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#1 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
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  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 05 October 2010 - 02:16 PM

Welcome to Bouche, the official news-and-updates topic for the eGullet Society. We'll be using this topic to keep our members, readers and fellow travelers posted on the latest and greatest from the four corners of our webspace and beyond.
Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

#2 Pam R

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 02:54 PM

Remember the eG Foodblogs? For five years they were a popular feature in our forums. The last eG Foodblog was over two years ago, so if you weren't around much before then, you might not know about them.

The basic premise was that each week a different member from somewhere around the globe would share their week with us. Their culinary week, that is. One member might spend their week cooking every meal for themselves - or for a family of six. Another member might share a week of eating out, either at home or while on vacation. Whatever their food life was, they shared it with us and we were able to get a glimpse into the eating lives of people in the USA, Japan, South Africa, Israel and many other locations around the word -- places many of us will never be able to visit.

Other eG Foodblogs had themes or were tag-team productions. Whatever form they took, the eG Foodblogs were topics that encouraged a lot of discussion and posts -- and we think it's time to bring them back.

Since he did the first eG Foodblog all those years ago, we think it's only fitting that Fat Guy kick them off again. Sometime next week Fat Guy will start sharing his week with us and I encourage everybody to participate. Ask him questions, comment or make suggestions -- help make these topics into the great discussions we all enjoyed.

I'll be doing the scheduling and general running of the eG Foodblogs but if you'd like to participate don't hesitate to get in touch. If you'd like to nominate a member you think is a great candidate let me know -- and if you want to do one yourself let's talk.

Finally, the eG Foodblogs are still, by definition, forum topics. That means they are held to the same standards of topicality and decorum as any other topics in the forums.

#3 Chris Hennes

Chris Hennes

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 09:50 AM

Forums Software Upgrade

On Saturday afternoon we'll be taking the eGullet Forums offline for about two hours while we install a software upgrade. It's a relatively minor upgrade that fixes a few software bugs, though there are a few new features that I'll be posting about once it is installed and working properly. In particular you'll notice an updated interface to the search engine, and some new social networking connection options. While we've tested the new software, there are bound to be a few glitches here and there: please don't hesitate to contact me directly if you find one. I can be reached either via PM, or e-mail.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org


#4 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
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Posted 19 October 2010 - 06:35 AM

I wanted to take a moment to familiarize everybody with the current version of the Society's org chart.

egorgchart.gif

(Depending on your screen size and settings, you may need to click to enlarge it to make it legible.)

To elaborate, at the top of the org chart we have our board of directors. The Society is a not-for-profit organization governed by a board of directors. This can create some linguistic confusion because the term "board" is also used to mean "message board," as in eG Forums. In any event, we are just now working on some changes to the structure of our board of directors, so a future fascinating post by me will explain all that.

Coming off the board of directors box, there are two boxes. There's an advisory board, or at least there will be some day (expect another great post on that), and there's the executive director otherwise known as me. I'm responsible for everybody else in the organization, so even though I mostly sit around all day doing nothing I do have a lot of people coming off my box on the org chart.

There are three members of our executive team in addition to me. Each bears the title director of operations for a given division or as we call them "segments" (like the segments of an orange):

There's the eG Forums segment, headed by Chris Amirault -- that's the segment most of you reading this are most concerned with, and it's by far our largest segment. But it is a segment, which is to say the Society and eG Forums are not synonymous. Rather, the Society offers eG Forums as a program service. Chris is responsible for the eG Forums managers, who in turn are responsible for the eG Forums hosts.

Then we have the technology segment, headed by Chris Hennes -- of course, technology touches everything we do, and Chris both does the dirty work of keeping the lights on and spends a lot of time and energy thinking about and implementing improvements. At present Chris is the founding and only member of the technology segment. We are hoping to recruit some volunteers to help him out, though.

Finally there's the development segment, headed by Dave Scantland -- Dave has a mix of responsibilities under the heading of development: marketing, membership, the Daily Gullet (our literary journal) and the forthcoming book awards project, not to mention he also functions as our creative director, graphic designer and all-around self-help guru.

I hope you have enjoyed this tour of the fascinating inner workings of the Society. Should you wish to print out this org chart and tape it to the side of your monitor as a helpful reference, we hereby grant you permission to do so.
Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

#5 Chris Hennes

Chris Hennes

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 07:48 AM

Forums Upgrade: New Search Options and Interface

On Saturday we upgraded to the latest version of the software that runs the eGullet Forums. One of the most noticeable changes the developer has made in this new version is an updated search interface. Now, no matter what you want to search, you always use the search bar at the top of the screen. This applies whether you want to search all forums, just the forum you are in, or even just the specific topic you are in. We hope this makes it easier for new members to find, since there's only one place to look! You'll also see a completely new interface on the Advanced Search page that hopefully makes some of the many options a bit clearer. We're still working behind the scenes on the search engine itself (which has a few glitches we are aware of, and no doubt some more that we are not!), so that should be improving as we go along with this version. As usual, please provide feedback either directly to me (via chennes@eGstaff.org or PM) or to the main feedback address, feedback@egullet.org.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org


#6 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
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  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 21 October 2010 - 12:09 PM

Today we're pleased to announce a new fundraising tool for our members, readers and fellow travelers.

