How to cook Sous-vide by Michelin-star chef

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sous-vide cooking is well established in professional kitchens but with domestic sous-vide equipment increasingly available we asked double Michelin-star chef, Lionel Rigolet, to talk us through the new technique.

A dish created using the Sous-Vide process

A dish created using the Sous-Vide process

Sous-vide explained

Sous-vide, which literally translates as ‘under vacuum’, is a way of cooking slowly at low temperature. The temperature is maintained precisely by immersing food, sealed in plastic, into temperature-controlled water in a ‘bain-marie’.

Rigolet, award-winning chef of Comme Chez Soi in Brussels, visited Constance Ephélia and Constance Lémuria recently to host a series of dinners and seminars to promote the sous-vide technique. He explains that the advantage of this kind of cooking is that the quality of all the ingredients is maintained.

How to cook using sous-vide

Rigolet says, ‘For sous-vide cooking the vacuum packs need to be well maintained. When placing them into the bain-marie the packs must be fully submerged with sufficient space between each pack to allow the water to surround it.’

Average cooking times

  • Roast beef (350g) – 17 mins at 65ºC then seared for 2 mins in the pan
  • Salmon (200g) – 13 mins at 50ºC then serve immediately
  • Chicken Breast (180g) – 20 mins at 65ºC then seared for 2 mins in the pan

Food that’s suitable for sous-vide cooking

Everything from meat, fish and vegetables can be cooked this way. Rigolet explains, ‘All meat can be cooked sous-vide including meat with the bone, although it is advised to use a special plastic to avoid any perforations or leaks. Of course, the thicker the meat, the longer the cooking duration.’

Seasoning sous-vide food

‘The traditional seasoning method applies to sous-vide cooking,’ says Rigolet. ‘The majority of marinades contain either vinegar, fruit juice, babeurre or yogurt, the only ingredient which could be an issue during the sous-vide cooking is wine.’

Storing sous-vide food

Because the food is vacuum sealed, says Rigolet, ‘the rule of thumb is that sous-vide packaging has a conservation period of three times longer than other products kept in the fridge’. But he warns that it is important to know each of the ingredients included in a pack as these may go off at different times.

Read more

  • For more information on cooking sous-vide including how to cook the perfect steak visit
  • Find out more about Gault Millau Chef of the Year 2007, Lionel Rigolet, on the Comme Chez Soi website.


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