I had the great pleasure of attending BBQ night (officially coined, Thrillist’s BBQ & The Blues presented by Creekstone Farms hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian) at the South Beach Food & Wine Festival in Miami this past Saturday (Feb. 23), and I must say I had a great time.
I was invited by my wife’s boss, the Exec. Chef at the Marriott Singer Island, and they put me to work. I mainly helped plating the delicious sweet potato, pecan tarts with cinnamon whipped cream my wife, the Pastry Chef, made for the event. Of course, I was also the Quality Control guy and everything went out with my bite of approval ;). (We were representing the hotel’s restaurant, 3800 Ocean)
Overall the food was great, particularly the beef brisket taco from ToroToro, and a short rib chilli from another local restaurant I unfortunately cannot remember the name of. Nevertheless, they both merited several visits.
I was happy to see many of the restaurants and chefs bringing in their products vacuum packed, ensuring that all the masterfully cooked meat would stay moist and infused with the marinades and juices used to flavor. However, what I did not see was the use of Immersion Circulators.
It seems to me that re-heating and holding of certain products would have been easier if left vacuum packed and placed in a precise bain marie. The chefs would not have to worry about re-heating in pots and pans using portable stoves potentially burning or drying out the product. For serving, you would simply cut open a vacuum bag and fill the chafing dish.
The benefits of sous vide go way beyond just the textures and flavors obtained from the technique. It allows for better planning of production, mis en place, quality control, etc…
Please post any comments or thoughts about how you think sous vide could have benefitted or hindered working a festival like this.