We-Care.com is a service that allows the Society to receive a donation whenever someone shops online at more than 1,000 participating merchants -- at no extra cost to the purchaser. Because we have so many thousands of users, if even a small percentage start doing this it will be a significant source of revenue for us.

As a nonprofit organization, the Society is entirely dependent on donors and sponsors for support. Especially with the holiday shopping season approaching, this is an easy, cost-free way to help the Society continue to offer its program services for free.

There are two ways to use We-Care.com:

First, you can start at our We-Care.com "mall" page -- http://egullet.we-care.com/ -- where you can select from a large list of online merchants.

The second, and superior, way is to install the We-Care extension for Internet Explorer and Firefox. This extension, once installed (which takes about a minute), sits silently in the background and automatically makes sure that if you make a purchase on a participating merchant's site a donation will be routed to the Society.

So, please go to http://egullet.We-Care.com/Start and install the We-Care browser extension. Do it now, it only takes a few clicks and a minute or so. If you have more than one computer (work, home, etc.), please install it on all.

Many thanks.
Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

#7 Chris Hennes

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 08:01 AM

Forums Upgrade: New Ways to Share Topics

At the bottom of every eG forums topic there is an area called "Share this topic"—here's what it looks like in the new version:

Share.png

If you don't recognize all the buttons, don't worry about it: each one of them is a different way to share this topic with your friends, and there are a LOT of different ways to share links these days (though if your favorite is missing, please e-mail me). They are, from left to right: Twitter, Facebook, de.licio.us, StumbleUpon, e-mail, print, and download. Those last three have always been there: they allow you to simply e-mail a link to a friend, print out a page of the topic, or download the page to your hard drive. The first four each work differently, depending on the exact service, but I encourage you to check them out, especially if you already use one of those sites. And if you don't, now is a great time to have a look: they are all great ways of finding new ways to blow an afternoon important information online.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org


#8 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
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  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 28 October 2010 - 02:15 PM

Our team of volunteer forum hosts is the backbone of eG Forums operations. But as a non-profit organization, there's no doubt that we need help in many areas: technology, editorial, fundraising, indexing. Indeed, Society members who don't want to be forum hosts often offer a hand, and that got us thinking about non-hosting roles for volunteers who want to pitch in and help our community.

At first it seemed simple to us: people can just volunteer and, you know, help. But questions arise. Why should a member be recognized as a volunteer providing content, while other active, posting members are not? Who gets what title -- and who gets no title at all? How do we define the roles those titles name, and how do we support and supervise the volunteers in them?

Then it hit us: for your first assignment, you can volunteer to help us figure this out! We'd love to get your feedback on the idea of a non-host volunteers program, perhaps one modeled on a docent system akin to the ones found in museums, zoos, and so on. Email your insights and offers of help to me at feedback@egullet.org. Let's see what we can figure out together.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#9 nakji

nakji
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  • Location:Suzhou

Posted 03 November 2010 - 03:54 PM

eGullet. org in The News

We're waiting, despite delays and digressions, for this year's "Modernist Cuisine" by Society member Nathan Myhrvold (nathanm). It was going to be our holiday gift to ourselves. Just the excuse to finally get that Sous Vide Supreme we've been eying on Amazon.

But yeah, now we're waiting for March.

However; however- both the New York Times and the LA Times have done profiles on what's being called, by David Chang, no less, "the cookbook to end all cookbooks." Both articles, along with Dr. Myhrvold himself, credit the genesis of the book to a topic started here in our forums, a topic which you can read RIGHT NOW, while you sit at home, waiting for the six volume set to start shipping.

What are you waiting for?

#10 Chris Hennes

Chris Hennes

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 02:06 PM

Forums Upgrade: Notifications

Notifications are the messages you get when a topic or forum you are subscribed to has a new post, or when you receive a new PM on the board. In the new version of the software, Invision has changed the way notifications are sent, and the way they are managed. You can go to your notifications settings screen here (or by clicking on your name in the Member Tools box on the right side of any page and selecting "Settings" and then "Notifications Options").

Notifications.png

As you can see, there are many types of notifications and options for them. For example: by default, when you receive a new PM, the only notification you get is a small pink number appearing in the member tools area on the right side of your screen:

NotificationNumber.png

You can elect to make this more visible by having the board pop up a window: just check the "Show popup when I receive a new inline notification" option. Below those options you can set exactly how you want to receive your notifications for each event.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org


#11 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
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  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 12 November 2010 - 01:55 PM

From time to time the eGullet Society reviews and updates the Member Agreement to reflect current technology and to clarify and/or expand on the rules that govern our interactions as Society members. I'm writing today to let you know that we have posted an updated agreement regarding Decorum and Topicality, the bulk of which focuses on streamlining and simplifying the language of the Agreement.

