Pictured: Chef Christopher of Kaiser Permanente cooking Sous Vide
PolyScience had the opportunity to interview Executive Chef Christopher A. Haydostian of Kaiser Permanente, who recently converted his cooking operation to utilize sous vide throughout their repertoire. After being trained by the "Godfather of Sous Vide Cooking", Dr. Bruno Goussault, Chef Christopher realized that there were many benefits that sous vide could bring to his operation from reductions in cost and waste, better time management, consistency and more. Read below as Chef details how the Sous Vide Cooking Technique has enhanced his operation.
Chef, please explain your culinary background.
My background is an interesting one and starts with me being a Computer Graphic artist and ends as a Chef. I changed careers in my early 20’s and left the light of Hollywood to pursue my passion of cooking. To gain a knowledge base and starting point for this profession, I ended up attending the California School of Culinary Arts. Upon graduating I immediately became a sous chef for McCormick & Schmicks, a national seafood/steak restaurant chain. Learning the skills of the trade, I was recruited to Las Vegas, NV to join the Grand Lux Café family (part of the Cheescake Factory group). Honing my skills there, I went on to work at a high-end country club, do some consulting and landing at Joe’s Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab. Once the economy crashed, It was time to move back to Los Angeles, CA and I joined Sodexo (contract food service). After spending many years with them, I moved on and joined my current family, Kaiser Permanente – West Los Angeles.
How did you learn how to cook sous vide and how have you expanded your knowledge of sous vide cooking since then?
I was trained by Bruno Goussault of CREA (Culinary Research & Education Academy). Bruno is considered one of the forefathers of sous vide and extends a wealth of knowledge unparalleled to anyone/where else. After learning the ins and outs of sous vide, I continue to learn from fellow chefs and publications. Online groups are my primary extended learning forum where I get to share what I know as well as learn from fellow culinarians. There is also a new publication that came out last year called Sous-Vide Magazine that I subscribe to.
Pictured: Dr. Bruno Goussault and Chef Christopher A. Haydostian
How has sous vide cooking and precise temperature control changed your approach in the kitchen?
Having the ability to precisely control my cooking temperatures has completely changed how I look at cooking. Specifically, my dealings with proteins. To be able to control the absolute temperature of a steak or allow a roast to slowly breakdown, is just short of magic. The consistency and control that you gain is unparalleled to any other form of cooking.
What are you cooking sous vide?
We currently cook sous vide for our patients at the hospital. With that said, we sous vide our main proteins - beef & chicken. This will consist of everything from a chuck roast to boneless skinless chicken breast. I plan to add my salmon in the near future.
What type of sous vide system are you using?
Our sous vide system includes:
MiniPack MVS52 DV X
Henkelman Boxer 52II with Liquid Control & Gas Flush
Polyscience Sous Vide Professional Immersion Circulator with SS Basin
Thermoworks Data Logger
Specifically, what advantages have you and your organization experienced by using this technique?
Sous vide has been great for my organization on multiple levels. Consistency in products has been a BIG win for our department. It is also a large cost savings by implementing a sous vide program. We have virtually eliminated all waste on proteins and there is no chance to “overcook” an item. It has also helped with inventory control by having a food bank built up of packaged items, it’s super easy to count and make production calls. It also almost streamlines our process for my staff so they can concentrate on multi-tasking more. Other gains are the ability to extend shelf-life, proper portion control, ability to buy in bulk (cost savings), same packaging for storage/reheating, enhances flavor of food, prevents moisture loss, and best of all it keeps our food looking fresh.
How has this technique helped you from an operational perspective?
As noted above, we have seen a cost savings in our product cost. By maintaining a tighter inventory control and almost minimizing waste we have saved enough to pay for the program conversion and then some. There is an inherent time savings for my staff as well, so they can multi-task more efficiently by doing other work while the sous vide baths do the hard work for them. The easy cost savings comes from the ability to buy in larger volumes (to reduces product costs) and minimizing packaging needs (by using the same bag for storage and reheating).
How can healthcare institutions benefit from sous vide cooking?
Healthcare institutions can see great benefits in consistency, waste reduction, health benefits for patients, tighter inventory control, enhance flavor & appearance of food, and reduced products costs. These factors are tied to one another. Sous vide provides the same product every time and cooked to the perfect temperature. It is very much a set it and forget it kind of method. You merely need to know how to work with the units and know the proper settings to create incredible results. That is how you will achieve your consistency. By having products bagged and only cooked when needed, you are virtually eliminating waste. There is no longer an issue of “overcooking” a steak or anything else. You can get your perfect meat temperature, every time. When cooking sous vide, you are keeping the juices and flavors of the product inside the bag. You are also cooking it in that set/tight environment. By doing so, it helps create/make your food taste and look better.
