GOOD

Rather Prepare Taxes Than Cook Dinner? How We've Redesigned Learning to Cook

Time is hard to come by, especially for cooking your own food. Over half of Americans actually consider doing taxes to be less of a headache...


Time is hard to come by, especially for cooking your own food. Over half of Americans actually consider doing taxes to be less of a headache than preparing, sharing and enjoying a homemade meal.
We generally know what we should be doing and already have an idea of what our ideal healthy lifestyle would be—a balanced approach to health, food, and happiness. But how do we make time for cooking and all the decisions that come with it: where to shop, what to buy, whether it's healthy?
We decided to design a solution to this problem. Culination is an e-learning community that connects seasoned chefs with home cooks. We bring one-on-one, step-by-step multimedia lessons authored by experts to your kitchen countertop via a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop.
With deaths due to chronic, food related diseases rampant, there is no more vital time to study the art of food preparation. And yet, pulled in a torrent of directions, what should be fun often feels like work. Healthy food and exercise routines become a distant #ifonly to tackle with a New Year’s resolution down the road. Even comedians joke about laziness and food.
Jokes aside, it’s a serious problem: most of us sacrifice our health daily because we feel forced (no time!). Food porn abounds, yet we get no closer to understanding the “how” of food creation and not just the “what” of recipes. I don’t think people watch food shows for instructional content anymore. We invariably sit there gawking at some chef stroking their ego, get hungry, and then go to the kitchen and slam a TV dinner into the microwave (or order takeout).
Our hope is to change that. Now in private alpha, Culination just launched an Indiegogo campaign to cover the cost of producing more than 100 launch lessons from our roster of celebrity chefs. These lessons will stock Culination’s “pantry” full of healthy, done-in-under-an-hour recipes that anyone could make.


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We’ve designed Culination’s site and vision around self-empowerment. We want your kitchen to be a place of inspiration, not intimidation. Each lesson’s focus is therefore two-fold: learning and doing. Our lessons have photos of every recipe so you always know exactly where you are in the process. They also provide text to orient the image, and instructional technique videos you can call on when those photos just aren’t enough. Don’t know how to chiffonade? Without leaving the page, you’ll have access to a short video providing guidance. Ultimately, you’ll be able to call on those videos or move to the ‘next step’ with voice commands.
We think learning how to cook food from a cookbook or magazine is like to trying to learn kung fu or ballet from pictures and words. Unless you are shown how to combine each step together as one smooth movement, the flow of your experience is disrupted. Same with cooking. Timing is important, so we lead you through each step at the right moment. The platform needs to be an invisible guide. We want you to stop thinking “How do you do that?” and start thinking more along the lines of “How would I do that?”
So, as you bemoan finishing your taxes or anticipate the countdown to next April’s dark cloud, know that at least some things are getting easier. Please visit our Indiegogo campaign and consider becoming one of our founding @Culinators.
Images courtesy of Culination\n
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