Weeknote 3

Hi guys, UX Design here again. The weeks keep going by too fast! Missed another weeknote, so I’m going to break it down for you quickly:

I started working on new nav paradigms for the site. Many thanks to the folks that have already participated in the card sort I put up last week. I got some great feedback and we’ll be updating the nav someday soon.

I’m running my first usability test this week and will be doing more soon, I hope. If you are interested in participating (remotely or otherwise), please get in touch – Leave a comment, tweet, forum post, door-knock, whatever. We really have some exciting stuff we need help testing to get right for our users, and your help would be awesome.

We launched poutine! I also made a poutine badge, which I like very much. You can’t imagine the amount of time it took me to get the fries to look right. Shout-out to Emmett for some refinement help.

poutine-02

The poutine course is pretty great. It’s using the same course structure we established with Spherification and we’re hoping to use this same structure for courses going forward. Our aim on these course pages is to be able to encapsulate the recipes and science with more structure and narrative, so you can get through and be linked to the forum easily from any page to ask questions.

I’ve made the fries twice now, and if anyone is considering doing it, just do it already. It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s not really, the hardest part for me is finding enough counter space to lay out all the fries after the water bath. I don’t have an immersion circulator, so just used a pot and a thermometer. I performed the brine test, which was fun, and substituted light corn syrup in lieu of Glucose Syrup, which has a little vanilla in it that maybe I could taste a little bit, but also probably just in my head as well (my palate ain’t that good).

More good stuff: You can favorite/like any recipe or technique we have on the site now, and you’ll be able to have those show up in your profile for safe-keeping. Use it to keep track of recipes that you want to cook later or have cooked and would like to cook over and over again.

The last big thing I’d like to mention, is that we’ve enabled uploads for all recipes! I uploaded the fish & chips I made a while back, and if I hadn’t fallen completely flat on the pomme rösti I tried to make yesterday, would have uploaded that one, too. You guys should really start uploading your pics, it’s a lot of fun.

My timeline on my profile is getting kind of ridiculous. We’re working on it.

Cheers! Have a great week.

Why Sous Vide Makes Life Easier

We’d like to introduce you to Nima Mojgani. A longtime friend of two of the ChefSteps’ founders, Nima is best described as a typical 20-something city-dweller. Eating out most nights on Capitol Hill in Seattle, and cooking only sporadically for his girlfriend, Nima never showed any interest in trying any of the ChefSteps techniques for himself – thinking it would be out his rudimentary culinary reach.

So last week, we gave him instructions to make his favorite meal – steak – but rather than cooking the dish his normal way, we gave him a five minute starter course on how to do it sous vide style and this is what he had to say:

“I’m not a bad cook, per se – but not a good one, either. What surprised me most about sous vide was really how simple it was. I didn’t need to watch the steak as it cooked – which is huge because normally I stress about when to flip it over or cover the pan or when take it off the stove so that it’s medium rare. I could have literally sat back and hammered out two games of Call of Duty on the Xbox while it was cooking. Worst case scenario, the steak might have changed a shade of reddish pink while I was cooking.

I thought I’d need expensive equipment and was expecting I’d need vacuum seal bags like the ones on those infomercials – but a regular zip-lock did the job. My small apartment normally didn’t smell like steak afterwards and I didn’t have to marinate anything before. Normally I’m a bit fearful of spending any more than $10-15 on a good cut of meat when I’m cooking it myself out of fear that I’ll mess something up – but with sous vide I could go for something a little better the next time I’m out. Oh, and clean up – that was a cinch.”

ChefSteps is Chris Young, Grant Crilly and Ryan Matthew Smith.
Sign up for our free online sous vide cooking course.

 

Visual of the Week – Rib Roast

Last summer Delve Kitchen had the pleasure of employing some exotic cooking techniques for the 4th annual Loudness Fest. As you can see from our photo of the day; things started out innocent enough. However, we decided to throw 600 liters of LN2 and an 8 foot tall/15,000,000 BTU per hour searing device dubbed the ‘meat forge’ into the mix. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we share a bit more about what went down.

It’s Always Thanksgiving at the Pike Place Market!

Thanksgiving is just days away and if you’re like us, you’ll have some last minute shopping to do. We love supporting our local vendors, especially those at Pike Place Market, who happen to be within walking distance from Delve Kitchen. Loyalty and personal relationships go a long way when you’re looking for the best produce, seafood, meat, bread, cheese and spices out there. The Pike Place Market offers all of those and lots more.

We have created a Pinterest board of our most frequented, favorite local food vendors as a local shopping guide for your key ingredients. While you’re on our Pinterest site, please follow us and be sure to check out our other boards featuring more of our favorite things.

ChefSteps is Chris Young, Grant Crilly and Ryan Matthew Smith. Sign up for our free online sous vide class here.

Thank You For Helping Us!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to watch our new video and complete the survey questions that followed it. Your input is invaluable and will help us make the necessary adjustments to our online sous vide classes. As we complete production of the first course modules in the upcoming weeks, we look forward to even more of your input as you go through the coursework.

Cheers,
Chris, Grant, and Ryan