Ever wonder what it was like to take a class at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA)? If you own a Hestan Cue, you can now get a, err, taste of what students at CIA learn. On Friday, Hestan Smart Cooking announced that it had partnered with the CIA to integrate new instructional content from the school into the Hestan Cue guided cooking system.
For the uninitiated, Hestan Cue uses connected cookware and a burner that communicates with its app. Recipes in the app guide you through meal prep, and the software communicates with the burner and pan to make sure you are cooking at the precise, proper temperature at each step along the way.
Hestan Cue users will notice a new section in the Hestan app devoted to CIA content. There are roughly a dozen CIA recipes available covering areas like Italian, German and Peruvian cuisines. Philip Tessier, Director of Culinary and Media (and CIA grad) told me in a phone interview that Hestan Smart Cooking and CIA have been working together on this for just about a year. CIA instructors brought recipes from the CIA “bootcamps” classes, and Hestan Smart produced the media and integrated the cooking guidance into the Hestan app.
“These are different from normal Cue videos because they are instructional,” Tessier said. “Most of our content is normally very focused. For this we added more of the ‘Why.’ Why smash garlic like that?”
This first batch of CIA recipes only use the Hestan Smart Pan or Pot, but Tessier said that more videos are in the works, and will most likely go beyond the one pan/pot recipes and incorporate using an oven. Hestan Smart recently announced integrations with appliance manufacturers like GE Appliances for a smart cooktop, with plans to expand into ovens this year as well.
The promise of guided cooking is that it can help anyone cook at home for themselves. Adding an instructional layer from a place like CIA carries with it an imprimatur that could help users not just feel guided, but actually learn new cooking skills. The question for Hestan then becomes, will people learn so much that they no longer need their Hestans?