginate into CaCl for “caviar” production, and CaCl into alginate for larger “spheres” have chemistry-related limits as to what can be sphericized. In private correspondence, Harold McGee explained to me that Adria described encapsulating a mussel in its own juice. While this would make the dish technically an aspic, unlike conventional aspics it remains a liquid. Adria said that though gluconodeltalactone is very new, and they are just beginning to get a handle on it, he is very excited by it. He also demonstrated a machine for spherification on a larger scale than they had originally been able to do, as well as liquid nitrogen and freeze-drying (lyophilization) techniques. At the conclusion of his demonstration -- and thus the Conference -- the audience once again awarded him a standing ovation.

      While Adria’s appearance was the culmination of the conference, the energy it produced was not just because of his stature in the world of gastronomy -- it was also due to the excitement generated by the conference that preceded it. If there had previously been any doubt, Thomas Keller’s welcome of Adria was a clarion: Spanish cuisine has landed on North American shores and is finding a niche in the North American psyche. Spanish cuisine -- in its multifaceted, delicious entirety -- lives here, too.

      + + + + +

      John M. Sconzo, M.D., aka docsconz, is an anesthesiologist practicing in upstate New York. He grew up in Brooklyn in an Italian-American home, in which food was an important component of family life. It still is. His passions include good food, wine and travel. John's gastronomic interests in upstate northeastern New York involve finding top-notch local producers of ingredients and those who use them well. A dedicated amateur, John has no plans to ditch his current career for one in the food industry. Host, New York.
    • By docsconz
      About Jose Andres
       
      Throughout his career, Jose’s vision and imaginative creations have drawn the praise of the public, the press and his peers. José has received awards and recognition from Food Arts, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Saveur, the James Beard Foundation, Wine Spectator, and Wine Advocate. In addition, José has been featured in leading food magazines such as Gourmet as well as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Good Morning America, Fox Sunday Morning News with Chris Wallace, the Food Network, and USA Today.
       
      Widely acknowledged as the premiere Spanish chef cooking in America, José is a developer and Conference Chairman for the upcoming Worlds of Flavor Conference on Spain and the World Table at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, November 2 – 5, 2006.
       
      In 1993, Jose moved to Washington, DC, to head the kitchen at Jaleo. From there, Jose took on executive chef responsibilities at neighboring Café Atlantico and later Zaytinya. In July of 2003, Jose embarked on his most adventurous project to date with the opening of the minibar by jose andres at Cafe Atlantico. A six-seat restaurant within a restaurant, minibar by jose andres continues to attract international attention with its innovative tasting menu. In the fall of 2004, Jose opened a third Jaleo and Oyamel, an authentic Mexican small plates restaurant and launched the THINKfoodTANK, an institution devoted to the research and development of ideas about food, all with a view toward their practical applications in the kitchen.
       
      Every week, millions of Spaniards invite Jose into their home where he is the host and producer of “Vamos a cocinar”, a food program on Television Española (TVE), Spanish national television. The program airs in the United States and Latin America on TVE Internacional.
       
      Jose released his first cookbook this year, first published in English, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America (published in the United States by Clarkson Potter) and shortly after in Spanish, Los fogones de José Andrés (published by Planeta). The book is an homage to Spanish cooking and to tapas, one of Spain's gifts to the world of good cooking.
       
      Jose Andres is passionate, intelligent, dedicated, witty and a fan of FC Barcelona.
       
      Jose has been a member of the eGullet Society since 2004.
       
      More on Jose Andres in the eG Forums:
      Cooking with "Tapas" by Jose Andres
      Vamos a Cocinar - cooking show with Jose Andres
      Jaleo
      José Andrés' Minibar
      Zaytinya
      Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Crystal City
      Cafe Atlantico
       
      Jose Andres recipes from Tapas in RecipeGullet:
      Potatoes Rioja-Style with Chorizo (Patatas a la Riojana)
      Moorish-Style Chickpea and Spinach Stew
      Squid with Caramelized Onions
    • By gibbs
      With Modernist Cuisine I waited a couple of years and ended up with a copy from the 6th printing run the advantage of this was that all errors picked up in the erratta had been corrected in the print copy.  I am looking to get modernist bread soon and wondered if someone had purchased it recently to check or if someone knew of hand if they have printed any additional corrected runs 
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