“Sous Vide Tool’s service is very good, they are really knowledgeable, and they are honest and upfront. If there is a problem it is put right and that is exactly what you need in a busy industry – in terms of return it really is good value for money. ”
– Adam Simmonds
How long have you cooked sous vide?
10 + years now – it’s been in the industry for some time but only now coming to the forefront of cooking. Where I used to work they couldn’t afford a water bath so we used to use a temperature probe in a bath of water – technology now is more affordable and definitely worth investing in.
What machines do you have?
We have two Vacmaster VP320 machines but because of space constraints have the two trolleys so we can wheel them in and out of the cupboard as needed – both supplied by Sous Vide Tools. We have two machines for hygiene and food purposes. The Vacmaster VP320’s are much more powerful and stronger than others I’ve used, they’re very durable and easy to use (idiot-proof).
Why do you like sous vide cooking?
Consistency and texture. No matter what size the piece of meat you can get consistent flavour. We temperature probe everything (using the sticker re-sealers) to check the product temperature to ensure it’s cooked to requirement throughout. So, there is little room for error and we deliver consistently good food to the customer time and time again.
There really is no better way to achieve that melt-in-the-mouth texture, every time, and I’d argue you cannot achieve that by roasting.
For us it’s about enhancing the product and giving customers something they couldn’t get at home – the sous vide enables us to do that.
It also frees up other equipment, such as the oven, for other ingredients.
What dishes do you use it for?
Primarily meat and fish. I do beef, pork belly/chop, cod, salmon, lamb, pork jowls and so on… I don’t over complicate it and don’t go overboard, some people go crazy putting everything in there, with creating every part of the dish in the sous vide. I have used it for rhubarb and peaches though and it’s great for that. Seasonal favourites of mine are wild salmon in July, game (partridge) in the winter and lamb cannon in spring.
How does it influence your menu?
It doesn’t, menu development comes first then we experiment with how we can use the sous vide after. Menu development is always the key focus but gadgets like sous vide help create better dishes – they amplify the flavours.
What business benefits does SV cooking bring you?
Time – once the dish is created/recipe designed staff are trained and anyone in the team can do it. It is also great as we can just leave it to one side and let it do its thing – we don’t need to go back and forward. There is less shrinkage too as the cooking temperature isn’t as harsh.
I have used sous vide tools’ equipment such as their circulators in different restaurants over the last 3 – 4 years. I met Alex Shannon at Skills 4 Chefs about 3 years ago. SVT’s service is very good, Alex is really knowledgeable, and he’s honest and upfront. If there is a problem he puts it right and that is exactly what you need in a busy industry – in terms of return it’s really good value for money. SVT are middle-market price wise but the service you get is worth investing that little bit more for.
Home sous vide is great – people are getting really adventurous, can play and have a go. Friends of mine all have water-baths.