If you hang around nerdy food sites like Serious Eats like I do, you might have heard of this thing called sous-vide cooking. So when I saw Matt link to a story about the Joule home sous-vide machine, I was interested. When I saw that Gabe Newell—of Half Life fame—was involved, I was even more interested. I especially loved that Newell’s son really got the ball rolling:
Two years ago, Newell purchased an auction item at his son’s middle school that turned out to be a dinner for 10 cooked by Chris Young (now ChefSteps CEO) and ChefSteps’ Grant Crilly… “They came over and it was easily the best food I’d ever had,” Newell says. “Spectacular in its design and execution.” It was looking like just another memorable experience when Newell’s 11-year-old son decided, after seeing Young and Crilly in the kitchen, he needed to have the Modernist Cuisine cookbooks. “It was his bedside reading for six months. Even though, up until then, he’d never been interested in cooking at all, he suddenly decided he wanted to be a chef,” Newell says. “And when I talked to him, he was talking about it like an engineer talks about it, he was talking about trade offs and fundamental principles and thermodynamics…”
Newell’s son’s enthusiasm inspired him to start a dialogue with Young and Crilly, who were then just launching ChefSteps. The three men talked the same language, Newell notes. “They talked to me like a scientist, like an engineer, and this isn’t how I thought people in the cooking world talked. These guys are cooking nerds. And the science is super interesting. Their understanding of what’s going on in the experience of cooking resonated with my experiences in the world of creating entertainment.
Unfortunately the Joule is only available for pre-order in the USA, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled. I’ve heard good things about Nomiku, too.