December 1, 2013
Everyone who’s ever used sous-vide equipment understands the problem: the food comes out looking wan and rather sickly. The solution has always been a blow torch, which gives pale food a lovely tan. But there’s a problem: torches were invented to weld metal, not cook food, and they impart an unpleasant flavor known as "torch taste". Enter the Searzall. It turns an ordinary blowtorch into a fine piece of cooking equipment.
When Dave Arnold, founder of Booker and Dax, was teaching sous vide technique at the French Culinary Institute, he set out to solve the torch taste problem. His Searzall is still in the testing process, but prototypes have been tested by an impressive number of chefs, starting with David Chang and his team at Momofuku and going on to:
- Wylie Dufresne of WD-50 and Alder
- Nathan Myhrvold and the Modernist Gang
- Paul Adams Online and Food Editor from Popular Science
- Nils Noren from Red Rooster
- Mark Ladner from Del Posto
- Michael Natkin, popular vegetarian cookbook author
- Daisuke Nakazawa of Nakazawa Sushi
- Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern
Now there’s a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project. Kick in $65 and you can offer your friends the very first Searzalls off the assembly line. The final product’s not due until June, but if you pledge by December 15 you’ll get a special holiday card to send your friends the good news.
Of course, if you're looking to really impress somebody, you might want to up the ante. For $1000 your friends can jump the line with one of the hand-made pre-production prototypes that will go out in January. (That also gives them the privilege of becoming part of the feedback team.) And for $5000? A day in the Booker and Dax lab with Mr. Searzall himself, Dave Arnold.
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