As much as I may want to prepare scrumptious dinners I am no cook. The last time I prepared a meal for a guy in my life, I went down to my local family-owned Italian restaurant, bought some Eggplant Parmigiana, heated it up in the oven and pretended it was mine. (Don’t judge me.)
In comes Culination, a website and app that, if it ever makes it to market, would allow chefs to bring their recipes to life through video. The brainchild of Caen Contee, a chef who’s worked at a Michelin Star restaurant and is collaborating with James Beard award-winning restaurants, although he is only 27 years old, Culination would enable users to advance at their own pace through recipes and ultimately achieve different levels of cooking certification. If you are preparing a recipe and don’t know how to zest an orange or dice an apple, you would be able to click on a short video that shows you how. The site or app would remember that you watched the video and log it as learned, which would go towards your learning progression, and help it suggest suitable new recipes for you in the future. It would also connect to an online store so you could have ingredients – and cooking tools – shipped to your door.
As much as I like the idea Culination has a lot of convincing to do. The company has no website and has not yet released an app. Contee is, instead, trying to crowdsource the money he needs to create the first 40 videos. But with just a few days left to go in its Indiegogo campaign, he’s only a little more than halfway to his modest $30,000 goal. That’s too bad, because I think Culination represents an opportunity for increasing the accessibility of advanced education. Actual proven ability may soon trump degrees because of sites such as Culination, Udacity, Lynda.com, and Khan Academy. We’ve already seen it happen in Silicon Valley.
I hope Contee makes it because I never want to try and pass off someone else’s Eggplant Parmigiana as my own ever again.