The web is full of information about ingredients. All you have to do is search for smoked paprika or maitake mushrooms and you’ll find sheafs of information. So why did we decide to launch our own ingredient wiki at ChefSteps?
Well, as enthusiastic cooks we run into the same problems over and over again: the information we find on the web isn’t necessarily food-centric, it isn’t well structured, it is too commercial, and it isn’t always reliable. Even Wikipedia, as great as it is, often bogs down into botanical or pharmaceutical details that don’t help much in the kitchen.
Our ingredient wiki is designed by cooks, for cooks. Each entry connects to recipes that use it, and to other ingredients that are frequently used with it. Text sections describe relevant culinary information, such as alternative names, purchasing tips, and seasonality.
The best part? This is an opportunity for you to contribute your time, knowledge or skills. You don’t have to be an expert to help! Of course we are delighted if you are an asparagus-savant and want to write a complete article about it. But we are just as happy if you will take a moment to:
- add just a sentence or two,
- copyedit what someone else has written,
- add a photograph,
- add a weight to the Volume Conversion section,
- or simply tag the article as “vegetable” and “Spring”
If everyone contributes just a little, this could quickly become a comprehensive, dynamic ingredient resource that benefits cooks around the world.
To get involved, simply sign in (or sign up) with your free ChefSteps account, and visit the ingredient gallery. You can browse, search the gallery by name, or sort it to find recently added or edited ingredients that you might want to work on. You can also click through from the ingredient list in any recipe on the site. Don’t see the ingredient you want to write about? Just click on “Add Ingredient” at the top of the gallery and get to work!
Here are some examples of articles that already have quite a bit of content, so you can see what the possibilities are: chickpeas, xanthan gum, garlic.
If you have suggestions about how we can make our new tool better, we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, and about that contest! Anyone who edits any ingredient entry between now and January 15th, 2014 (11:59 PM, Pacific time) is automatically entered to win. We’ll pull names out of a hat and give away free enrollment into a paid ChefSteps class to three lucky winners. (Winners can choose from our French Macarons or Whipping Siphons classes, or wait for the next one we publish.) The contest is over now; congratulations to our winners Marco, Marc, and Diana and thanks to everyone who contributed. Keep those ingredient wiki entries coming!