Week 4(1)

I’m jumping ahead in time here, because it’s really week 41 since ChefSteps launched, and weeks 40 and 39 just kind of disappeared into the abyss and now we’re looking at week 41 and there’s a ton of stuff to highlight:

Michael was hard at work on getting Beta testing up on some User-created Recipes — If you’re interested in being a beta-tester, please let him know. More at the forum. He was also hard at work on gallery pages which have gotten some UI upgrades: You can now filter by recipe skill level (easy/intermediate/hard) and any new content on the site at all is accessible through this page — just hit “any” in the filter and you should see everything from newest to oldest.

Google Chrome

Huy was busy with getting a nice upgrade to profiles: Notifications show up if anything you’ve uploaded has been starred or commented on by other users as a badge up in the top right, and in your timeline, we call those things out with a little “new” badge as well. Pretty sweet. He’s also working on some yet-to-be-released new homepage stuff, so keep on the lookout.

Another big feature from Huy: Uploads now have integrated commenting, so that you don’t have to log in to Disqus in order to comment on other people’s uploads. Here’s a few nice uploads folks have done to get you started: Baselerd’s Salmon 104, Xavi Meros Asencio’s Cod brandade gnocchi, Jeff Minuk’s delicious looking Pomme Rösti with poached egg. Go ahead and click through and comment away; these dishes are really beautiful so kudos to those folks that have uploaded.

I did some work on the About page, which got a little facelift and introduces you to the team and links out to the jobs page, which, I should mention: We’re looking for some help! Check out the open positions. You could be here!:

I also revamped the footer to get everything organized a little bit more and to better emphasize the main areas of the site. We’ll get around to doing this for the main navigation too, once we get a few other awesome new features sorted out.

Lastly, we also made it easier to share links for recipes and things out to others by just clicking the email button in the share panel below the videos. Please share liberally! We’ve got some more great things coming up soon from both the content and website worlds. Stay tuned!


Weeknote 2

Hey we missed a weeknote, but that’s because we were super-busy last week getting things ready for spherification, which we rolled out on Monday! I’m going to let Chris Young do the heavy-lifting on talking about the spheres course sometime soon, but for now, just wanted to highlight a few things from the design-side that we introduced along with the new course.

Hey, look at my profile! Lots of new features on this page:

  • A new bio picture for you to upload your photo and make the site a little more community-oriented.
  • Badges – We have two so far with plenty more coming. It’s a fun thing to do for us, and we have lots of ideas of new ones to come. I modeled the knife for the Stay Sharp badge after one of Grant’s knives. It’s pretty badass.
  • Course progress – Any course you enroll in from now on should show up here and if you leave the course in the middle of it, just go back to your profile to pick up where you left off. Should be handy for the longer courses (looking at you, sous vide).
  • Uploads – If you’ve finished the spherification course already (or you look at the course landing page where we highlight student creations), you’ll notice that we’re now offering the ability for you good folks to show off the delicious nosh you’ve been making. You can also like everyone’s photos there and comment! I noticed Brendan has even pushed a recipe into the uploads… Nice one.
  • Timeline – Just to show all the activity you’ve done on the site and when you joined! Obviously, as we add more features, those events will be captured here and we hope to be able to give you a good place to see all the things you (and your buddies on ChefSteps) have been up to.

Oh yeah, you’ve probably also noticed those billboards. We’ve got the new one for the spheres on the front page with spheres dropping. I think it’s pretty sweet and kind of mesmerizing; I’ll be staring at it all weekend.

Phew. A lot of stuff. It’s been a great week, guys. Hope you thought so too. More excitement next week. Have a good one!

Weeknote 1 – The Salazar Report

Another week here at ChefSteps and there’s a lot of new stuff going on. First of all: We made our goal for the t-shirts! Thanks to everyone for buying one (or three). If you missed out, don’t fret—it’s possible it’ll make a comeback someday if you demand it. And you will. Oh yes, you will. <whisper>chefsteps!</whisper>

We’re working on some big things coming up in the next couple of weeks—stay tuned! In the meantime, we’ve had a lot of good recipes come through, more than I can recall and more than I actually got to taste, but I can’t reiterate enough how damn good the fish and chips were. The fries alone are amazing and I kept eating them even though they were over-salted for the camera. Do yourself a favor and make some.

The view from my desk

Since I came on as a designer here, I’ve been trying to familiarize myself with the store, make it easier to navigate and add some fun stuff that we find useful. If there’s anything that we’re using that you’re curious about, please ask us. We’re working on sourcing some other things that are hard to find, so keep an eye out for that as well.

Another thing I’ve been working on: Did you know you can scale recipes on our recipe pages? Click on any recipe and you can click into any quantity and change it and everything will scale automatically with it. It’s a little-known feature right now, and we’ve been working hard at making it more obvious and at the same time unobtrusive and useable.

Hey folks, have a good weekend and enjoy the holiday (for those in the States). See you next week!

We’re Back!

A new day, a new design. Hi, everybody. I’m Tim and I do design here at ChefSteps. I took a couple days to clean up the blog design over here so figured I’d might as well throw a new post up as well. As you can probably tell, we’ve been working on a lot of new things over on the main ChefSteps.com site as well over the past few weeks: features, designs, and improvements. We are stoked and ready to go, we have a ton more stuff we’d like to roll out soon!

We’ve been doing a lot of experiments on the website, and we’ll be doing more to test and see what you guys find most helpful (Also, please tell us!). If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback about the website, we’d love to hear it. In the meantime, enjoy the minimalist quiet of our new blog design!

We like to go around and whisper chefsteps! every once in a while; it’s really fun to say and I think it’s a great way to inception ourselves into the public. Try it! Go ahead, I’ll wait.


One last thing: We have a t-shirt! We’re selling it at teespring.com/chefsteps and are so close to our goal! It ends tomorrow, so please spread the word! Thanks!