Talking with a three star Michelin (French) chef can be interesting, informative and especially when he’s grand chef Emmanuel Renaut from the Haute Savoie. Here nature intersects his kitchen from all side and the chef is outside almost as much as he’s inside.
The idea of smoking is not as easy as it looks. While it is true I am used to smoking in my own kitchen with my Helia smoker, getting it right is another thing. I posted this on smoking in February 2014.
The idea of smoking is somewhat sophisticated and has a long history dating back to cavemen. The advent of modern transportation made it easier to transport food products over long distances and the need for the time and material intensive heavy salting and smoking declined.
Smoking became more of a way to flavor than to preserve food. In 1939 a device called the Torry Kiln was invented at the Torry Research Station in Scotland. They set up a research station in Torry, Aberdeen to carry out R&D into fish preservation due to growing concern surrounding the loss of thousands of tons of fish annually through decay.
The kiln allowed for uniform mass-smoking and is considered the prototype for all modern large-scale commercial smokers. Although refinements in technique and advancements in technology have made smoking much easier, the basic steps involved remain essentially the same today as they were hundreds if not thousands of years ago.