In addition, we have unified the language regarding posts about an organization with which the poster is affiliated, requiring disclosure of the affiliation regardless of whether the organization is commercial, not-for-profit, or personal (e.g. posting about your blog). Likewise, the same topicality and no-advertising clauses apply in all cases, commercial, not-for-profit, or personal: you may post about organizations or websites you are affiliated with when such a post is on-topic for the discussion, but not purely for the purpose of advertising.

You can read the full text here. Don't hesitate to PM a forum manager if you have questions, as always.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#12 nakji

nakji
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
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  • Location:Suzhou

Posted 18 November 2010 - 01:50 AM

eGullet Forums Hot on the Web

Our U.K. & Ireland: Dining forum "hotted up" recently when member and food blogger Mrs. CC turned to the eGullet forums for tea and sympathy after a distressing call from chef Marcus Wareing. Turns out her blog post chronicling a recent disappointing meal was too critical for his liking; his resulting phone call was too cranky for her liking. Remember when we expected chefs to be temperamental?

Sufficient buzz was created to earn eGullet mentions in an Eater round-up; a Slashfood feature, and a Guardian Word of Mouth Blog discussion; because, chefs vs. bloggers is a hot topic.

With this kind of coverage, I guess we all win?

More topics cooking in the forums (Where you're grilled, but never flamed!):



#13 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
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  • 29,303 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:32 PM

You may have noticed, here and there, our pleas for you to do your holiday shopping using the We-Care.com website (and to install the We-Care.com browser extension), which allows -- at no extra cost to you -- a percentage of your expenditures at thousands of online retailers to be channeled back to the Society as a donation. Giving through shopping is our major fundraising push for the fourth quarter.

In the first quarter of 2011 we'll be running our annual donor-membership drive. In the second quarter we'll run our annual appeal. In the third quarter we'll focus on an auction. And then in the fourth quarter we'll be back to giving through shopping.

We, like many nonprofits concerned with best practices, are trying to follow a fundraising calendar so as not to divide our attention or yours. But you can of course contribute anything at any time.

Why does the Society need money? First and foremost, to keep the lights on. Every month we have a server bill to pay, and we have to cover other technology costs such as our backup server. In addition, in order to improve our program services we need certain financial resources. Just as one example, we have recently been looking at the best ways to enable eG Forums for mobile devices. There are some good solutions out there, none of which will happen for free. Finally, if we are to be the best organization we can be, we will eventually need to increase our budget for office expenses and have at least a small core of paid staff.

The Society follows the model of NPR or PBS, albeit at a smaller scale. We are a member-supported community operation. Anybody can view and participate in our programming for free, but in order to offer our content for free we depend on a percentage of our members to make voluntary annual contributions. Given our web traffic and highly desirable user base, we could produce more revenue through commercial undertakings. But in 2004 when we were planning our long-term financial future we didn't want to go down that path, which we believe eventually leads to compromising on quality in pursuit of profit. What you see today is the result of that commitment to quality over quantity, public service over profit. We hope you find it valuable and worthy of your support.
Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

#14 Chris Hennes

Chris Hennes

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 09:51 AM

Accessing eG Forums from your Mobile Phone

At the request of a number of members we have installed the TapaTalk plugin here at the eG Forums. TapaTalk is an app you install on your phone that provides an improved user interface for browsing the forums on the go. The app is available for the iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, WebOS, and Nokia smartphones. The iPhone and Droid versions cost $2.99 and are available at the app store for each phone. Please note that all of this money goes to the developers of TapaTalk: the eGullet Society does not charge for access to the forums, though we hope you will consider supporting us this holiday season by shopping through We-Care.com. Please let me know if you have any problems with the software.

appstore-badge.png android-badge.png

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org


#15 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
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  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 20 December 2010 - 10:28 AM

New Directors

The Society's board of directors has voted unanimously to elect and/or re-elect the following directors, effective 1 January 2011:

Steven Shaw, current executive director and director
Dave Scantland, current director of operations, eG Development, and director
Chris Amirault, current director of operations, eG Forums, newly elected as a director
Chris Hennes, current director of operations, eG Technology, newly elected as a director
Janet Zimmerman, current treasurer, newly elected as a director

As a result of our work with non-profit consultants Cause Effective, we have asked our most active volunteers to serve as a working board. The new directors will continue with all their current management responsibilities.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to outgoing directors Jonathan Day and Paula Wolfert for their years of service to the organization.

The new board will be voting in January on resolutions including one to reconcile the Society's fiscal year with the calendar year, and one to drop the word "eGullet" from the name of the parent entity, which would become "Society for Culinary Arts & Letters" (the web services would continue as eGullet.org, eG Forums, etc.).
Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

#16 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
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  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 21 December 2010 - 12:51 PM

Last-Minute Holiday Shopping

For those of you with year-end shopping needs, we hope you will make your purchases through We-Care.com. A percentage of your purchase will come back to the Society as a donation, at no extra cost to you.

