Why Yannick Alléno Is A Big Fan Of The Sous Vide Method

World-renowned French chef Yannick Alléno is one of the most prominent proponents of the sous vide method of cooking. Sous vide, which means "under vacuum" in French, refers to cooking vacuum-sealed food in a water bath set to the precise temperature at which it is meant to be served. 

"By taking the product away from the destructive fire, we let it develop its purest flavors, without any ... material addition [other] than water," the current chef-owner of five Michelin-starred restaurants in France and Abu Dhabi told Sous Vide Magazine.

In 2005, the sous vide method was just starting to catch on among foodies and home chefs. But Alléno, born in 1968, had been using and grooving on the method since the 1990s, when he worked with sous vide pioneer Roland Durand, who learned the technique from its founder, Dr. Bruno Goussault, another of Alléno's teachers. Indeed, for over a decade, Alléno and Goussault have been leveraging the sous vide method in a bid to revolutionize French cuisine through precision saucing.

Alléno's revolutionizing of French cuisine begins with sous vide

"Sauce is the heart and soul of French cuisine," Yannick Alléno told the Michelin Guide in 2019. "It is time we brought it back to make French cuisine great again." That labor of love is precisely what he and chef and food scientist Dr. Bruno Goussault have been collaborating on for more than a decade. In 2013, leveraging the fundamentals of sous vide cooking, the two came up with their patented flavor extraction process, which they refer to using the trademark, "Extraction." 

It begins with cooking the food using the sous vide method, Alléno told Sous Vide Magazine. The rendered liquid is then subjected to the "extraction" process, meaning it's frozen and spun in a centrifuge to concentrate the flavors further. The resulting "extraction" then forms the basis of various sauces, sometimes in combination with one another. The outcome is a significant step above traditional sauces made using what Alléno refers to as the fire-driven, high-heat "evaporation" method. These sauces are "lighter, tastier, and healthier than traditional sauces," according to Alléno.

"Thanks to the sous vide technique, we put ourselves at the product's service," Alléno told Sous Vide Magazine, "and we can truly master cooking using the right temperature." Although Extraction is not available to home cooks at this time, you can work on approximating its results through this sous vide temperature trick.