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Sous Vide City: Dallas

Three chefs working in the Texas city explain how they incorporate sous vide into their restaurants’ menus.

By Marilyn Kitzes

Bon Appétit tipped its proverbial cowboy hat to Dallas with its Restaurant City of the Year accolade, definitively placing the city among Austin and Houston as the Lone Star State’s top foodie towns. These days, as sous vide has become more and more mainstream, it’s intriguing to discover which menu items chefs choose to leverage its power.

“I love sous vide because I can just walk away and know that it is cooked perfectly every single time,” says Executive Chef Eric Freidline of Sevy’s Grill. “All it needs is a beautiful sear and slice, then it’s out the door. Sous vide also offers an incomparable level of moisture, flavor, and consistency.”

Freidline uses sous vide for the restaurant’s orange-marinated sous vide duck breast. To prepare the dish, he and his team first break down the whole duck and marinate the breast in an orange juice brine for 24 hours. After, he vacuum-seals the breast in a pouch and places it in a water bath at 123.8°F (51°C) for four hours.

Sevy’s Grill’s orange-marinated sous vide duck breast

“It’s longer than some recipes may suggest, but this has been our best result,” Freidline says.

He then lets the breast rest for five minutes, sears the skin side until crispy and golden brown, rests it again, then slices. The dish is served with a confit duck leg and wild rice, braised red Belgium endive, duck jus, and locally grown micro chervil.

Chef John Tesar, who created the acclaimed steakhouse Knife, uses sous vide in several of his dishes. However, his favorite way to leverage the technique is with an octopus appetizer.

“Octopus by nature can be tough, and there are several ways to break it down, but I’ve found the best and most consistent, gentle way is to sous vide it,” says Tesar, a James Beard–nominated chef and Bravo Top Chef contestant.

Tesar and his team first sous vide then grill the octopus over Japanese charcoal. The dish is currently served with piquillo vinaigrette, black garlic, chili oil, and an avocado piquillo relish.

Richard Triptow, the Executive Chef at Dallas Fish Market, uses sous vide for his cheesecake dessert, which he prepares in Mason jars.

Dallas Fish Market’s cheesecake

“I choose sous vide for this dish because of the creamy texture and consistency in every serving,” Triptow says.

His team combines softened cream cheese, sugar, and salt in a Robot Coupe till creamy, and adds whole eggs, vanilla paste, and buttermilk to create a batter that’s poured into single-serving jars. The finger-tight sealed jars are placed into a 176°F (80°C) water bath for 90 minutes, and then cooled for at least four hours in the refrigerator—or overnight. Each is served with cherry purée, cinnamon crunch, and macerated strawberries.

Fly us to Dallas pronto.

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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.