This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending Cherry Bombe Jubilee, a day-long celebration of women in food, in New York City. Among the esteemed participants was one person in particular I was very excited to hear speak: Nigella Lawson.
Turns out, Nigella is exactly as lovely and smart in person as she comes across on TV. She's also extremely quotable (see: 10 Quotes from Nigella to Make You Stand Up and Cheer). Between sharing her philosophy on home cooks vs. chefs and her thoughts on guilty pleasures, she also casually mentioned the one kitchen tool she'd never use.
Can you guess what it is?
The One Tool You'll Never Find in Nigella Lawson's Kitchen
A sous vide machine! In case you're not familiar, sous vide simply means "under vacuum" in French. The process involves vacuum-sealing food in plastic pouches before cooking in a temperature-controlled water bath using a tool called an immersion circulator.
More on Sous Vide
Proponents of sous vide laud its ability to take the guessing and worrying out of cooking and bring food to a precise, optimal temperature. But there's one big issue with sous vide that doesn't jive with Nigella's home-cooking ethos.
Why Nigella Doesn't Cook Sous Vide at Home
Critics of sous vide cooking feel that the process is a bit too ... sterile. And it seems Nigella agrees. When waxing on the joys of home cooking, Nigella shared that one of the reasons she loves cooking is because it's tactile and tangible. To her, sous vide is too divorced from the pleasures that come with cooking at home — the sizzle of bacon as it hits a pan, the smell of onions caramelizing on the stove, to name a few.
She didn't knock the method entirely, but noted that it's just not something she's interesting in bringing into her home-cooking repertoire anytime soon — which makes sense for someone who is known for treating cooking as a sensual experience!
Where do you stand? Do you cook sous vide at home?