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Chicago Chef Rickie Perez Wins 2019 Sous Vide Tastemakers Grand Prize

As the winning recipe of the International Sous Vide Day contest, his Keto Steak “Salad” recipe earned Perez a trip to Paris.

BY Sara Johnson

Coinciding with International Sous Vide Day celebrations across the globe, food-science innovation company Cuisine Solutions held a contest challenging chefs to develop best-in-class sous vide recipes, and this year’s grand-prize winner is chef Rickie Perez, who hails from Chicago.

With his wife Jannice, Perez operates Logan Oyster Socials in the Chicago area, a company that serves fresh oysters at events from barbecues to weddings. Although sous vide is an excellent tool for preparing oysters, Perez earned the title 2019 Sous Vide Tastemaker for his recipe using another protein. His Keto Steak “Salad” features marinated flat iron steak cooked sous vide, served with grilled red cabbage, deep-fried cauliflower, and avocado.

As part of his win, Perez earned a trip for two to Paris, including an airline voucher, a two-night hotel stay, private Culinary Research & Training Academy (CREA) courses, and a dinner with the father of sous vide, Dr. Bruno Goussault.

Following his win, Sous-Vide magazine interviewed Perez via email about his recipe and his introduction to sous vide cooking.

Sous-Vide: What inspired the recipe?

Rickie Perez: I have a whole family of influences, but this recipe is a blend of my dad, chef Wilson Perez, and my mother-in-law, Maritza.

SV: Did you test out other recipes before selecting this one to submit to the contest?

RP: I’ve been tweaking this recipe for years before landing on this recipe, which I’m finally happy with. A chef is never done tweaking.

SV: How does it feel to have won the contest?

RP: It’s truly incredible to know that my hard work is paying off. The long days, late nights, holidays in the kitchen have led to an amazing win that means so much. Paris is a dream come true—to make my wife Jannice and my daughter Lucie proud is the best part.

SV: How did you first get introduced to sous vide cooking?

RP: I was introduced to sous vide cooking having worked for chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten early in my career. I’ve been fascinated with cooking this way ever since.

SV: How else have you used the method in your cooking?

RP: From making the perfect beer sauce to perfect eggs, I still use the method as much as I can as chef de cuisine of Columbus Tap at The Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park.

This interview has been lightly edited.