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The Geeky Chef is a web series in which I re-imagine, develop, and test some of America’s favorite dishes. Read more

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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on May 1, 2012.

The Geeky Chef is a web series in which I re-imagine, develop, and test some of America’s favorite dishes.

Dan Tran
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Dan Tran

First created  |  0 backed

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About this project

Watch the The Geeky Chef Promo film in HD by clicking the video below:

Vimeo:  YouTube:

What is The Geeky Chef?

The Geeky Chef is a web series in which I re-imagine, develop, experiment, and ultimately create the perfect dish.  Each episode will feature one of America's favorite dishes.

The format of the show is simple and entertaining. Each episode starts with visiting indigenous food locations in Southern California that have been widely regarded as having the best example of a certain culinary dish. I will eat the food and explain the qualities that make it extraordinary. Then in my experimental kitchen, I will incorporate all the best aspects of the food I sampled earlier, creating a new and original “perfect” recipe.

The goal of the show is for those watching at home to be able to recreate the dishes that I have recreated and learn a cool "geeky" cooking trick along the way.

Why is this show different?

In cooking, the term "Molecular Gastronomy" often discourages people because while interesting to watch, it is nearly impossible for the ordinary cook to mimic the highly technical and scientific techniques at home.  In "The Geeky Chef", there won't be any use of fancy foams, gels, or expensive ingredients; you will not need any expensive laboratory equipment or access to anything that the normal home chef doesn't already have. This show is not about that approach to cooking.

The focus of each episode will be an American favorite: the hamburger, fish taco, chicken wings, deep dish pizza, etc.  These have all been done many times before, but that is the sheer beauty of it. I want viewers to learn how to create something great that they can make and eat on a regular basis.

There is a very strong sense of discovery to the show. Viewers will learn how to use common household items for cooking in ways they never thought possible. How will a hair dryer help you make a better cake? Or how will bobby pins play a part in making the most amazing chicken wings? This show is about that!  

How you can be sure what you are doing is the best?

Simple, I will experiment and experiment again. I do not expect to get everything perfect on the first try. As someone from a scientific background, it is only fitting that I employ the scientific method. I will write hypotheses and create control groups, with the goal of finding the best cooking solutions.

Another focus of this show will be myth busting. There is no way to determine true "cause and effect" unless my cooking/testing is done in a controlled environment. Together, we will discover answers to age-old questions:  Does searing really seal in the juices? What exactly does a brine do? How do you check the temperature of your steaks?

Where will this money go? 

Thankfully, our production team has a large gear-bag to help us film, storytell, and push the creative limits of the show. The money raised will go towards shooting the pilot for "The Geeky Chef".

Cinematographers - Our crew has done an outstanding job helping to shoot the promo film simply out of the kindness of their hearts. Nevertheless, I would like to offer them some sort of compensation for their time, talent, and creative input.

Food and Kitchen Expenses - The cost of the ingredients for the experiments and all of the final demonstrations. This will also include other kitchen costs like plastic wrap and cleaning supplies.

Kitchen Rental - As fun as it was to invade someone's home and set up a studio, I would love to rent out a professional kitchen for a few hours to film the show. This will ensure that we have the facilities to show you how to perfectly recreate at home all the featured dishes.

Travel - We will be traveling to many different locations and carrying lots of gear with us. This will help us cover travel and other associated expenses.

What next?

This pilot is just the beginning, I have many cooking ideas that I'm enthusiastic to share. Over the past couple of years, I have been storing away original ideas and documenting many unique techniques. This project, "The Geeky Chef", is my way of sharing with everyone. 

I sincerely hope you find my project worthwhile and I have the utmost confidence that with your support, it be a success.  Thanks!



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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more
    About $10 USD

    7 backers

    My endless gratitude and 30 characters of video credit. This is your opportunity to immortalize a shout out, plug your twitter, or get everyone to acknowledge that new nickname you made for yourself.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more
    About $25 USD

    3 backers

    Video credits and full-sized glossy print of your choice of behind-the-scene photos. It will also be signed by the entire production crew (potential food stains are not extra) and include the episode's recipe on the back.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more
    About $50 USD

    8 backers

    Video credits, print, and limited edition Blu-ray (or DVD if you are old school) of the first episode for you to view at maximum resolution. It will also include special instructional videos and a blooper reel that will not be released anywhere else.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more
    About $100 USD

    1 backer

    Everything above and a “Kiss the Geek” apron. So now you can also venture into the kitchen proud and ready to whip up some great dishes without fear of getting any mustard on your shirt. Remember your onion goggles!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more
    About $200 USD

    2 backers

    Credits, recipes, apron, and an invite for two (2) to the Launch Event “Porkapalooza 2.0” where I will purchase an entire pig, butcher it, and cook every single part in a multi-course meal. Not to be missed.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more
    About $1,000 USD

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    ONLY 1 TOP LEVEL REWARD! You will get everything above hand delivered to anywhere in the Continental US. What is so special about that you ask? Well, I am going to do it personally and then spend the night giving you and as many of your friends as you like a PRIVATE cooking lesson.

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Funding period

- (34 days)