The Culinary Vegetable Institute Values its Irinox Partnership
The Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef’s Garden is the farm’s world class educational, research and event facility designed to inspire every person who walks through its doors.
“We wouldn’t be able to achieve that mission,” Chef Jamie Simpson says, “if it wasn’t for our partners. The only way that we can remain state of the art is when we have access to the best of the best, up to date, cutting edge equipment. Really, the Culinary Vegetable Institute is a working showroom for manufacturers, who allow us to do what we do.”
“Blanching and shocking,” Jamie says, “allows us to preserve the color of food and its texture. We use MultiFresh blast chilling for our vegetables. For salmon. For sauces. For nuts and seeds. For butter. It’s truly incredible.”
“From a culinary perspective,” Jamie shares, “technology can do the heavy lifting, which means we’re able to do a lot with a small team. In fact, the Irinox keeps working while we’re sleeping.”
For example, Jamie and his team could season a whole rib eye and then sear it hard, until nicely browned. Put it in the Irinox and slow cook at a low temperature where it will safely and automatically cool when predetermined temperatures are met. The next day, Jamie can slice the rib eye for delicious sandwiches. “The Irinox MultiFresh,” he adds, “is much more than a residential refrigerator.”
More Irinox in Action
Chefs naturally have an interest in temperature control. Historically, that has meant elevating them above room temperature for heating or cooking food. “For the first time,” Jamie says, “we’re able to control temperatures in the down direction, meaning below room temperature. This can range from slightly cool to cold to half frozen (or semifreddo) to frozen to negative 40 degrees.”
Here are three examples of how the Culinary Vegetable Institute uses this technology.
“Making laminated dough is a long and brutal process, so much so that very few people make it anymore. Instead, they buy ‘puff pastry’ that’s made for scale and cost,” Jamie says. “In fact, before Irinox, I hated making it, despite the fact that it’s the great ingredients that make it taste so wonderful—and mass-produced puff pastries don’t use those great ingredients.”
The time sensitive, labor intensive process of making laminated dough involves 270 layers of dough that’s created through folding, cooling, folding, cooling. “With Irinox, manageable efficiencies make this dish doable,” Jamie says. “Then you can bake it whenever you’d like and serve. When quality ingredients are used, you can just serve as is because the flavor is wonderful.”
Tempering chocolate is a labor of love—and Irinox can transform the process of making deliciously marvelous bon bons into one that’s streamlined with incredibly delicious results. The video in this post focuses on PVC-cast bon bons lined with acetate and dark chocolate. Then, Jamie piped in a mixture of beets, poppy, roses, and black cardamom—finished it all off with blue poppy.
Preservation is a way of life for the Culinary Vegetable Institute and we can safely preserve our braised greens without worry using a pasteurization process. We use produce from the farm, including kale, mustards, and arugula, along with bacon, also from the farm. Other ingredients include sweet onion, vinegar, barrel-aged hot sauce, and stock.
“Right now,” Jamie says, “we’ve got 55 gallons of cherry vinegar that we made and will bottle and sell. The flavor wasn’t intense enough, so I’m using Irinox to take it to the next level, with the result being a concentrated, deeply rich, sweet vinegar that’s amazing. We will lean on the work of chef Bruno Gassault for this and explore what he calls ‘cryoconcentration,’ the process of concentrating flavors without the addition of heat.”