A new service lets people with cooking skills rent themselves out (or people with nice kitchens rent their space out for cooking). It’s all part of an attempt to get us to spend more time cooking together--and thinking about our meals.
I’ve found that most cooks don’t bake. Why? Baking is a precise science. There’s no wriggle room, so if you mess up (forget an ingredient or overdo it on one), you’re screwed. And there’s very little tasting along the way. But this brilliantly simple cake-making kit, designed by Guy Benadon, could convince the most steadfast chefs to attempt a dessert. It’s really just one step beyond an Easy-Bake Oven: Load the ingredients in the order in which they appear on the ridges of the bowl, then mix, pour, and bake.
If Julia Child demystified the art of cooking, molecular gastronomists have done their best to make haute cuisine an obscure science. But the latest culinary craze needn’t require an advanced degree in chemistry or a handy supply of liquid nitrogen, according to the Dublin-based designer Ahmad Fakhry. His beautiful set of tools, called Eating Objects, allows diners to use the techniques of molecular gastronomy to prepare food with untraditional tastes, colors, and textures, challenging, in Fakhry’s words, “people’s preconceptions toward food and the habits they have grown up with.”
There has been a long history of less-than-successful kitchen gadgets, from the automatic potato peeler to Internet-enabled refrigerators. Many of these design concepts fail because they either miss the mark or because they assume people will adapt their behaviors to accommodate the concepts, rather than the other way around.
Fresh off the success of its beautiful, minimalist baking book, Ikea has released a batch of (equally artful) videos that mix cooking lessons with product placement for micro commercials that are actually a lot of fun to watch.