Packaged Protein Solutions Allow Creativity
in Corporate Kitchens
According to the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, it seems that the hottest trend in dining is just about anything “taken to the next level.” Creative twists on everything from ethnic cuisine to American classics appear to keep the foodies coming in droves. And why not? Putting a unique spin on a familiar recipe appeals to the desire for both comfort and adventure, all on one plate.
Bottom-Line Benefits Are in the Bag
Though creativity may be the calling card for food cart mavericks and celebrity chefs, food service culinary experts have to keep many plates spinning at once. They must factor prep time, product yields, and repeatability across multiple locations into every menu item. Sous vide style meat products let restaurant chain development chefs introduce a wide variety of new and on-trend flavor profiles without losing focus on the bottom line.
Most restaurateurs know — although their customers may not — that center-of-the-plate entrees, “slow-cooked for upwards of 18 hours” is a marketable way to position cooked-in-bag, or sous vide style beef, pork, and poultry. The sous vide technique improves moisture retention and offers 100-percent yield. Wholesale meat cuts, supplied fully cooked in the sous vide manner, also help chefs get their creative juices flowing.
“Pre-packaged sous vide style protein products let back-of-the-house chefs quickly and consistently replicate scratch cooking, which allows more time to devote to the creative aspects of menu development,” said Chris Warsow, Corporate Executive Chef for Bell Flavors & Fragrances, a worldwide supplier of flavoring ingredients for the food industry.
Wholesale Meat Suppliers Drive Product Development
Chef Warsow works with on-staff culinary experts at meat processing companies like Bridgeview, Ill.-based Stampede Meat to develop seasoned and prepared protein solutions that help food service chefs take their own menus to the next level. He explained how custom meat processors can help restaurants inspire new recipes with full-flavored sous vide proteins that are easily finished on site:
- Since the temperature and moisture used in sous vide cooking prevents the Maillard reaction, or caramelization, from occurring, adding rich flavors to the bag creates the same effect without the need to pre- or post-sear.
- Caramelized meat and vegetable notes added before cooking infuse made-from-scratch flavor throughout the protein.
- Bright flavors, such as citrus and fresh herbs, remain intact during the long, slow cooking process.
- Rendered tallow and roasted beef or pork notes mimic the rich flavors of roasts and prime rib.
- Intense flavors, such as garlic, orange, and achiote, make ethnic recipes taste more authentic.
- Low-cal, low-carb, and low-sodium flavors help to meet the demand for healthy foods.
Chef Warsow recommends that restaurants partner with a meat supplier who will collaborate with them to customize recipe selections and capitalize on industry trends. Ready for any line cook to quickly finish in the oven or on the flat top or grill, sous vide style meat products give chefs an excellent base to create signature entrees, sandwiches, and sides that are consistently perfect every time — saving time and money in corporate kitchens.
Family dining, bar and grill, fast casual and casual dining segments all struggle to differentiate themselves in a competitive market. Custom meat processing, sous vide style, offers them creative food for thought to drive menu item development.
This is the third in a series of articles about sous vide cooking for casual restaurant market segments.