This is the post version of our weekly (twice-weekly, actually) newsletter. If you’d like to get the weekly Spoon in your inbox, you can subscribe here.

One of my favorite pieces of writing ever is Chuck Klosterman’s breakdown of every KISS album. It’s hilarious and insightful and there is one nugget in there that illustrates the emotional connection I’ve made to my new June Oven.

In a nutshell, Klosterman compares the band Boston to KISS. People like Boston and respect them, but people who are into KISS — love KISS. And that love translates into a loyal, rabid fan-base spanning decades.

In much the same way, we look at a lot of high-tech kitchen gadgets here at The Spoon, and I like a fair number of them. I like the Anova Nano. I like the Meater thermometer. But I love my new June Oven. It took me a while to realize why. Sure, it’s pretty and packed with all kinds of gizmos and sensors and such. But I love it because it makes me feel like I can cook, and I’ve never felt that way before.

Admittedly, a big reason I feel this way is that the June is doing pretty much all of the work. I tap a few buttons and it does the rest. But it is empowering to know that I can make a perfect salmon filet in under fifteen minutes without any help. This means I can cook more often, want to cook more often, and can be a more active participant in the meals my family consumes.

You can see why so many companies are getting into the guided cooking space. Mike Wolf wrote today about AEG’s newly announced smart induction cooktop. As he points out, for AEG’s parent company, Electrolux, “…early smart kitchen efforts have centered around cavity/oven cooking, but this marks the first effort to integrate smart cooking technology into the company’s induction cooktops.” The June can do a lot, but it can’t sear a steak, so having a smart cooktop would be a nice addition to my kitchen.

Another European appliance giant, Miele, also added a guided cooking arrow to its quiver with an investment in Plantjammer. Catherine Lamb got the scoop writing that Plantjammer “creates custom recipes for users based off of whatever ingredients they have in their kitchen—then walks them through how to go from recipe to meal, step by step.” Between MChef, KptnCook and now Plantjammer, Miele is assembling an interesting portfolio of investments that help consumers throughout their meal journey.

Of course, there are companies looking to take over even more of the cooking experience. Over in Denmark, Simple Feast, raised a $12 million Series A for it’s vegetarian and eco-friendly meal kits. They do all the prep work so all you have to do is re-heat for ten minutes and you’re good to go.

And if re-heating is too much work for you (we get it), then check out Jenn Marston’s breakdown of how the food hall is the new food truck and most definitely not your father’s mall food court. These high-end eateries combine food, culture and community for a fun and fine dining experience.

With ovens like the June, our guided future will be here faster than you think, so if you’re interested in hearing from those defining the future of cooking (including June CEO Matt Van Horn!), you won’t want to miss Smart Kitchen Summit.  Just use discount code NEWSLETTER for 25% off. Get you ticket today!

 

Be kind. It’s more than a feeling.
-Chris

Stories in this edition:

A Nano Review of the Anova Nano
When Anova named their newest product the Nano, there was no mistaking the message they were trying to get across: that this, the latest in their lineup of sous vide circulators, is their smallest yet.

Review: Meet Meater, the Connected Thermometer
The meat probe becomes a guided cook to better prepare proteins.

I Got the June Bug. Now I Want to Cook Everything with the Smart Oven
My wife sat on our couch eating day old pizza she had reheated in our recently purchased (and now sold out) second-generation June Oven. Looking at the slice in her hand, she remarked “I can’t believe they have engineers working full time to algorithmically figure this out — but it is [expletive] amazing.”


AEG Rolling Out Smart Induction Cooktop and Wireless Sensor Probe At IFA

Electrolux’s AEG brand is rolling out a new smart cooking system in the form of a new induction cooktop (hob) with a wireless sensor probe at IFA next week.

Miele Invests in AI-Powered Cooking App Plant Jammer
German appliance giant the Miele Group has bought a minority stake in foodtech startup Plant Jammer. The Copenhagen-based company uses AI to suggest complimentary ingredients and build modular recipes.

Miele To Launch Food Delivery Service At IFA
According to a preview announcement released by Miele, the company is partnering up with a German startup called MChef to deliver meals to customers with the Dialog oven.

Miele Invests in Shoppable Recipe Startup, KptnCook
KptnCook, a Berlin-based shoppable recipe startup, today announced that it has received a “seven figure” investment from Miele Venture Capital, a subsidiary of Miele Group, the appliance making giant (and fellow German company).

Denmark’s Simple Feast Grabs $12M for Plant-based Meal Delivery
Danish meal delivery service Simple Feast raised a $12 million Series A. As TechCrunch first reported, the funding round was led by London’s Balderton Capital with participation from 14W and existing investors Sweet Capital and ByFounders.

Today’s Best Food Halls Are About Much More Than Cuisine
Some go as far as claiming food halls are the new food truck. And just as food trucks eventually expanded to pretty much every state in the U.S., the food hall concept is steadily branching outward, from Falls Church, Virginia to Portland, Oregon, and everywhere in between.

Leave a Reply