Last month, celebrity chef, Tyler Florence, proclaimed on-stage at our Smart Kitchen Summit that “recipes are dead.” Well, Christopher Kimball of Milk Street took issue with that, and on podcast discussion he says Florence is “dead wrong.”
Kimball believes that recipes are still necessary to teach people technique and that printed cookbooks, despite Florence saying he’s done with those too, are still the best way to access information about a recipe in the kitchen. Kimball says there are lots of reasons people buy cookbooks, and even if they only ever use five out of 125 recipes in one, that’s enough to get your money’s worth.
Kimball wants his budding Milk Street media company to create personal experiences that you can’t get through just a website or an app. Milk Street produces a magazine, television shows, and his personal favorite — radio programming, which is turned into podcasts.
He believes food is a portal through which you can discuss almost any topic, from Syrian refugees to space travel, and though his Milk Street podcast is technically a food podcast, half the show isn’t really about food per se.
When it comes to the smart kitchen, and the wave of connected appliances, Kimball singles out sous vide wands and Instantpot-like pressure cookers as particularly valuable. Though, he doesn’t see Milk Street chasing after audiences to create recipes or books around specific appliances.
Check out the full discussion with Kimball to hear more of his thoughts on recipes, his editorial approach, and why public television is the greatest underestimated brand in the world.