A BRIEF OF STAGE IN ITALY A brief about my training in Italy and introduction to modern innovative Italian Cuisine
The stage of fifteen days in Italy offered a rare opportunity to actually work in the kitchen of one of the finest restaurant PIAZZA DUOMO ,ALBA in PIDEMONTE REGION OF ITALY
Enumerated here is the brief synopsis of the restaurant and the valuable experience gained working there.
ABOUT THE CHEF
In the kitchen chef Crippa is rigorous perfectionist, his cuisine is based on practicality, all of the dishes are never too heavy with the focus being harmony based on the finest ingredients and presented in the most elaborate yet precise manner. If one were to ask Enrico Crippa what his objectives are he would simply respond: "the happiness of my guests is what gives me THE GREATEST PLEASURE.
The market availability remained the governing factor while designing the new menu, he also believes in using fresh flowers and herbs plucked at the time of service from the kitchen garden maintained by the chefs working in the kitchen ,overall chef goes to pluck wild herbs, mushrooms and flowers every morning in mountains surrounding the Alba region to give his food that extra freshness ,vegetables and meats are purchased at the local market every morning by the chef himself and his team and not delivered by suppliers to maintain highest standard of quality and freshness.
ABOUT THE RESTAURANT
REASTAURANT PIAZZA DUOMO ,ALBA
ONE STAR MICHELIN-32 COVERS
CUISINE CREATIVE MODERN ITALIAN FOOD
TYPE OF MENU 1(ALA-CARTE),3 SET MENUS
MENU PRICE SET MENU SERVED AT EURO300
EACH AND ALA CARTE DISHES
PRICED BETWEEN EURO85-100
NO. OF STAFF 7(KITCHEN)+4(SERVICE)+1(UTILITY)
SOUS VIDE -A powerful new cooking tool
In this session I want to introduce to you one of the most important culinary innovations of modern times and what is this great advance?
A way of heating foods precisely ,heat is the most important ingredient in cooking the one that can transform all the others into something delicious-or into something dry or dull .Its also the ingredient that has been the hardest to measure or control.
This new heating method goes by the name sous vide meaning “ under vaccum”and it involves two basic steps .first we use a vaccum packing machine to seal food tightly in plastic bag then we immerse the bag in water bath heated exactly to a optimal cooking temperature
The vaccum packed bag hugs the food , protecting it from contact with the water while transferring heat directly from the hot water.
The heart of sous vide is the controlled application of relatively low heat-just hot enough to cook the food properly ,no more .A pot of boiling water or a hot oven cooks food at a higher temperature, so that by the time the centre of the food reaches the proper temperature,the outside is at least partly over cooked .If we don’t get the timing just right meats end up dry and vegetables mush but if we heat food in water maintained at exactly the temperature we want the food itself to reach,it will end up cooked properly throught.
PRECISION OF EXECUTIUON
The fundamental advantage of sous vide is precision ,before sous vide everytime we applied heat to the food,we relied on our senses and our experience to know when the food had reached the right temperature i.e . when to stop cooking because we almost always cook food at a higher temperature then we want the food to reach.when we roast a saddle of lamb ,for example ,the cooking temperature is hundreds of degree higher than the 54.4 C we want the finished lamb to be .
With sous vide,we can cook it at 54.4 C for as long as it takes .
The degree of precision sous vide allows is extraordinary and is a reminder of how precision underlies everything we do at our restaurants. precision of craft ,precision of execution is a daily ,hourly ,minute by minute striving.
From practical standpoint precision’s goal is consistency and consistency may be the single most factor in any restaurants success, whether that restaurant is casual or a fine dining destination .consistency is taking precision of action and making it a routine..
We cannot achieve precision without repetition ,we perform a technique over and over again until it becomes a part of us, in our movements, in our muscles in the way we feel
This steak is a perfect example of cooking a meat by conventional grilling method, we want to cook it rare but its visible that the edges are already well done then the inner core is medium well then the center part of steak is rare.
Same steak cooked with sous vide technique will achieve equal doneness throughout the steak
It was indeed a great culinary experience where I got the opportunity to hone my culinary skills but also to learn and practice cuisine by chef Enrico Crippa whose emphasis is on using the freshest ingredients available ,chef shared his culinary skills about creative Italian food and always explained that no matter how creative we get but we should always stick to basics of regional cooking style and always keep the food tasty and presentable .
Implementation and responses
Implementing new cooking techniques like sous vide and others like using molecular gastronomy ingredients like IOTA ,KAPPA ,GELAN,CALCIC is been highly appreciated by eminent guests including -
MRS.Sonia Gandhi, been served garganelle pasta with green onions and asparagus appreciated by her and she praised it and likes it whenever she comes to the restaurant
Mrs ,Priyanka Gandhi tried rabbit ,veal , and pork agnolotti and now whenever she comes she likes to have these agnoloties,
Mr.omar abdhulla,Mr.Camillo Pronti,Mr.Vir Sanghvi………………. Likes to have meat cooked with sous vide techniques rather then cooked on high heat and flame
Ostrich farm where ostrich salamis and ostrich meat and eggs are produced
FASONNA BEEF PRODUCTION FARMS
Corn producing areas and corn mill
A day at the kitchen at alba starts early with the market …