If you've visited our online forums, you've probably met some of the amazing members who are taking part in building and growing the Anova community of sous vide home chefs. Got a cooking question? Looking for a great new recipe? Our members are happy to help! We're actively swapping recipes, providing each other with tips and tricks, and discussing new precision cooking projects that we're working on.
We've met so many cool people in our forum and we want you to meet them as well so moving forward, we'll be posting a Community Spotlight series to shed light on some of our active and passionate community members. We invite you to learn about our members and, if you haven't already, come on by the forums and join in on the conversation!
This week, we'd like you to meet Courtney. You can find her in the forums under @cjbomb sharing recipes and results and thinking up new ways to cook with sous vide. She's a cooking pro so if you've got food-related questions, she's a great resource! She'll also be helping to lead our new recipe club - join in here to get in on this week's fried chicken recipe discussion
. So, let's begin . . .
First off, can you tell us a little about yourself and your history with cooking?
Meet Courtney from our Anova Community!
I have been cooking professionally for 20 years. I have worked in restaurants, as a caterer, as a personal chef, as a cooking instructor, a recipe developer and a food designer.
How did you learn about precision cooking?
Having worked in professional kitchens there were sometimes sous vide set-ups, but they were much too cost prohibitive for me to buy as an independent chef. I hadn't worked with the technique enough to justify the expense of buying a professional immersion circulator. A few years ago my future partner hired a molecular gastronomist to come out from New York and teach us modern techniques that were being used in the most famous kitchens around the world. Over a course of six weeks we worked with liquid nitrogen, various gels, powders and liquids and learned how to properly cook many things using the sous vide technique. My friend had invested in a more expensive home unit that had just became available on the market as well as a professional vacuum chamber sealer. We began doing dinner parties featured well-known menu items like braised short ribs, and presented them two ways -- cooked in the traditional manner, and cooked sous vide. This soon became a trademark of ours.
What lead you to choosing an Anova device?
I would stay up many sleepless nights searching eBay for used sous vide set-ups that didn't cost a mortgage payment. I stumbled onto a forum describing the new immersion circulators that were being made for the home cook. Two brands were mentioned and one wasn't out yet. Anova had just come out with their device and was doing a promo. I decided to take the risk and make the investment. I am very happy I did. I have been cooking with my unit since 2013. It has made food for 250+ to just 2.
Tell us about your Anova set-up.
I have An Anova 120v immersion circulator that I attach to a five gallon Cambro food grade tub. I have also invested in a vacuum chamber sealer.
When and why did you join the forum?
I had heard that there was now an Anova professional unit and went to check it out on the website and found the forum and the community. One can always learn from others and the Anova Community is nothing if not great at sharing information. I am thinking about writing a sous vide cookbook geared toward the home cook so the technique is much less intimidating for people, and I love hearing about people's experiences and creations.
What do you enjoy most about our forums?
I love any discussion that includes a cool recipe.
What are some of your favorite forum topics?
ANYTHING to do with food and something done in a modern way that no one has tried before.
Any awesome Anova projects you’ve done?
I have cooked everything from eggs to a whole country ham to corned beef, desserts, etc... - the list would be too long!
If your Anova was also a magic wand and you could wave it to make anyone in the world appear for a dinner you cooked with your Anova, who would it be, what would you cook, and where would you set up the table?
I would gather all of the women in my family, those still with us, and those who have passed, and cook a perfect chicken dinner. I owe my interest and love of cooking to all of those women. I would set up the table in my own dining room and we would eat and tell stories.
What is the best piece of advice you can give to someone who is just starting out on their Anova machine?
Don't be intimidated!! People are out there that love to help.
- Thank you, Courtney! We look forward to swapping recipes with you in the community forum