New Year…. New You! Loose the Crock Pot & meet me in the 21st Century!


New Year… New You. Right?

Well, that’s what I’m saying. And, this time I mean it. It’s that season once again. The re-boot we all seem to simultaneously love… and hate. For me, there’s something about the new year I adore. That fresh feeling of renewal aligned with new challenge. Who doesn’t love a challenge? As a professional chef, January also supplies a small window of rest time now that the hustle of the holiday is over. Small pockets of new work-life-balance patterns emerge, allowing me just enough time to realign. I like to use this time to learn a few new culinary techniques, or to sharpen some of the old ones. Wait until you hear what I have gathered.

Late in the third quarter of 2016, I teamed up with one of the most amazing Bay Area chefs groups. San Francisco Lady Chefs. A growing group of extremely talented women, whom I feel honored to reside with. This is where I met Chef Nicole Poirier. Chef Nicole has quite an intriguing resume– and now, she is the new face of Anova Culinary. Who is Anova Culinary you might ask? Well, have I got news for you. Anova is an amazing new company that will make your life easier! They have united an age-old culinary technique of Sous Vide cooking, to modern-day technology. Nicole, well… she is a master at it! I am spending my new year perfecting the techniques I have graciously gathered while working with her during our last holiday season.

Teaching an OG New Tricks.

Ideally, just like the fashion industry, trends change in culinary arts. Todays’ advances in technology brings new and exciting changes to the table. I want to share with you my recent knowledge. Working with Chef Nicole last season, and becoming a part of the San Francisco Lady Chef’s group– has supplied me a glance of how the other generations of culinary professionals think, and work. These women are mind-blowing and on the cutting edge of what’s happening and what’s on-the-way. What each one of them is doing is big stuff. Revitalized. Breaths of fresh air — powerful, independent women brightening old techniques, making new ones, furthering development of alternative dietary focus. Many of these women are building new flavor profiles and impacting how they are leading age old societal functions, into insightful change.

I am happy to say, I am experiencing another revolutionary movement in the food industry. Many changes running about that really are changing the landscape of how people shop, cook and dine. One of them is Sous Vide cooking at home.

Anova Culinary 

Through the work and dedication of Anova’s co-founders and positioned experts like my colleague, and now dear friend, Chef Nicole- you can now take advantage of this culinary technique at home. I’m grateful that I am learning more about Sous Vide cooking for home use.

Yes. You can now Sous Vide at home, and… wait for it… Anova has a bluetooth  application so you can actually set cook time and temperature from your cell phone! I know….drop the mic! 

Set it and leave it. Your meal is cooking all while you are away from home or sleeping, or drove the kids to school and forgot about getting lunch or dinner started.

What is Sous Vide?

Are you ready? Throw out that crock pot? Get ready to cook clean and healthy without a massive cleanup. Sous vide cooking originated in France in the mid-1970’s when two chefs, Georges Pralus and Bruno Goussault, developed the technique independently. Each chef had separate use cases for using water baths to cook food, but it was Goussault who eventually developed on an industrial scale and introduced sous vide as a technique for professional chefs.

Since then, sous vide cooking has become commonplace in restaurants around the world. Goussault, in fact, helped train chefs in sous vide cooking at restaurants like Thomas Keller’s French Laundry ( Napa Valley, California )  in the early 2000’s. And we began to see a resurgence.As simple as placing your ingredients in a mason jar, or a plastic bag with aromatic vegetables and herbs. Then submerge in a water bath. Set the time and the temperature ( and with the blue tooth model you use your phone ) — it’s THAT simple. When time is up the machine holds your food at safe temperatures until it’s time to enjoy. And for those of you cooking without oils – this is perfect.

The equipment that enables precision temperature control has existed for decades, but it was far too pricy only used by culinary professionals or large hotels. Countertop systems like, Sous Vide Supreme were developed and became available in the late 2000’s, introducing consumers to sous vide cooking at home; however, the technique seemed complicated for the home cook and devices were perceived as specialty items. Not to mention a bit too bulky to stow away.

Today, Anova has taken sous vide home cooking to the next level and pioneered an affordable sous vide device for the home kitchen in the form of an immersion circulator that attach to a plastic container or stock pot. taking the consumer market by storm, sous vide is now going mainstream. Anova’s device is accessible, approachable, and easy to use. There are a few others that have followed Anova’s lead such as, Nomiku, Sansaire and Joule.

I utilize this piece of kitchen equipment to impart deep dish flavors and perfected food textures and colors. My kids even use it. Now home cooks cause reap the benefits that at one time were only available to a professional chef.

How Anova has Helped me Become a Better Parent

Chef Nicole’s Anova precision cooker is an extension of her arm. I am so amazed how easy this method of cooking is to dol so I thought I might follow suit. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with my added down time. Same feeling when my kids went off to Kindergarten. What would I do with a whole half-day without the kids?

As busy-aware parents, we need all the time we can squeeze out of a day. Well guess what. Anova is here to help. Why stand at the stove preparing a healthy meal when you can be at Soccer practice or sitting at the homework table giving your child{ren} the focused attention they need from you; while you are still able to prepare a healthy family meal. Set it and leave it. You might even think Anova saved your sanity. I know it saved mine. Now, I can keep up on all my tasks while still preparing family meal without all the added time on my feet in one spot. By the stove. We all know the kitchen is my favorite place to stand- but as a parent or caring adult, the hours between 5 and 8 pm…. well, you know.

To learn more, about Anova, check out the link on how-to here. And read Chef Nicole’s methods here, you will be stunned how easy and healthy life will be with Anova. If you have made resolutions to health and wellness this year, Anova Culinary and Chef Nicole should be in your line up.

Happy New Year!

*Photo courtesy of Chef Nicole Poirier, for Anova




Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

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