It all began with a pork chop. We had gone to a medical meeting in Las Vegas, arrived late and hungry. On the room service menu was a double cut pork chop that sounded good, so we ordered it, with more than a little trepidation. Pork can be so dry and tasteless to begin with and this was room service. What arrived was the most succulent, tender pork chop we’d ever eaten – and we’re from the South, where they know how to cook a pork chop! The meat was perfectly cooked edge to edge with a golden sear on either side. Curious, we asked the restaurant how they did it and they responded: sous vide.
Although we are physicians and nutritional experts and authors by trade, we’ve also owned a restaurant and written and hosted a 26-episode PBS television cooking show, so we’d heard about the technique, but had never tried it ourselves. Now, however, we were on a quest to recreate that perfect pork chop. We determined to learn more about the sous vide technique, which involves gently cooking vacuum-sealed pouches of food at very precisely controlled temperatures that preserve flavor and nutritional quality of the foods being cooked. We thought, how hard could that be?
Initially, we cobbled together a make-shift contraption that consisted of a large stock pot balanced over the gas burner atop a simmering ring from an old wok, with a candy thermometer hooked to the side and the two of us keeping watch and adding ice cubes or hot water minute by minute. Impossible!
So we determined to purchase a machine for our home, but all the available machines were made for industrial lab use or commercial kitchens. Worse yet, the least expensive device would set us back more than $1500 and it looked like a science project.
If one doesn’t exist, we reasoned, then that was a market deficiency we could cure. We set about to do just that by assembling a team of designers, manufacturers, and culinary professionals that were integral in developing the SousVide Supreme™ water oven.
It is our mission to make sous vide cooking a standard technique in kitchens everywhere, both in America and around the globe. We want to put an essential tool into the hands of home cooks and restaurant chefs that will let them turn out amazing food time after time that can be prepared no other way, and to build a worldwide community of nutrition and culinary learning, sharing, and fabulous cooking. We’ve come a long way from that initial quest for the perfect pork chop, but the culinary future is limitless with possibilities.