Classical Cooking Methods

For those of us in the culinary field – whether owner, operator or chef – remaining current and competitive in our field must never come at the sacrifice of value or quality. Consider French and Italian cooking methods as a surefire way to ensure attention to detail and method. While some may consider these cuisines to be dated and predictable, cooking styles like Sous vide and En Papillote can take even the most modern food to another level.

Sous vide has been making a comeback and is well known for slow-cooking ingredients in a vacuum-sealed bag in a water bath. A critical component of the modernist cooking movement sous vide was actually in wide use back in the late eighties and early nineties. It has always been an expensive process so wide mainstream acceptance has not come yet. In our current time, this cooking method may make a big resurgence as we will be looking to reduce labor and improve safety.

Sous vide yields results that are not typically attained through any other cooking method. Slow cooking, under vacuum, at exact temperature results in meats that are moist, juicy, and unbelievably tender. Sous vide is also quite practical as it cuts down on food waste by preventing drying and shrinkage. It also requires less attention, eliminating the worry of over-cooking, and giving chefs more flexibility in the kitchen.

En Papillote, another method that has been around a long time involves enclosing food in parchment paper, creating a steaming effect. To truly get the most out of the En Papillote method, wrap food with flavorful vegetables and herbs to infuse the meal. This is an easy way to add flavor without excess salt, sugar, or fat. Many chefs also praise the ease of preparing multiple parts of the meal in one simple package, resulting in less preparation and easy clean-up. Guests are delighted at the presentation of their meal, served in a paper “wrapping”.

Two prime cooking methods; Sous vide and En Papillote allow proteins to cook in their own juices and vegetables to yield an amplified flavor. With consistent quality, they bring both intensity and practicality that is unsurpassed. What a fantastic way to exceed customer expectations and benefit the operation of your restaurant!

Simply stated: Sous vide is an exceptional way to cook with precision, while En Papillote uses moisture to create a steaming effect while infusing flavors into a meal.

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Tony Lagana

Chef Tony is a 42-year veteran of the food industry and is often known by his peers as “The New Product Guru.” Throughout his illustrious culinary career, he’s earned several notable titles and positions including Acquisition International’s “Most Influential Product Development Expert, U.S.” in 2019.

In 1997, Tony also founded Culinary Systems Inc., a group of culinary consultants that assist with culinary training, restaurant start-ups, concept development, and more. Since then, Tony and his team have generated over two billion dollars in sales for their clients in restaurants, retail, and manufacturing.

The strategic, technical, and culinary skills of Tony and his team can be seen on the menus of national chains, in the portfolio of national food manufacturers, and on the grocery shelves of products produced by major retail companies.