9.24.2013: Cook-Along / #TFTestKitchen


Gordon Ramsay’s Twitter Cook-Along

Yesterday, Hell’s Kitchen / Kitchen Nightmares / MasterChef’s Gordon Ramsay hosted a live “cook-along’ on Twitter, encouraging followers to follow along as he prepared buttermilk fried chicken. After a reminder the evening before to marinate in buttermilk and salt, he began his instructions at 7pm local UK time so that participants could follow his instructions in real-time, finishing in time to get dinner on the table. Tweets included step-by-step instructions and photographs of each important step for comparison’s sake. Chef Ramsay also answered follower questions live throughout the process — and then posted several successful photos from the follow-along-at-home chefs.

Tweets were well-written and to-the-point; a real service for anyone following along. Plus, thanks to Twitter’s ability to… be Twitter and archive Tweets in chronological order, anyone can reference the pro’s best tips for great fried chicken. This is easily one of the best chef uses of the service that I’ve seen. I can’t wait to see this idea catch on.



New York Fines Fake Online Reviewers

Yes! Great news! New York is cracking down on fake online reviews — restaurants included. Recently, an investigation netted hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for 19 different businesses convicted of falsifying reviews of themselves online. As review sites like Yelp have grown, they’ve taken real measures to combat false reviews and have hired teams to manage the issue. But as the above-referenced Times article points out, businesses who falsely review themselves on these sites are actually creating advertising content that is indistinguishable from actual editorial reviews from users. (To oversimplify a bit: this would be like a magazine running an advertisement disguised to look like magazine editorial content without designating it as advertising.)


The issue is complex, but the Times does a great job of breaking down the current state-of-the-state, so it’s worth a read. But what’s exciting is the level of policing officials have taken on to combat this issue — no longer is it only the site’s problem to find and punish offending users. Here’s hoping New York sets the standard for policing these phony posts and continues to allow the people’s voice to shine through on crowdsourced review sites.



Wylie Dufresne Talks Molecular Gastronomy

C+T favorite / radical, techy, smart chef Wylie Dufresne talks food technology with The Verge, complete with looks into his kitchen and his thoughts on lab-grown food. Admittedly, I’d prefer the interviewer’s interests (and knowledge) to be a bit more food-centric, but watching this guy talk technology in the kitchen of his successful and game-changing restaurant is always worth a view.


An important takeaway: Wylie’s explanation of “molecular gastronomy.” (Spoiler: it’s an actual scientific term. Using it is almost akin to asking, “Want to go have biology for dinner?” Which, I suppose, is what we all eat.) Also, he says, “Kitchens have always had a great relationship with technology. Kitchens are great places for technology to be.” Amen.


The Perfect Burger


In more chefs-killing-it-at-social news, the latest installation of Tyler Florence’s #tftestkichen was all about hamburgers. ICYMI last time, he took on tortellini, engaging followers with a smart and useful tutorial. Yesterday, Chef Florence took on the burger, educating followers on the ideal fat content and the tastiest cuts of beef, finally settling on the perfect burger.

Then today, he showed us a modern take on the traditional hamburger bun. So awesome. Particularly awesome because he’s offering the full package: easy-to-read explanations that do a great job of explaining “why” to the average meat-buying consumer. Well done.

Illustration by April V. Walters


The Kale Project: Bringing Kale to Apathetic Paris

So, kale. You guys, I can’t even. No ingredient has been this hot since baconpalooza hit a few years ago, and it shows no sign of slowing. But there’s a holdout, and it shouldn’t surprise you. Even though the City of Light has shown signs of embracing a California style, kale is absolutely not hot right now in Paris. After a move to France, one woman is on a mission to change that, launching The Kale Project to bring the leafy green to the country’s farmer’s markets. A recent write-up in the New York Times profiled Kristen Beddard, founder of the project and ex-pat who literally took photos of kale from market to market in search of it. As it turns out, there isn’t even a word for “kale” in French (there is a phrase, but it translates, essentially, to “curly headless cabbage.”)


The story itself is kind of twee, but the fact that The Kale Project is gaining ground based on a website and some digital photos of a vegetable speaks volumes about the way technology can carry food trends across the globe. And if this American woman can actually get the French to care (and maybe even name) kale — impressive feat.



  • Foodable TV launches. Now we wait to see if it’s any good. — FoodableTV
  • Eleven NYC restaurant designers to watch — New York Magazine
  • Meet Soil IQ, a smartphone app + soil probe for educated at-home gardening. Science! — AngelList


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