Discover Irving Scott chefs with exceptional specialized skills, including expertise in working at high altitudes. Explore the unique culinary experiences offered by high-altitude restaurants, particularly in skyscraper destinations with dining options 450m above ground level. Uncover the fascinating science behind cooking meals at altitudes over 1000m above sea-level, where the preparation and flavors take on a distinctive character.
The sky as a limit
Our clients have households in destinations all over the globe whose altitude must be taken into consideration. Top-ranking gourmet cuisine is not only the reserve of Alpine resorts like Val Thorens ! Irving Scott knows of domestic service chefs in Colorado Springs, Las Vegas, Quito, Riyadh, Nairobi and Johannesburg, all successfully facing the challenges of elevated locations.
Although some chefs’ academies teach their students to bear altitude in mind from as low as 900m above sea-level, difficulties begin to become more pronounced from 1.8km above sea-level. It goes without saying that taking advice from local experts is the first step to any successful transition. For brusque changes in altitude advice abounds on what types of high-carbohydrate meals should be served to visitors upon arrival to ameliorate discomfort. Mountain sickness can be lessened by a well-planned diet delivered with care and consideration.
Timings and temperatures>
Cooking at higher altitudes presents unique challenges that chefs must consider in order to achieve optimal results. One noticeable effect is the reduced boiling point of water, which has implications for various cooking techniques. For instance, when preparing sauces, soups, or any dish with a high liquid content, the boiling point being lower means that it takes longer for these meals to cook thoroughly. This necessitates adjustments in cooking times and techniques to ensure that the desired flavors and textures are achieved.
Even when using a microwave, the impact of altitude becomes apparent. Microwaves heat food by agitating water molecules, so at higher altitudes where boiling points are lower, more time may be required for dishes cooked in the microwave to reach the desired temperature. Chefs must be mindful of this adjustment to ensure that food is properly cooked throughout.
When it comes to frying, chefs face the challenge of balancing browning and thorough cooking. Due to the lower boiling point of water at higher altitudes, fried food may brown on the outside quickly while remaining undercooked inside. This calls for careful monitoring and precise techniques to achieve the perfect balance of crispiness and doneness.
For those working with grilled meats, the impact of dry air on moisture content is a significant consideration. At higher altitudes, water evaporates more rapidly, while the grill temperature remains unchanged. As a result, chefs need to pay close attention to the moisture levels in the meats they are cooking. Careful handling and proper marination or basting techniques are essential to ensure that grilled meats retain their juiciness and do not become overly dry.
In summary, cooking at altitude requires chefs to adapt their techniques and be mindful of the unique effects caused by the lower boiling point of water and the dryness of the air. Through careful adjustments and attention to detail, skilled chefs navigate these challenges to deliver delicious and perfectly cooked meals, showcasing their expertise in overcoming the obstacles presented by cooking at altitude.
Irving Scott chefs will prepare meals rich in garlic and ginger; they will make sure portions are light yet satisfying and they will encourage the intake of water and the avoidance of alcohol during the acclimatizing stage. But rest assured that none of these factors are an impediment to our high-quality chefs providing the best meals for high-altitude dining. Contact us for more details!