Here are some great last-minute specials you may find useful:

“MUST ORDER TODAY” Deals:


Walgreens
Get 25% off photo gifts with promo code HURRY25!
http://egullet.we-ca...m/EOffer/c19152

Dell
Laptops as low as $449.99 ship next day free!
http://egullet.we-ca...m/EOffer/c19650

“FREE NEXT-DAY SHIPPING” Deals:

Kodak Store
Free Next-Day Shipping on Digital Cameras!
http://egullet.we-ca.../EOffer/c196478

Kiehl’s
Complimentary Express Shipping + Free Gift on these high quality bath and body products!
http://egullet.we-ca.../EOffer/c196477

“PRINT/EMAIL NOW” Deals:

Apple iTunes
Print or email gift cards instantly!
http://egullet.we-ca...m/EOffer/c11390

“PICK UP IN STORE” Deals:

Sears
Buy now, pick up in store!
http://egullet.we-ca...m/EOffer/c11394

Best Buy
Buy online and it will be waiting for you in the store!
http://egullet.we-ca...m/EOffer/c15052

As a nonprofit organization, the Society is entirely dependent on donors and sponsors for support. Especially with the holiday shopping season approaching, this is an easy, cost-free way to help the Society continue to offer its program services for free.

There are two ways to use We-Care.com:

First, you can start at our We-Care.com "mall" page -- http://egullet.we-care.com/ -- where you can select from a large list of online merchants, or follow one of the specific links above.

The second way is to install the We-Care extension for Internet Explorer and Firefox. This extension, once installed (which takes about a minute), sits silently in the background and automatically makes sure that if you make a purchase on a participating merchant's site a donation will be routed to the Society.

So, please go to http://egullet.We-Care.com/Start and install the We-Care browser extension. It only takes a few clicks and a minute or so. If you have more than one computer (work, home, etc.), please install it on all.
Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

#17 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,620 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 28 December 2010 - 08:58 PM

Today we're unveiling a major project here at the eGullet Society: the index for the justifiably famous, and famously unwieldy, Sous Vide topic.

Along with our team of volunteers, I've been working on this for months, and we're presenting it to you for commentary in this beta topic. Whether you've been doing SV for years or don't know what the heck the fuss is about, I hope you'll go over to the topic and contribute your feedback there.

On January 1, we'll close the revised index as well as the original SV topic, so that we can lock in that information resource and start a new discussion for a new decade. Please take a moment to snoop around over there and let me know what you think!
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#18 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 29,303 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 30 December 2010 - 07:15 AM

Last chance to make a tax-deductible contribution for 2010

As 2010 comes to a close, we'd like to remind you that donations to the Society are tax-deductible to the full extent of US law. And we need your support. The Society depends on member support to keep the lights on. Today and tomorrow are your last opportunities to give back to the community while perhaps saving a few dollars on your 2010 taxes.

If you are not already a Society Donor member, this is the best way to make an annually recurring gift in the amount of $50, $100 or $250. Society Donor memberships are the Society's primary funding source and are essential for keeping our program services operating. To upgrade your membership to a Society Donor membership, please click here. If you are not already a member you will first need to join.

You can also make a one-time donation in any amount by clicking here.

Wishing you a happy and healthy new year.
Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

#19 Chris Hennes

Chris Hennes

    Director of Operations

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  • Location:Norman, Oklahoma

Posted 01 January 2011 - 01:56 PM

eG Forums Technology Update: Tags!

I'm excited to announce the newest enhancement to the eG Forums: topic tags. A "tag" is a label or keyword that gets assigned to a topic by the topic-starter (or a Forums Host). This allows finer-grained categorization of topics that can cross normal forum boundaries. For example, a topic about sous vide cooking might be tagged "Modernist" in the Cooking forum, and a topic about online sources for methylcellulose could also be tagged "Modernist" in the Kitchen Consumer forum. A search for all topics tagged "Modernist" would show both of these topics together.

Applying Tags to a Topic

When starting a new topic, a list of available tags is printed below the area for the topic title: during the testing phase of this new technology only one tag is available: "Modernist." If the topic you are starting is related to Modernist cooking, dining, shopping, etc., post the new topic in the appropriate forum as usual, and then check the "Modernist" tag checkbox: when you post the topic, the Modernist tag is applied. Of course over time more tags will be added once the system is well-tested (you can suggest tags to the eG team by sending e-mail to feedback@egullet.org).

If you see an older topic that you think should have a tag applied to it (or if you think a tag was mistakenly applied), please use the "Report" button in that topic to let hosts know.

Using Tags

At the top of every topic, just below its title, the currently-applied tags are listed (or "none" if there aren't any). Clicking on a tag takes you to a list of all topics with that tag, similar to a forums list. Just like a forums list, you can even "watch" a tag and receive a notification when a new topic is posted with that tag: click the "Watch Tag Collection" button at the top of the tagged-topic listing (the button will change to say "Stop Watching Tag Collection" when the subscription is set up).

