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Salty dog

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As I mentioned in another thread I had my annual health inspection today. (FYI, in these parts the Health Dept makes an appointment for the inspection at least a week in advance. Sweet ay?)

Anyway, as a result, he put the K-bosh on my sous vide menu items. It seems we're the first restaurant in the area to serve it. The inspector is all excited about getting the process approved. So we will be working together on it.

I guess they've crossed this bridge already on the left and right coasts.
 

ThEoRy

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Same thing happened in NYC back in 06. Health inspectors just weren't prepared for it. There were no guidelines set forth by the government on proper vacuum techniques and cooking sou vide methods. A lot of chefs were pissed when the inspectors made them throw out thousands of dollars worth of product.

They're all caught up to speed now though. Hopefully there was no monetary loss at your restaraunt and this resolves rather quickly. Keep us posted on the progress of these events and good luck.
 

Salty dog

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I'm getting smart in my old age. He wasn't insisting I not serve them but we were about to go on a merry go round, so I told him I had no problem taking them off the menu until we could sort it out. I took my cell phone out of my pocket, called the office and before the inspection was over the new menus were in place.

During the discussion the matter of duck temperature came up. He was unaware that people serve duck less than 165 degrees internal temp. That's when I said I'm yanking it.
 

Miles

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It sounds like you're taking the right attitude and approach with the inspector. I'll be very interested to hear about how the process develops and turns out. I'm a little surprised about his comments on duck, though. That's hard to believe.
 

Salty dog

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This is rube country.

That's why we do well. We're an oasis.
 

MadMel

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OMG they can't approve Sous Vide? I mean they'r doing it on Iron Chef for goodness sake...
 

Salty dog

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We're going to have to go through a process to get it approved. The inpector was actually quite jazzed about working on something new for a change. Now I'm wondering if anyone is the state is doing sous vide because he had very little info to referance.
 

wenus2

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165F duck breast makes me shudder

Surely they will get the sous vide jitters sorted soon enough. There are obviously protocols in place all over the country that will be available to your local HD for approval.

I too learned a long time ago that the best thing to do is give them a lot of:
"Yes sir we can do that...
We will absolutely do that....
Here, let me take care of that right now..." :)
 

Salty dog

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My current HD is great. I actually believe the guy when he says "we here to help you."

I owned a restaurant in a neighboring town where they had their own inspectors. They were ridiculous and I was always in there face. I'm sorry but you walk into my joint immediately after the lunch rush and start taking temps before we even get a chance to re-stock I'm going to be all over dude, dude's boss and dude's boss's boss. There was an "ole boys club" that wasn't happy I moved into the neighborhood.
 

Avishar

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We are also getting into sous vide, it seems all we should need is a variance and a HACCP for the items. How do you all (commercially) use your circulators? Do you keep them running during service and just store a certain amount of product in them, or do you cook, chill, then reheat them in another way/method? It seems if you a circulator for holding during service it would make sense to have two, one for holding and one for cooking items.
 

stereo.pete

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Wow, that is terrible to hear Salty although I know you'll have your Sous Vide up an running before long with the inspectors approval. I remember last time I was at your place I was seriously contemplating the duck and now I might not get to try it for a while.
 

MadMel

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In a lot of restaurants here in Singapore, they don't usually use immersion circulator. Too expensive and space is at a premium here. They would usually steam in an oven on a rack. Cooking, chilling and reheating is a choice if you have a lot of covers that's gonna come in at a single time and the food takes a longer time to cook.
 

SpikeC

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Making friends with inspectors is a very good thing.................
 

Salty dog

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Cook chill reheat. The variance is exactly what dude was talking about.
 

dubie

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We had 3 or 4 circulators at my last restaurant. We usually cooked stuff before service but had at least one going for pick-ups during service. All about timing and hearing the "down-the-road" calls.
 

JohnnyChance

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How much does a setup cost roughly?
For home or a restaurant?

At home you can get started for about $500. For a restaurant...$3k-5k to start and depending how what size vac sealer you want and how many circulators or water ovens you need. You can use the home stuff in a pro kitchen, depending on what you want to do with it. If you want to have proteins bagged and held in a bath during service, chances are the home water ovens aren't big enough.
 

SpikeC

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At home you can get by for a lot less than that! Hack a slow cooker and get a Costco vac sealer and away you go.
 

Eamon Burke

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what temps do sous vide dishes get cooked at, normally? im guessing low...
 

JohnnyChance

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Depends. Most proteins are 120-140. Eggs around 165 depending how you want them. Veggies and potatoes 185.
 

Vertigo

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People Sue-Vee their eggs? SRSly?
 

JohnnyChance

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Sous vide eggs in shell fckin rock. The yolk and white cook at the same rate so the entire egg has the texture of custard. Not as similar to a poached egg as you would think. You cut it in half and the yolk stays in a half orb shape for a second, then gently oozes into a thick puddle. Best textured eggs I have ever had. If I had an hour to cook myself breakfast every morning I would put them on toast, you could spread them like soft butter.
 

Vertigo

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Whoa. I thought I knew every way on the planet to cook eggs. You're blowing my freaking mind here, JC.
 

JohnnyChance

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You knew every way 'cept the best way!

It doesn't have to be super precise. See if you can rig up a pot of water on your stove that will stay at 165ish for an hour. You might have to baby it a bit, keep the pot up above the flame somehow, add some cold water now and then, but it should work.
 

JohnnyChance

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[video=youtube;vF0VtXNdYW4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF0VtXNdYW4&feature=player_detailpage[/video]
 

stevenStefano

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Johnny, is the sous vide method similar to this way itasan uses in one of his videos?

[video=youtube;gOuJpBFBcBg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOuJpBFBcBg[/video]
 

JohnnyChance

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Looks kinda similar. But his is cooked at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time, then chilled (I think) and served. With the sous vide ones I serve em straight out of the water bath so they are still warm/hot.
 

chefwatson

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Looks kinda similar. But his is cooked at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time, then chilled (I think) and served. With the sous vide ones I serve em straight out of the water bath so they are still warm/hot.

Not to be a stickler but, sous vide means under vacuum. Technically you are using a circulator to cook at a lower, more precise and constant temperature but, not sous vide. The end result is no less amazing and delicious. In Modernist Cuisine, they give you the steps to build your own circulator. God I love that book!
 

wenus2

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I think despite the literal meaning of the words sous vide, the term has certainly come to represent this cooking style, vac sealed or not.

I have a pork roast chugging along at 145, it will come out shortly and see about 15 min in a 550F oven to crust up. Perfect everytime.
 
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