What does it mean to have a “digital kitchen”?
As an online culinary student, you know you have a passion for the art of cooking and creating delicious meals. The aspects of cooking that sparked your interest were likely the same ones that inspired the culinary giants who have shaped the techniques you’ll learn through your classes: discovering new flavors, learning new techniques and wowing a crowd with your plating abilities.
While your sources of inspiration may be similar to generations of chefs that came before, your approach is likely much different. In this digital age, young professionals are turning to their mobile devices and computer screens for advice, information and tricks to make the cooking experience easier and more adventurous.
Nearly 60 percent of people ages 25 to 34 cook with their smartphones or tablets at the ready, according to research conducted by mcgarrybowen in conjunction with Kraft Foods. They conduct searches at every stage of the cooking process, from ideation (“dinner ideas” is a popular search) to execution (“What temperature to bake chicken?” is another commonly searched question).
As a culinary student, you may already have ideas about what you want to cook, and you probably remember that chicken needs to be baked to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. But chances are, you have a lot in common with millennial home chefs, utilizing your personal devices and kitchen-specific digital tools throughout your cooking process.
One of the best digital devices to have in your kitchen is a scale. Measuring ingredients by weight is particularly critical when you’re baking, but scales also come in handy when you’re cooking or mixing drinks. Some of the newest models are highly precise, plus are fairly inexpensive, Michelin-starred chef Brad Farmerie told Business Insider.
For the chef who always has a mobile device within reach, digital scale models like the Perfect Bake Pro and Perfect Drink Pro connect to an app on your phone and let you know when you’ve added enough, PC Mag explained. It’ll also let you know if you’ve dumped in too much of an ingredient and give you instructions on how to fix the problem.
If you’re the type of chef who wants to make sure every dish is nutrient-packed, the right digital scale can help, Mashable reported. The Prep Pad, another smart scale that connects to an app, measures your food and displays the nutritional value in a visually appealing chart.
Cooking food in a vacuum-sealed bag placed in a pot of hot water has rapidly gained popularity among chefs in recent years. Sous vide, which is French for “under vacuum,” is touted as a simple way to infuse flavors and achieve a perfect texture.
High-tech chefs can employ a number of digital devices in their kitchens to perfect their sous vide dishes. Immersion circulators are a versatile option, turning any stock pot into a sous vide cooker, then easily stored away. They clip to the side of the pot and heat the water to the exact degree desired.
For young chefs who want to highlight their culinary abilities as well as their mastery of food-centric tech, 3D food is the way to go. Devices like Foodini print out 3D pasta in creative shapes, CNN reported. Top it off with a tomato sauce and crafted meatballs and you’re sure to impress your diners.
For the brunch crowd, impress them with printed pancakes; the PancakeBot can print just about any image with batter, from your favorite cartoon character to your restaurant’s logo, according to Fortune.
As a culinary student, you’ll learn a plethora of new techniques, flavor combinations and more. But as a young chef, you have the opportunity to integrate digital tech into the kitchen like no other generation has before.