"Basically, I started the site as a place to store all the food related stuff that I didn't want to have to carry around in my brain, but I would want to reference later. Sometimes people ask me (or quiz me) about cooking and there's a tendency for me to smile and respond with, 'I wrote it down so I wouldn't have to remember!'" - Michael Chu
Before starting Cooking For Engineers, Michael had been looking for a way to store his recipes for some time. Michael used to store his recipes (some of which were laboriously tested and perfected over many trials) on his Palm handheld device. For backup purposes, Michael began to synchronize his Palm handheld to the Outlook service at his work. Due to a misunderstanding on server storage policies, three months after the first synchronization, the server deleted all his recipes (except for Tuna Noodle Casserole). Since then, Michael looked for a way to permanently store his recipes and notes.
In June, Michael noticed that Blogger was providing free server space as well as unlimited image storage for users of the newly released Hello! image messaging software. Always interested in taking advantage of a deal, Michael started a blog with the intention of uploading as many pictures as possible. After uploading a few handfuls of completely unrelated pictures, Michael lost motivation (especially since the pictures were relatively low-resolution and he had no theme going). One evening, Michael got bored and decided to photograph the steps involved in making a version of Cook's Illustrated Magazine's Salsa Cruda recipe. The rest, as they say, is history.
About the name: Cooking For Engineers
Michael selected the name "Cooking For Engineers" on a whim. He has no idea if it means "To cook for the purposes of providing engineers with food" or "To instruct engineers in the science and art of cooking". He likes the ambiguity, and other people seem to find the name intriguing and even interesting. He regrets that the name can be misread (when in a rush) to be "Cooking Foreigners".
About Michael Chu
Michael Chu lives in the heart of Silicon Valley just south of the San Francisco Bay Area in California, United States. He has worked as a network engineer, software programmer, PDA hardware designer, computer vision researcher, and, most recently, notebook hardware application engineer. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science from the College of Engineering at University of California, Berkeley in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Besides cooking and dining, Michael enjoys photography, indoor rock climbing, and gaming (video, computer, and board games - but not gambling).
Supporting Cooking For Engineers
Cooking For Engineers generates a significant amount of traffic and the large volume of photographs served requires lots of bandwidth (over 200 GB per month in September 2005). In addition to the server costs, a lot of food is "wasted" as recipes and experiments go awry. Most of the money used to support and grow the website are generated through private donations, Amazon.com, MetroKitchen, and Google AdSense.
If you would like to support Cooking For Engineers directly, donations are accepted through PayPal by clicking on the following button:
Cooking For Engineers is also supported through online purchases made by its readers from Amazon.com. Amazon supplies quality cookware, kitchen gadgets, and cookbooks, as well as other necessities (video games, books, and more). Please enter Amazon.com through the following link:
|Shop Amazon for Cookware, Knives, Cookbooks, and more|
Cooking For Engineers is also supported through merchandise sales through MetroKitchen, an online retailer specializing in high-quality kitchenware.
|Excellent seller of AllClad, Henckels, Wusthof, John Boos and more|
Google AdSense also helps to support Cooking For Engineers by placing relevant advertising in (hopefully) unobtrusive but reasonably visible (oxymoron?) locations on the website.
Occasionally, I write product reviews. Prior to 2009, I tried to only post positive reviews. During 2009, I decided to post some not positive reviews because the product (gadget, book, or experience) was notable. I not only purchase products for review, but receive a steady supply of products (gadgets, books, foodstuffs, etc.) from companies or individuals looking for feedback or reviews. It is understood that when I receive a product, I may or may not write a review - it is up to my discretion. I do not "pull punches" - if I like a product, I say so. If I dislike it, I will make note of that as well. Often it is simply not worth my time to write a negative or middle-of-the-road review because I prefer to provide my readership with information that guides them to make correct purchases for themselves. For simplicity's sake, readers should assume that everything I review has been provided to me to test free of charge unless I say otherwise. Whether or not this affects my judgment, is up to you to decide. I don't believe it does, but if you think it does, send me an email. I'm always up for reexamining my practices.