Sous-vide ala Thomas Keller & The French Laundry

We were fortunate enough to have been invited to lunch at The French Laundry yesterday, Thomas Keller’s California property and the West Coast mecca of gourmet sous-vide.

The two dishes which the menu advertised as using sous-vide were a Maine lobster tail and one with sunchokes sous-vide.

In both cases it was clear that Keller has a lot nicer cry-o-vac unit than my FoodSaver:-) The lobster tail piece in particular had a great shape which appeared to have been the same shape in which it was cooked (and not that it had been cut afterwards).

Both dishes, like all 40 or 50 we ate (okay, maybe 9 plus a special cake for the occassion) were insanely good. Interestingly the wait staff never used the term sous-vide and instead described the lobster as poached.



March 13, 2006. Technique.


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  6. logicalmind replied:

    In Thomas Kellers Sous Vide book he says that they have a sous vide tank that uses butter as a liquid and that’s how they cook their lobster. It’s not in a bag, but straight into butter at the precise temp.

  7. Gary Haran replied:

    In his Book Thomas Keller speaks about poaching the lobster in a beure monté. I’ve tried doing so keeping the butter at 140F and the results were outstanding.

  8. David replied:

    I’m cooking my way through Under Pressure and posting my pictures and comments on

    I hope that this info will prove useful to anyone experimenting with sous vide cooking

    • sousvide replied:

      Awesome. I found many of the recipes (and ingredients) in Under Pressure a little high-brow for what I can throw together on an average night or week, but clearly Keller is one of the leading lights of sous-vide so I’ll be checking out your results and seeing which parts I can borrow from.

  9. escoff replied:

    anyone have any idea what type of dessert can use sous vide…

    • Leigh Jones replied:

      A number of fruits and custards are well adapted to cooking sous vide. Commercially pie fillings are often prepared in a “mass” temperature-controlled vat that is essentially a sous vide technique without the plastic bags. It’s similar to the lobster preparation in butter described above.

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