The Future

  • Right now there is no way to search for topics limited by a particular tag: we plan to implement this in the coming months.
  • There is no "Immediate," "Delayed," "Daily," or "Weekly" option for when to receive new topic notifications: all tag notifications are immediate. If there is demand for this feature it may be added (please send feedback if it's something you are interested in). You can, however, adjust what type of notifications you receive by visiting your Control Panel. A list of your subscriptions can be found on this page.
  • There is only one tag available while we test the system and verify that everything is working correctly, but of course if the system works as expected and seems useful, we will add more tags over time.
  • Your suggestions count! We developed this tag system to augment the standard "Forums" taxonomy with an additional layer of categorization, but we welcome any other ideas you have for how to use it, or other features you'd like to see. We can't promise to implement them all, but if a lot of people have the same idea that's a pretty clear sign that it's a good one! Please send your ideas to feedback@egullet.org.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org


#20 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
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  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 03 January 2011 - 11:27 AM

2011: Year of Modernist Cuisine

Welcome to 2011, and to the Society's Year of Modernist Cuisine. Since our earliest days we have played host to the finest discussions on subjects pertaining to culinary modernism, making eG Forums far and away the preeminent online information exchange about culinary innovation.

In this, our decennial year, we are making culinary modernism our official theme. This doesn't mean we won't also be discussing Medieval cookery and adding to the Dinner! topic, but it does mean that we are focusing many of our discretionary resources on projects related to modernist cuisine.

What is Modernist Cuisine?

Modernist cuisine (also often referred to, not accurately, as molecular gastronomy or, a bit more accurately, as the culinary avant-garde) encompasses the culinary innovations, technology, and aesthetic of approximately the past three decades but especially since the turn of the century. Some aspects of modernist cuisine, such as the creations of Ferran Adria at the restaurant El Bulli in Spain, are highly experimental and unfamiliar to most diners. Other staples of modernism, such as sous-vide cookery and the iSi canister, have by now permeated the mainstream and are in use in even some of the most traditional restaurants.

Modernist Cuisine is also the title of a groundbreaking book by Society member Nathan Myhrvold ("nathanm") and a team of co-authors he assembled. This five-volume work got its start right here in an eG Forums discussion that has been running since 2004 and now includes more than 4,000 posts. You can learn more about the book and modernist cuisine at the modernistcuisine.com website.

Modernist Cuisine in eG Forums Discussions

As modernist cuisine has developed, we have been there. This is not an exhaustive list, but the following are most of the modernist-cuisine topics we have explored:

The Alinea Project (2004)

Spotlight with José Andres (2006)

Q&A with NASA scientist Vicki Kloeris (2004)

Q&A with Ferran Adria (2004)

Q&A with Harold McGee (2004)

Q&A with Russ Parsons (2003)

Q&A with Grant Achatz (2003)

Grant Achatz (2006, ad hoc)

Q&A with Heston Blumenthal (2002)

Sous-vide:
Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques, & Equipment: 2004-2010
Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques, & Equipment: 2011-

Spherification:
Spherification & Gelling of Oils
Adventures with Sodium Alginate
Divided Aliginate Spherification
Using Gluco-calcium Gluconate Lactate

Gels:
Deep-frying Agar Agar
Fluid Gels
Methylcellulose in Pastry Recipes: Tips
Methocel

Transglutaminase (meat glue):

Adventures with Transglutaminase
Cooking with Activa
Chef has Discovered an Enzyme

Liquid nitrogen:
Cooking with Liquid Nitrogen
Liquid Nitrogen Safety Issues

Powders:

Tapioca Maltodextrin

Dining:

Alinea

Moto

Blais

El Bulli: (2004)
El Bulli: (2005)
El Bulli: (2006)
El Bulli: (2007)
El Bulli: (2010)

The Fat Duck: (2002)
The Fat Duck: (2003)
The Fat Duck: (2004)
The Fat Duck: (2005)
The Fat Duck: (2006)
The Fat Duck: (2007)
The Fat Duck: (2008)
The Fat Duck: (2009)
The Fat Duck: (2010)

Books

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook

Cooking with the Alinea Cookbook and Alinea

Under Pressure

Modernist Cuisine

El Bulli

The Sous-Vide Index

Our first initiative for our Year of Modernist Cuisine is the sous-vide index, which eG Forums director of operations Chris Amirault and a team of volunteers have been working on for months. The sous-vide topic is the greatest repository of information about sous-vide cookery, and is now indexed here: http://egullet.org/svindex

The Modernist Cuisine Tag


We have talked internally for almost a decade about the wisdom of creating a modernist-cuisine forum. The trouble is that, even though culinary modernism is a subject unto itself, it's not really possible to separate modernist cookery from discussions of cookery at large. Now, however, thanks to some exceptional programming work by eG Technology director of operations Chris Hennes, we are pleased to announce the Modernist Cuisine tag.

When you start a new topic you will now notice a new section beneath the title called "Topic Tags": right now, "Modernist" is the only tag available (once we get the kinks worked out of the system we will be adding others, we are using "modernist" as our testbed for the new feature). To see a list of all topics that have been marked with the modernist tag, follow this link. You can also "subscribe" to the modernist tag, receiving a notification when a new topic is created and tagged "modernist." Finally, we are working on adding the tag feature to the search engine so that you can limit your search to only topics with specific tags.

