testing our product

Published on by neal rosenthal.

Over the years working as a chef in a wide range of environments, I have learned, developed and mastered an array of techniques that have allowed me to prepare and serve great meals. With the launching of Channel Islands Provisioners, I have had to morph these skills to develop methods which allow them to be packaged and then served in a way that preserves the integrity of the original dish. So, we test all of our products, we modify, refine and re-test until we find just the right recipe and method. We want to ensure that the product we deliver will be easy for you to recreate the experience you would have had if I had been on board doing the cooking to order. Some dishes or methods work out better than others, and sometimes we realize that we simply cannot produce the results we want. The evolution is ongoing and very exciting for me.

Right now we are in “Local White Sea Bass” season and I thought I would share a bit of how this process works. The dish we are testing will be “White Sea Bass with Sweet Corn Broth”.

First, I prepared the Corn Broth, and since this recipe has been tested and I am happy with it, it will be a control element in this series of tests.

Next, I seared several filets, one side only and just long enough to color the fish. I have also selected several filets to just season.

I then packed into our boil-in bags the filets, the variations here are: seared w/ broth, seared no broth, seasoned w/ broth, seasoned no broth, and just for fun, seasoned with herb infused olive oil. I reserved enough Corn Broth to serve with the filets that are packed without it. I also reserved one filet to prepare as I would if cooking the dish to order

All of the test bags were frozen and then defrosted in the refrigerator (except the filet I will cook to order for the control). All of the packed fish was then cooked in the same water bath for the same length of time.

Now for the fun part! We taste, recording the results as they pertain to appearance, flavor, texture, and temperature (doneness). All are compared to the “cooked to order” filet. Only after careful testing and evaluation are the dishes offered to you. If they don’t meet our highest standards, then it’s back to testing or we don’t offer the dish and move on to develop another recipe.


the sweet corn to make the broth

filets in brine

the tasting