Chefs can't create their culinary masterpieces with their bare hands

April 11 [Fri], 2014, 15:02

Chefs can't create their culinary masterpieces with their bare hands. It takes talent, food ― and, often, their favorite gadgets. From high-tech to low-tech, several local chefs weighed in on the tools, large and small, that they can't do without.Kevin Watson, executive chef at Savoy in the Strip District, says his favorite gadget is a sous vide, a thermal circulator with a French name that means "under vacuum" or under pressure. Watson says the sous vide "operates at a very low, very gentle temperature." The sous vide operates a bit like a Crock-Pot, he says, which cooks food at low temperatures for long periods, thereby tenderizing them."I call it a hot tub" for food, Watson says. The Savoy has two, a Pearl and a Poly Science. Sous vides cost about $1,000 for mercial uses; online prices for sous vides for home cooks run in the $300 range.Watson, 48, of Bellevue, began using the sous vide as an instructor at the former Le Cordon Bleu school, Downtown, and continued when Savoy opened three years ago. He calls the sous vide "one of the most innovative" cooking tools out there.

"You can take a brisket, season it, sear it to develop the color, seal it in shrink-wrap and drop it in the hot water bath" of the sous vide, Watson says. "It operates at a very low, very gentle temperature, high quality Chopping knifeboningtenderizing the brisket, pork butt or other cut of meat."All the seasonings penetrate the food, instead of being lost in steam."The result is amazing," Watson says. "Once you do sous vide, why would you use anything else?"But, Justin Severino, owner-chef at Cure in Lawrenceville, said Cure's double-decker bination oven is his favorite gadget that does even more than the sous vide, calling it "one of the most versatile" cooking gadgets ever.

The Unox bination oven, manufactured in Italy, was originally designed for industrial food service,Fruit knives manufacturers because it has the ability to be programmed for multistep cooking processes that can heat up, cool down, dehydrate foods 100 percent or hydrate them up to 100 percent.When Cure staff prepare its porchetta, they use a sous vide program that can change the temperature and humidity multiple times over the course of 12 hours, eventually dehydrating the porchetta for a crisp skin.
Severino bought the Unox when he had the small Cure kitchen remodeled. The Unox es in a smaller version than Cure's $8,500 mod