TORONTO — A new high-temperature cooking film available for both foodservice and consumer use allows chefs to cook a full meal in a bag in less time than traditional cooking, while using less salt and oils and, of course, fewer dishes.
Jeff Hermsen and chef Mark Wilson demonstrated the product, called Klearcook, to the Kostuch Media team yesterday afternoon, showcasing various recipes cooked in a single Klearcook sheet, made into a bundle and tied with a string. “You’re cooking in the old French style of en Papillote, cooking under pressure. This technique has lots of advantages — using less salt, less herbs, less everything because you aren’t losing anything in an open pan into the atmosphere. It’s all staying contained,” explained Hermsen.
The material is a woven polymer made of micro-thin material that allows heat to transfer through and cook the ingredients inside. Chefs simply need to place a sheet on a clear dry work surface or bowl, place the ingredients in the centre, gather all four corners and tie. The bundle can be placed on a dry cooking sheet, onto a pan, in the microwave or in any combi oven to quickly cook the ingredients. When it is ready, the bundle can be opened by pulling or cutting open the knot and then is ready to be served. Klearcook can tolerate temperatures of up to 425⁰F.
The Klearcook generates a higher yield on proteins than traditional roasting, while preserving natural flavour and moisture. To demonstrate, the chefs added water to gnocchi and bleu cheese before tying with a string; the bundle took about five minutes to cook on a griddle. The team addressed the potential for catering events, where a bundle can be fully cooked in a combi oven, then taken out of the pouch and browned, so it can be served within a flexible time frame without altering the taste. The pre-made bundles can also be frozen, defrosted and heated to-order.
Hermsen and Wilson launched the product nearly two years ago and have begun selling it in the foodservice industry and consumer markets in Canada and the U.S. The team is currently trying to get the product into grocery stores and is working with chefs across the country and in Europe to build brand recognition.