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Immersing Themselves: Part I

Modernist Cuisine author Nathan Myhrvold and Museum of Food and Drink founder Dave Arnold share their thoughts on sous vide cooking.


BY CRAIG VIERA

NATHAN MYHRVOLD
Author, Modernist Cuisine

Sous-Vide: What makes sous vide special?

Nathan Myhrvold: Sous vide techniques can produce results that are nearly impossible to achieve by traditional means. A venison tenderloin cooked sous vide has an unmatchable tenderness and is perfectly cooked, edge to edge.

SV: What are common misconceptions about cooking sous vide?

NM: Getting started doesn’t require a big investment. Clip a digital thermometer onto the side of a large pot full of water, fill your kitchen sink, or put hot water in a cooler, and you’ve got a serviceable water bath.

SV: How have science and technology altered the status quo of home cooking?

NM: Science lets us understand what we are doing, but it is not a replacement for the skills of a chef. When people understand the science, however, that gets the creative juices going and gives them more freedom to explore new techniques to make original dishes.

DAVE ARNOLD
Founder, Museum of Food and Drink; Host, “Cooking Issues” podcast

Sous-Vide: What are some common mistakes people make when cooking sous vide?

Dave Arnold: In low-temperature work, if you crank the temperature up even a couple of degrees, you’ll overcook the whole thing. If you’re short on time, the only real solution is to make the portion smaller so it cooks faster.

SV: What’s a surprising ingredient or meal you like to cook sous vide?

DA: Squab is excellent. Everyone knows that proteins are good sous vide, but squab is really, really good. I would not want to cook it another way.

SV: What makes sous vide special?

DA: With sous vide, you can keep dishes in peak condition for a lot longer as opposed to other “traditional” techniques. The window of optimal doneness with a sous vide product can be hours.

 

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Dedicated to the Art & Science of Sous Vide

The first publication devoted to the art and science of sous vide cooking, featuring innovative recipes, visual inspiration, expert techniques for cooking sous vide at home, and exclusive interviews with world-class chefs.