Fresh Bites Live With Chef Eric Villegas

Last night Chef Eric came to Kansas City for a live Demonstration about sous vide cooking and vacuum sealing in the kitchen.

To start the night Eric discussed that “sous vide” translates from French to mean “under pressure” and that in France sous vide alone refers to simply using the vacuum sealer, and “la cuisine sous vide” is the cooking technique. La cuisine sous vide was invented in France in the 70’s and has been used in restaurants there for decades, it has just been introduced to American restaurants in the last 5-10 years.

To get started with la cuisine sous vide the first step is the vacuum seal. Chef introduced the two different types of vacuum sealers. First he introduced the suction vacuum sealer, which is a small sealer that creates a vacuum by sucking the air directly out of the bag. The second type is the chamber vacuum sealer, which creates a vacuum by sucking the air out of the chamber. The biggest difference between the two is that a suction sealer can ONLY seal dry product, where a chamber can seal wet product and liquids.

Chef also went into detail about the different types of bags required for each type of vacuum sealer. He explained how the suction vacuum sealer requires the full mesh bags to pull a proper vacuum. The chamber sealer does not require the mesh lined bags, because instead of sucking the air out of the bag, it just removes all the air from the entire chamber.

Chef Eric’s simple break down of the different types of vacuum sealers and vacuum bags boils down to this:

Suction vacuum sealer, inexpensive machine, expensive bags.

Chamber vacuum sealer, expensive machine, inexpensive bags. 

After this introduction he moved on to the good stuff, the food! Through six different recipes Eric showed us how simple it is to use vacuum sealing and sous vide cooking at home or in a restaurant. He showed us how simple vacuum sealing for meal prep and storage is, while explaining the benefits. For example, a cooked chicken breast vacuum sealed and stored in the freezer, can stay good for six months.

For meal prep Eric showed us how to simple prepare our proteins with limited seasoning, allowing for more freedom with flavor when you are ready to serve it later on. If you prepare five chicken breasts sous vide, cooked just with s cube of butter (to prevent sticking to the bag) you can finish each one differently. You could leave one plain and cut it up for a salad, you could put your favorite rub on another and finish it on the grill, the options go on and on.

Eric used the SV1 immersion circulator to show us how simple la cuisine sous vide can be. Simply fill your pot, cooler or water tank, place the circulator in, and set it for the temperature you need. The circulator heats the water, and circulates it to maintain and even temperature. Cooking at this constant temperature ensures that your food cooks evenly, and maintaining the serving temperature, ensures it never over cooks. As Chef Eric would say “It’s a much more efficient way to cook, it’s a tastier way to cook” and after a few samples, we agree.

Check out all the recipes from the show right here on the Fresh Bites Blog:

• Compressed Watermelon

• Chicken Breast Sous Vide

• New York Strip Steak Sous Vide

• Salmon Fillet Sous Vide

• Béarnaise Sauce Sous Vide

• Chocolate Pudding Sous Vide

If you missed the event, we caught it with Facebook Live.