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French chef Yannick Alléno (pictured left alongside his executive chef Sébastien Lefort) today presented a new technique for making sauces to a packed crowd of journalists and culinary students at the Sunrice Global Chef Academy in Singapore.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s ceremony of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Alléno presented an entirely new way of creating sauces that he calls 'extractions' - something he’s been working on for over two years.
The basic technique involves first 'extracting' liquids from ingredients by cooking them alongside water using Sous Vide. The liquid that is released by the ingredients is then removed and filtered as with any traditional stock. Cooking times vary massively depending on the ingredient with Alléno saying that he sometimes does up to 500 extractions at different times and temperatures before finding the optimum flavour.
The exciting part comes when it’s time for reduction, with the chef using a technique called cryoconcentration. This involves taking the extracted liquid and adding it to a sorbet style ice before it’s spun very quickly in a centrifuge. The liquid is drained and the ice that remains in the centrifuge plays a similar role to that of steam in traditional heat reduction - a sort of cold evaporation.
Jérusalem artichoke, mushroom, celeriac sauces:
This cryoconcentration process is repeated a number of times depending on the ingredient, how deep the flavour needs to be and the personal preference of the chef. The mushroom extraction for example is spun twice before the it's ready - only very low and slow heat is applied during the initial Sous Vide extraction with the chef warning the crowds not to take the extracted sauces and heat them too high before serving because high heat will kill the mineral rich flavour of the sauces.
The crowd asked many questions with a number of culinary students visibly excited by what Alléno was presenting. It’s a new step in the world of sauce and one that reduces the traditional use of lots of fat and salt because the natural flavouring of the extracted sauces are so high in minerality.
Alléno says this process can be used for vegetables, meat and fish and that a number of experiments have already been done with extracting sweet sauces for desserts. The idea is to make a number of sauces this way before blending them together to create entirely new sauces.
Stay tuned for more as we bring you an interview with the chef as he explains the process, why he developed it and how it might be used in the future.