Tags will not affect the positioning of a topic in our post database. They are a way to organize related topics that cut across forums.

Further Modernist Cuisine Initiatives

But that's not all... In March, coinciding with the release of the Modernist Cuisine book, we will be hosting on online launch event and discussion with Nathan Myhrvold.

We will also be announcing, throughout the year, a series of guest appearances and focused topics.
Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

#21 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 29,303 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 13 January 2011 - 04:59 PM

Society Board of Directors meeting 12 January 2011

The Society's board of directors held its first quarterly meeting of 2011 yesterday, 12 January 2011. Present were all directors: Steven Shaw (executive director), Chris Amirault (then acting secretary, now secretary), Chris Hennes, Janet Zimmerman (treasurer) and Dave Scantland. The meeting lasted approximately 70 minutes.

After calling the roll and declaring a quorum, the board heard status reports from the executive director (Steven Shaw) and the directors of operations of the eG Forums, eG Technology, and eG Development segments (Chris Amirault, Chris Hennes and Dave Scantland respectively).

Steven Shaw spoke of the need to increase the Society's revenue in order to fund a more ambitious set of projects.

Chris Amirault spoke of the need to increase the depth of volunteer staffing for the eG Forums segment.

Chris Hennes provided an update on technology projects, including ongoing efforts to improve server uptime. (Currently at 99.991% with a goal of 99.999%).

Dave Scantland outlined development goals and will be delivering a marketing plan as follow up.

The board then heard, discussed and unanimously approved the following four resolutions:

Resolution 1
Shorten the organization's name "eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters" to "Society for Culinary Arts & Letters." Online program services will continue to operate under the eGullet.org domain. Specific branding changes and choices, if any -- for example "eG Forums" or "eGullet Forums" -- to be left to the discretion of the director of operations for eG Development. The executive director and treasurer are authorized to implement this resolution with the relevant government agencies, banks, vendors and others who need to be notified of the change.

Resolution 2
Change the organization's fiscal year to be the same as the calendar year. The executive director and treasurer are authorized to implement this resolution with the relevant government agencies, banks, vendors and others who need to be notified of the change, and to file a partial-year IRS Form 990EZ to achieve the quarter-year adjustment.

Resolution 3
Confirming Chris Hennes's interim appointment as director of operations for eG Technology, an officer of the corporation, serving for an indefinite term at the discretion of the board of directors.

Resolution 4
Electing Chris Amirault as secretary of the organization, not affecting his current position as director of operations for eG Forums.

Chris Amirault abstained from voting on Resolution 4, and Chris Hennes abstained from voting on Resolution 3.

The meeting was adjourned and the next meeting announced for 13 April 2011.
Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

#22 Chris Hennes

Chris Hennes

    Director of Operations

  • manager
  • 7,876 posts
  • Location:Norman, Oklahoma

Posted 15 January 2011 - 03:04 PM

eG Technology Update: New Tags! "Confections" and "Charcuterie"

As I mentioned above, one of our recent additions to the forums is a system for "tagging" topics: tags are keywords that a topic-starter can use to categorize a topic. Tags support many of the same operations as a forum, including subscriptions, and listing all topics with a given tag.

The initial stage of the test was successful, and we received some great feedback about the system. Today I updated the tag system to the latest version, and added two more tags: Charcuterie and Confections (in addition to the Modernist tag Fat Guy mentions in his post about the Society's Year of Modernist Cuisine). If you find yourself starting a topic that is about confections or charcuterie, please check the appropriate box under the topic title. You may also want to consider subscribing to e-mail notification when a topic is created with one of those tags. To do that, go to the appropriate tag listing (Charcuterie, Confections, or Modernist) and click the "Watch Tag Collection" button near the top of the page.

if you have any problems with the tag system, or suggestions for how we can improve it, please send e-mail to feedback@egullet.org. Thanks!

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org


#23 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,620 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 22 January 2011 - 03:31 PM

You might have noticed that Dave Viola's member handle, vice, just changed color. He's purple because he's a probationary member of our volunteer hosting team.

A few months ago, we initiated a multistep recruitment process, sharing job descriptions, a code of ethics, and other materials. In several in person and online discussions, our team raked him over the coals about commitment, skin thickness, and commitment to our membership. He's just started his probation, during which he's learning how to use the moderation tools. If all goes well, in three months he'll become a full-fledged host.

We're always on the lookout for people interested in volunteering in different aspects of the Society. If you have the skill, an hour or so per day, and the ability to make a multiyear commitment, why not consider playing a larger role? If you're interested, just send me or any other manager or director a note.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#24 nakji

nakji
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,610 posts
  • Location:Suzhou

Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:27 PM

In the eG Forums management team, we do our best to be responsive to the needs of Society members. We hear from you through the PM system, email at the feedback account, and more.

