Introducing “Cooking with Geeks”

Fred Davis (one of the guys who helped start Wired Magazine, among many other things) and I had a little lunch at the Web 2.0 conference and I told him about Linda Stone’s great dinners (I can’t find a blog of hers, but here she is on ITConversations). She’d have six people over for dinner, which was always amazing, both for the food and the company and the wine, and she’d sit them down and start a conversation. They had a much more profound effect on my life than any other event I’d ever attended.

Fred said he was thinking about the same thing. That having a few people over for dinner often gets the most interesting conversations going.

I also told him I’d like to do a cooking show, eventually. Mostly so I could learn to cook something and impress Maryam. Not to mention that one of our VCs, Paul Matteucci, is a total “foodie.” (He does the fun “FoodCrunch” blog).

I wanted to have a chef come in and show us how to cook a meal. After all, geeks need to know more than just how to run companies or write code.

Anyway, here’s the first version of “Cooking with Geeks”. This is the “cooking” part of the conversation. The “dinner” part will run tomorrow.

Geeks involved are: Barney Pell, CEO, Powerset; Mary Hodder, CEO, Dabble; Henri Poole, founder/director, Civic Actions; Kathleen Lyman, CEO, LaunchMedia; Steve Gillmor, founder of GestureLab (damn, he’s not invisible). Our co-hosts were Robert Scoble and Fred Davis, co-founder of Wired Magazine. Videographers are Eddie Codel and Glenn Gullmes. Chef is Rozana Ogneva of www.AreYouBeingServedCatering.com. Our host is Jeannine Barnard. A second part of this dinner is coming tomorrow.

If you want a short video, this is NOT for you (this one is 50 minutes long). We cook a little bit, joke around a little bit, get serious a little bit.

But, mostly, this is an experiment. What do you think? Where should we go with this?

Because it’s an experiment, it starts slow but it starts going better. One problem is we don’t introduce everyone right away.

We’re not sure how often we’ll do these or who’ll get invited. The only thing we are sure about is when we do one we’ll turn on the cameras and put that up on the Web.

The audio isn’t optimal, too. Gotta figure out how to mic a large group with a minimal crew (read: no audio engineers) while having a frying pan going.

We filmed this back in early January. Sorry for taking so long to get it out.

UPDATE: the conversation gets better at about 22 minutes in. At 28 minutes we talk about social media and the friction between the younger generation and older generation in the workforce.

One thing I forgot? The recipe! I’ll get that and upload it.

Google hiring managers should listen in at about 39 minutes. Fred Davis makes a great point about leadership.

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50 thoughts on “Introducing “Cooking with Geeks”

  1. Hi Robert!

    I had some difficulties with the whole user interaction experience with your embedded video here and on PodTech, so I sent a short summary to Maryam.

    Nice job, though. Keep up the good work!

  2. Hi Robert!

    I had some difficulties with the whole user interaction experience with your embedded video here and on PodTech, so I sent a short summary to Maryam.

    Nice job, though. Keep up the good work!

  3. Great thing to read. Would you like to send in those recipes that you cook in these interesting events to our group cookbook project – “You Can Cook”? We are working on this group cookbook for the Feed a Hungry Child campaign. Let me know if you folks are interested in any possible collaborations.

  4. Great thing to read. Would you like to send in those recipes that you cook in these interesting events to our group cookbook project – “You Can Cook”? We are working on this group cookbook for the Feed a Hungry Child campaign. Let me know if you folks are interested in any possible collaborations.

  5. Robert, check out what PodChef Neal is doing. He’s done great food podcasts for quite a while now and has also started doing video on YouTube. The production quality is very low but the content is world class. With his food knowledge and your resources, you could have a killer programme on your hands.

  6. Robert, check out what PodChef Neal is doing. He’s done great food podcasts for quite a while now and has also started doing video on YouTube. The production quality is very low but the content is world class. With his food knowledge and your resources, you could have a killer programme on your hands.

  7. There’s lots of great food related websites around, but most of them fail in one of two ways. They’re either very US centric (great if you live in the US, but most of them don’t even pay lip service to the fact that you might measure ingredients by weight, not volume) or aiming at one of the “extremes” of eating. There’s plenty of places for gourmet food, plenty of places for super-healthy food, but nowhere that discusses everyday food – the stuff you can eat and enjoy with minimal effort and is sensibly healthy. Or have I just given away the niche in the market I’ve discovered?

