Parlez-vous français?

While French cooking techniques and sauces are classic and time-tested, it can be a bit intimidating if you didn't do so well (like me) in HS French or didn't graduate from the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) like Chef Cipolla.  For the current menu, Sous-vide and Béchamel are worth knowing.

Sous-vide (translation = "under vacuum") is a method we use where food is sealed in airtight bag then placed in a water bath for many hours at a highly regulated temperature (137.5 °F for example). The technique allows an item to cook evenly and perfectly while retaining moisture.  When Chef uses sous-vide for vegetables like celery or bok choy they are transformed from crunchy and stringy to tender and buttery.  Our Sous-vide machine sits just behind the plating counter shown below.

Sous-Vide machine - the temp of the water bath is precisely controlled and the ingredient is in a vacuum sealed bag.

Sous-Vide machine - the temp of the water bath is precisely controlled and the ingredient is in a vacuum sealed bag.

Béchamel is one of the 5 "Mother Sauces" in French Cuisine.  It is a white sauce made from butter, flour and milk and named after a financier who held the honorary post of chief steward to King Louis XIV.  King Louie was apparently a big fan of the sauce when expertly prepared (like me) and one can only assume that failure in preparation resulted in a low life expectancy.  Given its history, Chef's Béchamel & Hake feels like a fish fry & tartar sauce for the rich and famous!