One thing we've heard loud and clear over the last several months was that, in our interest to keep things organized, we were merging new topics too quickly into old ones. With our new moderation management system, we have a broader range of tools for handling merges, including the ability to tag something for merging after the initial new topic energy dies down a bit. As a result, you'll be seeing fewer merges of new, exciting topics right off the bat, as we wait for the topic to fall off the active list before we slide it into the more organized archives. That means if you're seeing a topic that we've discussed before, we're probably letting it "find its feet" before merging it in to previous discussions.

Keeping our forum discussions lively, active, and organized is an important part of what our volunteer staff does. If you have any more suggestions, please feel free to contact us through the channels mentioned above.

#25 nakji

nakji
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,610 posts
  • Location:Suzhou

Posted 09 February 2011 - 05:27 AM

More Modernist Cuisine Updates!

It's probably not an exaggeration to say that many members are frothing at the mouth with excitement for the shipment of "Modernist Cuisine". If you've missed it, member and author nathanm has given several society members access to the multi-volume work, and they're posting about their adventures with potatoes and pomegranates.

Eater has a look at the shiny pretty pages here, and if you're in the U.S., check out the tour of the Modernist Labs - everything from onion soup in an autoclave to an abrasive waterjet cutting machine. I think we'll all be planning some kitchen renovations in the near future.

Speaking of Eater and Modernist Cuisine, a while back, lancastermike wondered if you could sous-vide in a hot tub. Eater has the Heston Blumenthal video for him here. And the fine people at Cookingsousvide.com were very excited that our sous-vide topic finally got indexed by our crack team of volunteers. We're glad you noticed!

If you're feeling the need (the need) for sous-vide, here's our Society-friendly link for Modernist Cuisine.

#26 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 29,303 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:21 AM

The WikiGullet Project

I’m very pleased to announce a brand new venture for the Society of Culinary Arts & Letters: the WikiGullet project ( http://wiki.egullet.org ).

For a decade, you’ve helped eG Forums become the best culinary discussion site on the internet. Now we'd like to ask for your help in taking the knowledge and energy that drives eGullet.org in a thrilling new direction: a collaborative culinary encyclopedia. I hope you'll be as enthusiastic about this project as I am; even more, I hope you will help make it a success.

I'm continually amazed at the rich body of knowledge in this community. Whether it's extolling the benefits of copper-clad cookware or debating the proper internal temperature of a perfectly cooked fruitcake, eG Forums have always been the best place to go to hash out culinary questions. Members have proposed -- and we've considered -- various book projects as ways to collect this knowledge in one place. But our strength as a Society is communal and dynamic; the cumulative trucs and tricks born from our years of kitchen experience and passion for food would be constrained by the static format of the printed page. Since we've carried out our mission primarily through Internet food media, a wiki seemed to be the perfect choice. My colleagues and I feel that, in our decennial year, this is the perfect undertaking for our community, embodying the essence of what we are, and promising to advance the culinary arts.

You've proven your knowledge and passion with your participation in eG Forums. We hope you will expand on that by writing and editing articles for the WikiGullet Project. (And yes, that name is temporary. This is very much a beta product.)

We started this project very recently, inviting a small test group of members about a week ago to help us generate some content and (mostly) discover bugs and correct a few problems. There's not much there right now, but with your help I know that it will develop into the premier compendium of culinary knowledge on the Internet.

The WikiGullet project team stands ready to help you traverse the learning curve. Janet Zimmerman (JAZ in the forums) is directing the project, Chris Hennes is the technology head of this project (as well as the whole organization), Chris Amirault is the liaison with eG Forums and has been heavily involved in WikiGullet development, and Dave Scantland is handing the design, marketing and development aspects of the project.

We’ve started a forums discussion topic here to ask questions, make suggestions, and maybe even find the perfect name.

But first, please take some time and explore the WikiGullet Project. I know I found it completely overwhelming at first, and even after a couple of weeks of internal testing I feel unsure about seemingly basic aspects. For me it has been like using a long-neglected set of muscles, or a newly grown set, because a wiki is so different from an online discussion forum. But the beauty of this project is that it’s perfect for beginners and advanced members alike – add what you know and don’t worry about what you don’t know. Someone else will come along and add to it, and before long, the strength of our membership will give us a culinary resource unequaled in its breadth and depth.

To start, go to http://wiki.egullet.org and use your eG Forums member name and password to log on. Dive right in.
Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

#27 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,620 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 27 February 2011 - 11:48 AM

You've no doubt noticed two new topics related to the release of Modernist Cuisine, the epic, multivolume work by Society member Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Mixime Bilet.

The two topics are good examples of how we strive to meet the Society's statement of purpose. Indeed, our excitement about Modernist Cuisine stems from the opportunity its publication provides to take great leaps forward in many areas of that statement:

The purpose of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters is to increase awareness and knowledge of the arts of cooking, eating and drinking, as well as the literature of food and drink. ... We believe that:

- Good food doesn’t have to be expensive or esoteric – just good. Good food and drink aren't exclusive to the rich and well-traveled; ...

