The 7th Annual StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress has come and gone. Now that the dust has settled a bit, it’s time for a wrap-up.
We landed on Saturday morning. It was raining. It didn’t matter. Our heads were filled with anticipation and excitement. The ICC is a one-of-a-kind event offering face-to-face, hands-on exposure to some of the most unique equipment and techniques in the culinary world. Chefs, mixologists and industry professionals from every corner of the globe converge on the Park Avenue Armory for three days of what can only be described as culinary rock & roll.
If this is rock & roll, it’s time to set the stage.
We wanted to go big this year. ICC saw a completely new booth set-up for us. The towering crown of the PolyScience booth could be clearly seen from every corner of the Armory. Before the covers could come off and the last cable could get plugged in, we had waves of fans gathering to get a look. Around this centerpiece, we set our newest and best circulators, giving the first glimpses of the newly designed Sous Vide Professional™ CLASSIC, CLASSIC PLUS and ARTIST Series immersion circulators, along with some stunning (and remarkably efficient) stainless steel and polycarbonate integrated bath systems. Follow PolyScience on Facebook and be the first to know when these incredible new circulators start rolling off our production line.
The Sous Vide Professional™ CHEF and CREATIVE Series enjoyed their moments in the spotlight, as well. If being on stage, powering presentations for some of the world’s mostinfluential chefs wasn’t enough, the circulators were scattered around the Congress, helping cook Iberico Pork, Australian Lamb and ORA King Salmon (with a cameo from The Smoking Gun™). Thanks to all the chefs who spread the love and featured PolyScience in their presentations and booths!
Four monitors displayed our Sous Vide Toolbox™ application for iOS. iPads were set up around the booth, allowing ICC attendees to test-drive the Sous Vide Toolbox™. The app was nominated for a StarChefs Innovator Award and was up against some stiff competition. The votes were tallied and WE WON! Thank you to all that voted and thank you to all that have bought and used the app. We would like to send a special thanks to Darren Vengroff, the lead developer of the Sous Vide Toolbox™. His groundwork in building the application has given us room to grow and run. The world of sous vide is going to change greatly because of this mobile application, demystifying thermal conductivity and making sous vide both safe and easy to understand, for any level of user.
PolyScience presents: Nature and Sous Vide Nurture
Chef Matt Lightner of Atera – New York, NY
Sous vide novices and experts both walked away with something after Day 2’s workshop with Matt Lightner. He went through the benefits of wrapping bone-in proteins with aluminum foil before vacuum-sealing (to prevent bone punctures), controlling the salt content before sous vide via brining, and the dangers posed by air-exposed sous vide bags during the long cooking process (“it usually happens at night when you’re not at the restaurant”). But the coolest technique was “sous vide searing,” which Lightner explained is essentially dropping vacuum-sealed protein in an 85˚C water bath for a minute to seal in the flavors. Lightner merged his high-tech machinery with his Portland herbage to create an amazing Australian lamb neck dish. The fat and meat in the lamb neck, once cooked sous vide, melted together to form almost a pâté-like consistency, and the wheatgrass emulsion (made using coddled eggs), wheat berries, nasturtium, dried cedar salt, and sorrel added grassy and acidic notes that really brightened the dish.
Excerpt courtesy of StarChefs.com with contributions by Emily Bell, Jessica Dukes, Caroline Hatchett, Nicholas Rummell, and Rachel Willard
The Chef with the PolyScience Tattoo
It’s a fact, chefs love ink. We’ve seen plenty of chef knives, whisks, spoons and even a strip of bacon emblazoned across forearms. When Brandon Dearden – Sous Chef at Aureole, Las Vegas, came up to our booth and revealed a calligraphic “Sous Vide” on the inside of his left bicep, we were all in shock. “Sous vide has changed my life,” said Dearden. “No other method has changed my perspective on cuisine, quite like sous vide has…I’ve also seen too many chef knife tattoos.”
We thought that was it. Not quite. Our jaws dropped when Pastry Chef Luis Villavelazquez – Les Elements Patisserie, San Francisco, took our temporary tattoo design from two years ago and decided to make it more permanent. The old-school, nautical-inspired design that we slapped on t-shirts and temporary tattoos now sits comfortably on Villavelazquez’s right tricep. “I already had these old-school designs, but something was missing right here. (Points to right tricep). When I saw the tattoos you were handing out a couple years ago, I knew where that was going…I also burned it on a sheet pan this week.”
Thanks to Brandon and Luis for rocking sous vide and PolyScience.
Every time we meet with chefs from around the globe, we get inspired to try new things. Hopefully, our equipment brings out the creativity to keep pushing the boundaries of what we declare to be cuisine. At ICC, we share stories and react spontaneously in moments of pure, uninhibited inspiration.
We poured store bought Bloody Mary mix into our Rotary Vacuum Evaporator. The distillate had the powerful aroma of the base and a smooth, balanced flavor profile. We looked at the other flask and saw something even better. Ketchup. Not only was it a pretty tasty ketchup, it smacked of Worcestershire and celery. A powerful wallop of spice snuck up on the back of the palette. We stopped over by our neighbors at Waring Commercial for some of Sam Mason’s pomme frites. When Jeffrey Steingarten dipped his first fry, we thought we were doomed. Then he went back for seconds.
A “from-scratch” Bloody Mary Ketchup recipe awaits you here.
Thank you to Antoinette Bruno, Will Blunt and the entire StarChefs.com team. Special thanks to Alvin Schultz, Matt Lightner, Dave Arnold, Sat Bains, Jeremiah Bullfrog, Brandon Dearden, Francis Derby, Wylie Dufresne, Dirk Flanigan, Greg Grossman, Johnny Iuzzini, Marty Knoten, Hervé Malivert, Francisco Migoya, Tim Mussig, Ramon Perez, John Sconzo, Jeffrey Steingarten, Alex Talbot, Luis Villavelazquez, Jamie Watson, Cuisine Solutions, iSi North America, JB Prince Company, Minipack America, ŌRA KING Salmon, Randell/Unified Brands, Williams-Sonoma and all the other fine folks that made it possible. Until next year…thank you!
For a comprehensive wrap-up from StarChefs.com, click here.