Valve's Gabe Newell has invested in a cooking startup called ChefSteps, and even cameos in the trailer for their upcoming sous vide machine, Joule.
The sous vide method involves wrapping food (usually meat) in a sealed bag and then cooking it in a water bath. The Joule appliance heats and circulates water to maintain a consistent cooking temperature, regulated by an app.
As Eater reports, Newell took an interest in the company after buying dinner for 10 in an auction at his son's school. The dinner was cooked by Fat Duck founding chef and now ChefSteps CEO Chris Young, and ChefSteps' Grant Crilly. Their sciency, experimental approach to cookery impressed. Newell's son became inspired by modernist cooking. Newell became interested in the company, invested, and is now involved in an advisory role.
Says Newell: "They talked to me like a scientist, like an engineer, and this isn't how I thought people in the cooking world talked. These guys are cooking nerds. And the science is super interesting. Their understanding of what's going on in the experience of cooking resonated with my experiences in the world of creating entertainment. In the end, your target is the subjective experience of the consumer. You have to know all this hard stuff, but at the end of the day you have to have a really good connection with the inside of someone's head to be good at it."
Valve isn't affiliated with ChefSteps, but in the spirit of what-iffery, we present a six course tasting menu from Gordon Freeman's Kitchen Nightmares. The service is accompanied by a wine flight, selected by our sommelier, Doctor Bream.
Selection of Left 4 Bread.
Pot of Gravity gumbo.
Counter-Strike: Doughball offensive.
Bean fortress with Portal jus.
A box of oranges.
Please note that due to the iterative nature of the product, you may have to wait an indeterminate amount of time between courses.