- Professional cooks and passionate amateur cooks, professional producers and hobbyists of food and drink, professional food and beverage writers and passionate amateur writers each have something special to bring to the table. The conversation is richer and more interesting when the worlds of the professional and the amateur are brought together;

- Food can both satisfy physical needs and engage the highest functions of intellect. It can be a commodity, a craft, an art. Though a source of bodily pleasure, food and drink are also worthy subjects for discussion, at practical, aesthetic and philosophical levels[.]


While only a handful of folks have been able to get more than a glimpse at the book, those who have believe that its publication marks a watershed moment in culinary history -- and we're not alone, based on wide media reviews and reports. When books start showing up at people's doors later this month, we're sure that the excitement will grow exponentially.

We are thrilled to be part of this moment, and we want you to be a part of it too! Simply look for topics that have been tagged as "Modernist" and dive into the discussion. Whether you want to learn how to distinguish different kinds of tapioca maltodextrin, figure out what wet-bulb temperature means, or nail your macaroni & cheese recipe, we trust that you'll find a cutting-edge discussion of the topic here in eG Forums. And if you can't find the perfect topic? Well, start one of your own!

I've gotta get back to my fried chicken, so see you on the Forums -- and in the kitchen!
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#28 Dave the Cook

Dave the Cook

    Executive Director

  • manager
  • 7,328 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:46 AM

If it ever seems to you like Society members are just a bunch of food- and drink-obsessed nuts who gather in a metaphorical hallway of meeting rooms and pretty much talk to ourselves, maybe you should widen your focus.

A couple of months ago, we declared 2011 "Gully's Year of Modernist Cuisine." Maybe that seemed odd, but with Myhrvold, Young and Bilet's epic tome on the way, along with (auto)biographies of notable modernists Ferran Adria and Grant Achatz, it made sense to us. (Of course, it hasn't slowed the panoply of non-modernist issues we discuss -- thank goodness!)

What we didn't anticipate was the influence our discussions would have in the world outside our forums. Modernist Cuisine -- a work that even with substantial discounts is probably the most expensive cookbook any of us, or anyone we know, will purchase -- is not just Amazon's number one food reference book, but is at the 74th position among all books that Amazon sells. Surely, much credit is owed to the deft publicity deployed by the Modernist Cuisine team, but we're going to claim our share, too. That's because for every member that logs in to read and post, there are a couple of dozen visitors who've never registered -- we share our meeting rooms with a multitude of eavesdroppers. Those are the people who not only propelled Modernist Cuisine to its lofty perch; they've also made it impossible to procure a home version of a vacuum chamber in less than four weeks, or iota carrageenan in fewer than ten days. We aren't hanging out in meeting rooms. We're holding discussions in a stadium.

But it's not just in the sales of a monumental book or formerly obscure chemicals that we're influential. Look at related topics, like sous-vide, the latest on El Bulli (one of several Adria-related topics), or even the six-year-old Alinea Project, and you'll see a disparate number of posts versus views. That doesn't just reflect the multiple times you clicked to see if someone responded to your post (admit it -- you do it). It's all those peeps who want to read what you have to say, and it's never been more clear -- whether it's about Meyer lemons, wok burners, or meat glue -- that your voice matters.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.


#29 JAZ

JAZ
  • manager
  • 4,884 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 22 March 2011 - 02:25 PM

Thanks to the hard work of Society members, notably --

  • Liuzhou
  • FrogPrincesse
  • PedroG
  • Xxchef
  • Iradubinsky
  • Vice
  • Mkayahara
  • Emannths
  • Gfweb
  • Kouign Aman
  • EatNopales
  • Mjx
-- the WikiGullet project is growing in depth and breadth. We've compiled nearly 600 articles on topics from cheese and butter to sous vide and nouvelle cuisine. That means we've only got a few hundred thousand left to do, so . . .

This week we're announcing the first of our featured WikiGullet topics -- Salads!

Any salad aficionados out there want to help? Check out the salad page and add to it, edit it (yes, you're allowed -- that's how a wiki grows and gets stronger), or add pages for your favorite salads, from Caesar to larb. If you're not sure how to get started, here's a suggestion: take a look at the red text on the Salad page -- those are called "redlinks" in wiki parlance, and they point to an entry that doesn't yet exist. Just click on one of them, and you'll get a fresh new page, already titled, ready for you type away.

Every week or two we'll feature a different category to work on -- but of course you can add anything at any time. Just dive in wherever your interest and expertise lead you!

#30 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,620 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:27 AM

Society volunteers work hard behind the scenes to create and organize content, fix snafus, and raise funds to keep the Society going. Most of us work in teams, and we get a little feedback now and then letting us know you appreciate our work (or giving us tips on how to do it better!).

Today we'd like to identify one volunteer who works entirely alone with no contact with active members at all -- yet every current member of the Society owes her a debt of gratitude. For years, Kristin Yamaguchi (torakris) has been overseeing all aspects of Society membership application, ushering thousands of people through the process. All the while, she takes time out to share her remarkable knowledge of Japanese food and culture with us.

So I hope you'll join me by thanking her for all this hard work! You can leave her a personal message by clicking here.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts