How tastes are made

Featured image
Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper, c. 1495–1498.

Friday, February 9, 2024. A sunny day, and not so cold yesterday in New York with the temps touching the low 50s, mid-afternoon, with the same, slightly higher today, right through the weekend.

We publish a lot of public parties on the NYSD, as you may have noticed. For all kinds of philanthropic, healthy and human interest organizations — many of which, although not all, I am familiar with.

Occasionally, we are visited by an organization which reflects the capacity of my mind. In this case, it was a matter that had to do with food and food preparation methods, in particular. I’m not a foodie per se although I respect those who are for it’s through them that we always learn and expand our taste buds. And naturally I am fascinated. It fits nicely under the topic of Good News; ah, so kind and so rare at times. Tastes good, too.

It came to us about International Sous Vide Day. Dr. Bruno Goussault, the Chief Scientist of the Culinary Research and Education Academy, celebrated his 82nd birthday at Cuisine Solutions’ (CUSI) 7th International Sous Vide Day (ISVD) on January 26th in Paris. Dr. Goussault pioneered the sous vide technique in France more than 50 years ago.

Oliver Fischer, Georges Roux, MOF, Honoris Causa, Philippe Gobet, Dr. Bruno Goussault, Patrick Ogheard, and Christian Segui.

Meanwhile, back at my keyboard: What’s going on out there while you’re busy preparing dinner or your lunch or even your breakfast? This. Something maybe you’ve never heard of. You’re not alone. I’d never heard of it. And of you’re like me, you’ve never even heard of Sous Vide. I called JH, who is decades younger my junior, and he’d not only heard of it but knew about it and the difference it makes as an excellent technique to cook meat and fish. You reading this now probably have known about this for years. Nevertheless its presence in our dietary lives is everywhere.

CUSI celebrating hosted four simultaneous celebrations in Washington D.C., Paris, France, Bangkok, Thailand, and Rio de Janeiro. Each event culminated with a happy birthday toast to Dr. Goussault.

Among CUSI’s customers are Starbucks, Amtrak, KLM, and Hilton Hotels & Resorts. The inaugural South American party was hosted in Rio, by CUSI CEO Felipe Hasselmann and Chairman Stanislas Vilgrain.

Felipe Hasselmann and Stanislas Vilgrain.

The evening was inspired by Brazilian street markets, with authentic “market stalls” placed throughout the venue. Guests included Steven Royster of the U.S. Consulate in Rio, Chef João Diamante, John Rutjes and Jacqueline Ward.

Pretinho de Serrinha.

In Paris, the event was hosted by the organizations’ CSO Gerard Bertholon at Le Pavillon Élysée Té. In the mix were Chefs Ghislaine Arabian, Frédéric Simonin, Éric Briffard, Stéphane Collet, Jean-Louis Gerin, Philippe Gobet, Guy Legay, and Michel Widehem, as well as Director of Gategroup Oliver Fischer and CUSI CMO Thomas Donohoe.

The day kicked off with an educational roundtable panel on the art of sous vide.

L. to r.: Ghislaine Arabian; Chef Sean Wheaton.
Cyril Rouquet Prévost, Gerard Bertholon, and Thomas Donohoe.

In Washington D.C., CUSI CCO Miguel Franco greeted the attendees, who were treated to tasting stations, demonstrations, glasses of the luxury Greek bubbly rose Aphrodise, and cryo-concentration Bloody Marys.

The North America Ambassador of Sous Vide Awards went to former Iron Chef judge Farmer Lee Jones and Chef Jamie Simpson. The party benefited Children of Restaurant Employees, a non-profit dedicated to providing financial relief to food employees. The day was sponsored by Fortessa Tableware.

Miguel Franco, Farmer Lee Jones, Jamie Simpson, and Nolan Popper.
Glasses of rose Aphrodise in Washington D.C.
Tasting stations in Washington D.C.

In Thailand, guests were treated to Thai sous vide dishes and live musical performances. Guests included CUSI Chief Manufacturing Exec. Jean-Pierre Guillaud and Director of Operations Asia Antoine Grelet, Head of Bangkok Air Catering Mohamad Farran, Senior VP & Head of Big C Food Place Chakhrit Masawat as well as Duangporn Songvisava (“Chef Bo”) of Bo.lan, one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Exec. Chef Pierre-André Hauss, Sr. Exec.  Chef at Marriott, Itthi Nitayaporn and Exec. Chef at LSG Sky Chefs, Fabian Fendrich.

You want more, visit

But you knew all that, already, no?

The scene at ISVD Thailand.
Passed hors d’oeuvres at ISVD Thailand.

Meanwhile that special holiday of the heart is only a couple of days away so we are providing a reminder in a special collection of Food Art by Harley Langberg. Harley, who has a day job and is also a new-ish father, has long been fascinated with the subject that he has come to fascinate and amuse us with.

He got into food art 10 years ago after viewing a food art photography exhibit at Chelsea Market (Bill and Claire Wurtzel) and was so amazed. Since that first food art he has amassed a following of almost 42,000 followers, partnered with over 75 companies and has appeared on the Today Show, in People Magazine, and a number of other media outlets.

Over this past year his daughter Blake, who is now 3 years old, has really influenced his food art. She’s into it too – although she’s wiser and more practical about it. She has helped him create pieces; and then eats most of them afterwards. Naturally he loves seeing her reactions. Makes you think this youngest generation is already onto our problems and not about to join them.

Lady and the Tramp — made using mashed potato, sliced potato, potato skins, roast chicken skins, whole wheat pasta, eggplant, pear, and turnip.

Fred and Wilma Flintstone — made using strawberries, turnip, cookie dough, orange, plum, and dried mango.

Panda — made using soup dumplings, eggplant, chili pepper, and dragon fruit.

Yoda — made using peanut butter, cocoa, kiwi, watermelon, plum, pear, and strawberries.

Kissing Giraffes —  made using mashed potato, baked potato skins, and mushrooms.

Monsters — made using purple cabbage, turnip, eggplant and red pepper.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse — made using mashed potatoes, eggplant, dragon fruit, lemon, apple, and turnip.

Heart — made using strawberries and plums.

Eggs in Love — made using hard boiled eggs, eggplant, turnip, and red pepper.

Kissing Fish — made using dried mango, dried pineapple, pear, and fruit snacks.

Pluto — dried apricots, tortilla, apple, cucumber, eggplant, prunes, and turnip.

Keith Haring, made using assorted candies.

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