Say Hello to Darren Vengroff

Despite not having been the most adventurous of eaters as a child, Darren has always enjoyed cooking. Even as he pursued a career in tech that has included four startups and several large companies, he always cooked as a hobby. He first combined tech and food as a member of the management team of egullet.com, one of the first websites that brought food lovers ranging from home cooks to leading chefs to food writers together for a wide variety of spirited discussions on any and all food and cooking-related topics.

It was through eGullet.com that Darren first became aware of sous-vide cooking, which at the time was highly technical and mainly confined to professional kitchens. There were not a lot of sous-vide resources available at the time, so Darren wrote SousVide Dash, an iOS application that could, in just a few seconds, run a full thermodynamic simulation of a sous-vide cooking session. The simulation would advise it’s user what time and temperature were optimal for cooking a given food item and, if necessary, pasteurizing it. The app was then re-released in partnership with Polyscience and won the StarChefs International Chefs Congress Innovator of the Year award in 2012.

Fast forward a couple of years, and Darren began asking himself why, if we could control the temperature so precisely in sous-vide, nobody was doing so with more traditional cooking methods, especially stovetop methods. Further study and design let Darren co-found Meld, a startup aimed at tackling exactly this problem. A year ago, Meld joined forces with Hestan Smart Cooking to answer this and other questions about home cooking. These questions and answers led to the creation of a whole new category of cooking hardware and software called Guided Cooking. Hestan’s first guided cooking products — Hestan Cue — will soon be available. Stay tuned!