Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Obama's eat farm fresh meal cooked in plastic at Blue Hill

When I was a little boy my mother, who was hopeless in the kitchen, would buy "freezer bag" meals, frozen food in a plastic bag that you boiled. My favorite was the Salisbury Steak (hamburger in a tangy mushroom sauce). It reminds me of sous vide - cryovacing food in a plastic bag and then cooking it at a low temp for a long time.

Cooking in plastic with machines? Yeah, I know all the hot chef's are doing it and I understand there are benefits; consistency and food costs come to mind, but, for me it takes the art out of cooking. I mention it today because President and Mrs. Obama were in NYC last night and they went to Blue Hill, whose Chef Dan Barber is a huge sous vide fan. To me there is a big disconnect between the image of "farm fresh" and the reality that this video shows. I understand this may make me look old and retro, but so be it. If you call yourself a chef then you should be able to cook, right? Cooking is an art, making food taste amazing and look beautiful is part of the craft of cooking, the reason you spend a lifetime working on it. This is not about cooking, it's about easy. Plastic?

Great, I'll have the non-biodegradable lamb chop in plastic please.

1 comment:

Hank said...

It's recent and radical, but at the end of the day sous-vide is just another cooking method. It's one trick in a big bag of tricks. Skill and artistry will always be required to make delicious and beautiful food, regardless of the cooking methods employed.

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