Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide Review

Under pressure

If you are a professional chef with all the expensive equipment, a demanding clientele and a pioneering spirit, the book Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide will quickly become an important reference in your arsenal. If you are a foodie who has been intrigued by sous vide restaurant offerings, this book may answer a few "How did they do that?" questions. For the home cook who's interested in sous vide wizardry, has invested in an immersion heater and FoodSaver, and wants some good recipes that can be accomplished with supermarket ingredients, you will find the complicated recipes in Under Pressure intimidating; this book is not the best purchase for you.

Thomas Keller, a renowned American chef, restaurateur, and cookbook writer, makes no apologies about his cookbook Under Pressure being addressed to professional chefs. Keller clearly states in the book that it is "written for the professional kitchen, from one chef to another. No modifications have been made to accommodate cooks preparing [these recipes] at home, even though some of them certainly can be done at home with the right equipment". Keller aims to explain to an array of cooks - not the masses, why this foolproof sous vide technique, which involves cooking at precise temperatures below simmering, yields results that other culinary methods cannot.

This book will be a must for every culinary professional and anyone who wants to up the ante and experience food at the highest level. The secret to sous vide is in discovering the precise amount of heat required to achieve the most sublime results. Through years of trial and error, Keller and his chefs de cuisine have blazed the trail to perfection--and they show the way in this collection of recipes from his landmark restaurants--The French Laundry in Napa Valley and per se in New York.

Even the adventuresome home cook can glean valuable information from Under Pressure, but it may not be enough to justify the cost. Anyone can appreciate the comprehensive in-depth chapter on food safety. In addition, there are two great reference sections at the end of the book. The first and perhaps the most useful part for home sous vide users would be the table that lists ingredients alphabetically, specifies how to sous vide the ingredient, and cites a recipe within the text that features the ingredient. The next reference section is an extended list of sources for equipment and ingredients.

Until the needed specialized high-end restaurant equipment is more affordable, most Under Pressure readers will admire this gorgeous book on their coffee tables, from the simply stunning photos of ingredients in their natural states to plates so artfully arranged they would not be out of place in a modern art museum. Regardless of our cooking skills, we must appreciate such a beautifully crafted book for what it provides to professional development in the culinary industry.

If what you're looking for is a compendium of recipes from French Laundry and per se that make use of sous vide techniques, this is the book for you. The recipes are all there, along with beautiful photographs. For that market, the book deserves five stars. Be warned, however, the recipes are quite complicated, often require exotic ingredients and molecular gastronomy ingredients.

Where to Buy Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide

This book is Available Now on Amazon.com

Jason logsdon headshot This article is by me, Jason Logsdon. I'm an adventurous home cook and professional blogger who loves to try new things, especially when it comes to cooking. I've explored everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to pressure cookers and blow torches; created foams, gels and spheres; made barrel aged cocktails and brewed beer. I have also written 10 cookbooks on modernist cooking and sous vide and I run the AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com website.
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