    There’s a comment I’ve been meaning to make for a while as well. I just don’t have TIME for video blogs. A video blog post like this means I have to devote an hour of my time to getting the content. I just don’t have that much unproductive time to fill, so the bar is set pretty high for me to actually watch more than a five minute video. I’ve no doubt there’s some great creative stuff going on here, but you’ve got to be national media standard to get my attention for that long. And in a five minute clip, you’d better have me hooked in the first thirty seconds, or I’m outta here.

  8. There’s lots of great food related websites around, but most of them fail in one of two ways. They’re either very US centric (great if you live in the US, but most of them don’t even pay lip service to the fact that you might measure ingredients by weight, not volume) or aiming at one of the “extremes” of eating. There’s plenty of places for gourmet food, plenty of places for super-healthy food, but nowhere that discusses everyday food – the stuff you can eat and enjoy with minimal effort and is sensibly healthy. Or have I just given away the niche in the market I’ve discovered?

    There’s a comment I’ve been meaning to make for a while as well. I just don’t have TIME for video blogs. A video blog post like this means I have to devote an hour of my time to getting the content. I just don’t have that much unproductive time to fill, so the bar is set pretty high for me to actually watch more than a five minute video. I’ve no doubt there’s some great creative stuff going on here, but you’ve got to be national media standard to get my attention for that long. And in a five minute clip, you’d better have me hooked in the first thirty seconds, or I’m outta here.

  9. Cool! Looks a little different than my dinner parties which make use of a rusty hibachi on the back porch (but we grill ahi too!), shorts, aloha shirts and Coors. Thanks for the view ino the inner sanctum!

  10. Cool! Looks a little different than my dinner parties which make use of a rusty hibachi on the back porch (but we grill ahi too!), shorts, aloha shirts and Coors. Thanks for the view ino the inner sanctum!

  11. AWESOME! “Living with Geeks” will ping! A few of the geek couples I’ve interviewed were wine enthusiasts (and they’d share some vino with the ever grateful interviewer while explaining where they found ‘that year’ etc) but none of them cooked a meal! Love it, love it.

  12. AWESOME! “Living with Geeks” will ping! A few of the geek couples I’ve interviewed were wine enthusiasts (and they’d share some vino with the ever grateful interviewer while explaining where they found ‘that year’ etc) but none of them cooked a meal! Love it, love it.

  13. Robert,

    I just noticed what you said above…

    The OS X vs Vista dinner… lol

    What happened? All the Mac people on one side of the table and the Windows people on the other?

    I guess the Linux folks sat out on the porch with Gladware plates… :)

  14. Robert,

    I just noticed what you said above…

    The OS X vs Vista dinner… lol

    What happened? All the Mac people on one side of the table and the Windows people on the other?

    I guess the Linux folks sat out on the porch with Gladware plates… :)

  15. Robert,

    Thanks for the photo link…

    Say, I recall you mentioning the price of your house a while back, and in one of the photos, I see you have neighbors… really close. Shouldn’t you have at least a couple of hundred feet of land for that price?

  16. Robert,

    Thanks for the photo link…

    Say, I recall you mentioning the price of your house a while back, and in one of the photos, I see you have neighbors… really close. Shouldn’t you have at least a couple of hundred feet of land for that price?

  17. Scoble,

    You should upload photos of your house so we can all see how the other half lives.

    New show idea: Geek lifestyles. How geeks live.
    Photocopies of bills and mortgages a bonus.

  18. Scoble,

    You should upload photos of your house so we can all see how the other half lives.

    New show idea: Geek lifestyles. How geeks live.
    Photocopies of bills and mortgages a bonus.

  19. Compelling content! I’ve got another great idea for you: “Geeks Taking Dumps.” Just be sure to make it 3 hours long, like all your other videos. Fascinating stuff!

  20. Compelling content! I’ve got another great idea for you: “Geeks Taking Dumps.” Just be sure to make it 3 hours long, like all your other videos. Fascinating stuff!

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