Cutting-edge chefs like Chicago's Grant Achatz, Charleston's Sean Brock, and New York's Wylie Dufresne, and many others would talk about what they were playing with, and how they used different times and temperatures for different proteins.
In 2005, sous vide started to really pick up. Joan Roca, a chef in Spain, wrote a book about sous vide that arrived in the U.S. that year (with a slightly rocky translation). Chef Grant Achatz’s restaurant, Alinea, also opened—sous vide circulators included. Chef and inventor Dave Arnold began to teach low-temperature cooking classes at the French Culinary Institute.
“Cryovacking, which is more often called sous vide (French for “under vacuum”), is poised to change the way restaurant chefs cook,” wrote Amanda Hesser for the New York Times in a 2005 story called “Under Pressure.” “And like the Wolf stove and the immersion blender, it will probably trickle down to the home kitchen someday.”
In 2006, Dufresne battled Mario Batali on Iron Chef America; it was the first time sous vide circulators were seen on TV. The demand only grew from there.
The move into home kitchens has also been slow, and largely due to the influx of sous vide circulators with a lower price point, as professional devices cost over $1,000. In 2009, Sous Vide Supreme debuted as the first circulator for less than $500. In 2012, another sous vide circulator company called Nomiku launched, and they started selling machines for $359. In 2016, ChefSteps released their own circulator, called the Joule, for just $199. (In 2017, we named the Joule our top pick for the home cook.)