Sous vide equipment keeps the Prime Minister well fed

Graham Howarth, head chef, Chequers Estate

Sous vide equipment is becoming an increasingly popular sight in commercial kitchens – and it’s now emerged that it’s the preferred cooking method for the team that keeps the Prime Minister and her guests fed.

Kitchen staff at the Chequers Estate in Buckinghamshire, the country residence of the British PM, have seen the efficiency of their catering operation improve since bringing sous vide systems into the business.

Chequers’ head chef, Graham Howarth (main picture), first introduced sous vide cooking to the estate around four years ago, primarily to tackle the delays at service time during banqueting. He turned to supplier Sous Vide Tools after being attracted by its website and the promise of quick delivery.

“I think that, as chefs, we had sold ourselves on the idea of using sous vide after several delays in meal service,” Howarth explained. “I purchased our first few pieces of equipment and, after a few weeks of trial and error – mainly error – we booked onto a Sous Vide Tools training day.

“Today we use sous vide for everything, meats, fish, vegetables and fruits. I love the benefits of many sous vide items, but pork ribs are great. The biggest benefit though, has to be the fact that we can hold expensive cuts of meats through long delays without fear of spoilage.”

Employing sous vide has given the Chequers team the flexibility that was previously lacking, which Howarth insists is “a must” in such a busy environment.

Having seen the benefits it has brought to Chequers, he said the concept was “clearly a winner”.

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