Michael Bauer Hates Sous Vide

A sous-vide bath.
A sous-vide bath. Photo: Ryan Matthew Smith/Modernist Cuisine

We all know that Michael Bauer’s tastes tend to run toward the simpler-is-better end of the food spectrum, but today he launches a bold new battle cry: “Let’s ban [bad] sous vide.” The technique, now ever popular among young chefs since Thomas Keller’s Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide and Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine came out, involves cooking meats, eggs, and sometimes vegetables in a vacuum-sealed bag in a water bath in order to achieve an even temperature and texture. Bauer says he’s not really calling for an all-out ban, but insists too many chefs are misusing sous-vide cooking, resulting in “pork loin that can almost be spread like paté” and the like. Not everyone can be Thomas Keller, he implies, and speaks of some perfect sous-vide short-ribs he had once at Ad Hoc in 2006. We’re not sure what meal he had this week that prompted the rant, but clearly someone’s dish set him off. He writes, “It’s what I’ve always said: Chefs need an editor.” [Between Meals/Scoop]