This easy to make turkey breast is great hot or cold. Slice it thin and you’ve got cold cuts at a fraction of the cost from the deli. This can be done at the same temperature with boneless, skinless chicken breasts in just 35 minutes! Substitute an eye round roast and homemade roast beef can save you six dollars a pound. Simply add your favorite spice rub and never make a boring sandwich again!
Makes: 8-10 Sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 90 minutes
Ingredients: 1 Boneless, Skinless Turkey Breast 1 Tbs Olive Oil ½ C Apple Cider Kosher Salt and Black Pepper, to taste. Spice Rub of your choosing (Optional)
For Sandwiches: Bread of your choosing Crisp Romaine Lettuce Condiments of your choosing Fresh Tomato Slices
Set the Sous Vide Professional™ to 147°F/64°C, with the Rear Flow Adjustment Slide closed and Front Flow Adjustment Slide fully open. (Flow Adjustment Slide available on CHEF Series only.)
Step 2: Browning (Optional Step) Preheat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat with 1 Tbs olive oil. Season turkey breast with salt and pepper and sear in oil until lightly browned. Remove from pan, drain and cool.
Step 3: Pat turkey breast dry with paper towel.
Step 4: Vacuum seal turkey breast with apple cider.
Step 5: Place sealed bag in circulating water bath and cook for 90 minutes or to an internal temperature of 147°F/64°C.
Step 6: Remove bag, quickly shock in ice water bath.
Step 7: When completely cold, turkey is easiest to slice. Slice thinly on a bias and layer slices on plastic wrap or in reusable container. Sliced turkey will keep up to 7 days.**
Step 8: Assemble sandwiches and garnish to your preference.
You won’t believe this cranberry sauce. The boozy pop of each berry, the tangy-sweet sauce; we may have just changed Thanksgiving as we know it. Keeping it alcohol-free? Sub in some cranberry juice instead.
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Ingredients: 12 ounces Fresh Cranberries 1/2 cup Dry Ruby Port (May substitute: cranberry juice) 1/2 cup Orange Juice, Fresh 3/4 cup Sugar Zest from one Orange, cut into thin matchsticks
Step 1: Set the Sous Vide Professional™ to 167°F/75°C, with the Rear Flow Adjustment Slide closed and Front Flow Adjustment Slide fully open. (Flow Adjustment Slide available on CHEF Series only.)
Step 2: Combine fresh cranberries, port wine, orange juice, sugar and zest in a mixing bowl. Stir gently to combine all ingredients.
Step 3: Roll the vacuum pouch back at the top, turning it out 1-2 inches. This will help prevent possible cross-contamination.
Step 4: Pour mixed cranberries and sauce into vacuum pouch, vacuum seal.
Step 5: Place sealed bag in circulating water bath and cook for 20 minutes or until a few, but not all, cranberries have begun to burst.
Step 6: Remove bag from water bath.
If serving immediately: transfer to serving vessel.
If saving for later: quickly shock in ice water bath until temperature of sauce has reached 40°F/4°C. Cooling must occur in under one hour. Store in refrigerator and reheat to 140°F/60°C before serving.
At times, imparting smoke into dishes requires us to take a step or two back to revisit the entire concept. With this smoked ceviche, the smoked lime juice carries the flavor through the fish, not just around it. Reimagine any marinated dish and surprise your guests with every smoky bite.
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 2-4 hours 1 lb (450g) fresh, skinless Snapper, Bass or Halibut, cut into 1/2-inch dice 1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice 1 medium white onion, large dice 2 medium-large tomatoes, large dice 2 to 3 serrano chiles (may substitute 1-2 jalapeños), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish 1/3 cup chopped pitted Manzanillo olives 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional) Kosher Salt, to taste
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice 1 large or 2 small ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced Tostadas, tortilla chips or popcorn, for serving
Cherry Wood Smoking Gun™ Wood Chips
While ceviche is cooked through a process of citric acid denaturation, we note: The consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, meat, poultry, seafood or shellfish may increase your risk of food borne illness.
Step 1: In a high speed blender or covered container, smoke the lime juice with the PolyScience Smoking Gun™ for 5 minutes. Blend or whisk aggressively to incorporate smoke and lime juice.
Step 2: In a medium glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the fish, smoked lime juice and onion. Cover the fish with enough juice that it floats freely. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. “Cooked” fish will be opaque and no longer looks raw throughout.
Step 3: Gently drain in a colander.
Step 4: In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, serrano chiles, cilantro, olives and optional olive oil. Stir in the fish and season with salt. Add the orange juice. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately. Just before serving, gently stir in the diced avocado.
Step 5: Garnish and serve with tostadas, tortilla chips or popcorn. It is traditional in many places to serve ceviche with popcorn.