There are a ton of cooking and smart-cooking devices out there. Some are pretty inventive, including the Mellow. Mellow is a sous-vide machine that takes orders through your smartphone and keeps food cold until it’s the exact time to start cooking. That is pretty incredible. You can put the food in the Mellow, set what time you want to eat, and the device takes care of the rest.
Mellow is running a pre-order campaign on their website. In the FAQs, the team lays out their reasoning for not going to Kickstarter:
Like anyone who’s followed a consumer product campaign knows, things change and delays happen. Not charging until we’re ready to ship makes our life harder, but it makes us be on our best behavior.
The Mellow team was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about their product.
What is Mellow?
Sous-vide is a way to get outrageously good taste out of food by cooking ingredients at very precise temperatures, and while it’s very popular with foodies, it’s still a special-occasion thing. We make it simple and flexible enough for any food lover to use daily.
1. It’s the smartest cooking machine out there. It’s operated entirely through your smartphone, takes orders in natural language and learns your taste as you use it. We’ve built it to be a robotic sous-chef for home cooks.
2. It’s insanely flexible. Mellow has a built-in refrigeration system. Coupled with the smartphone control, this means you can set it up a breakfast and have perfect food at dinnertime.
3. It’s effortless to use. It takes a minute to set up and use. If you have a late meeting and decide to delay dinner, warn Mellow through the app and it’ll adjust automatically.
Why make the Mellow?
The food we eat has never been more important. While we live in a time of unprecedented abundance, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese and weight-related diseases take thousands of lives prematurely.
We have seen a decline in the amount of food cooked from scratch at home over the last decades, even as the amount of meals eaten at home increases. We’ve traded freshly cooked food for mass-produced meals, and have become poorer for it.
However, there are good news. In the last few years, no doubt thanks to the tireless work of many advocates, cooking at home has been on the rise. More American adults claim to enjoy cooking, and in fact, more of them are actually taking their turn at the stove. But the change hasn’t been as quick and drastic as it needs to be.
We think technology should be helping more. Recipe apps and calorie counters are not enough to disrupt the hold that pre-cooked, sugar and salt-laden foods have in our daily life. To beat microwave pizza, we need to make great home-cooked food just as convenient.
What was the “ah ha” moment?
Mellow is the product of FNV Labs, an early-stage startup. We are a pair of young founders trying to do world-changing work. We’ve spent the last two years on Mellow, and are constantly moving from continent to continent to make it as good as possible. We spend most of our time between San Francisco and Lisbon, but can also be found in Shenzhen. We didn’t really have a “ah ha” moment, we just worked our butts off for a long time.
Tell us a little bit about the founders
We’re a two-person founding team. We’re graduates of PCH International’s hardware incubator Highway1, and we’re backed by a number of prominent UK-based angels, such as Sir David Cleevely.
Zé has been hacking together sous-vide cooking equipment for a decade. He holds an MSE in Mechanical Engineering from IST-UTL. He’s easy to grab for coffee, easier to grab for lunch. He met Catarina in Lisbon through mutual friends.
Catarina is in charge of keeping the vision grounded in real people at FNV Labs. She’s done postgraduate studies in Product Design and Development at FEUP and holds a Bachelor’s in Industrial Design from ESAD.CR. Catarina has designed numerous kitchen products over the years. She’s comfortable at all product stages, from napkin sketch to store shelf.
What’s the next step?
Shipping! We’re focused on getting units to our new customers as soon as possible.
Anything else you want to leave us with?
Mellow passed $150K in preorders last Friday!
We would like to thank the Mellow Team for answering our questions. For more info, check out CookMellow.com.