Take a Look at Our Rewards!
Wanna see what LCE swag looks like? Here are artist's renderings of our rewards (the final product may appear slightly different, but rest assured the quality will be good!). You know you want one! Yes, yes you do.
Your $500 pledge gets you an apron AND a t-shirt! Cool!
Keep on pledgin', people! We love giving away prizes!
It's GO TIME!
Our days are numbered! As of right now we are just 9 days away from a successful campaign. But we can't do it alone! If you're reading this, you're here because this project speaks to you in some way. Watch the video, read about our mission, and join us. Thanks for stopping by.
How Did It Come About?
Look, Cook, and Eat (LCE) is a digital, tablet- and computer-based cooking magazine designed for individuals with intellectual or learning disabilities, those who live in group homes or with a parent, sibling, or guardian but who can live semi-independently and want to gain life skills in the kitchen.
The project was conceived after I (that's me in the photo above) helped open a small coffee shop in Des Moines, Iowa. The now two-year-old shop is a job training site for high school students with intellectual disabilities. Besides serving as baristas making lattes and smoothies, they also help me bake treats to sell. During our one-on-one baking sessions, the kids demonstrated a real interest in cooking and were quite accomplished at basic tasks.
Which got us at Main Dish Media to thinking: What is out there for those with intellectual obstacles but who also want to live as independently as they can? The reality is, not much. I talked to special education teachers about what the students learn in class when it comes to cooking, and the teachers told me that they often Google easy recipes and then use them in class--special ed curriculum materials are very expensive. I talked to folks who work directly with people with disabilities, helping them with independent living and life skills, and it became clear that LCE could benefit them too, giving them something to work with for menu planning and meal prep. (They confided that sometimes their staff had less cooking experience than the clients they were assigned to.)
So, Main Dishers (the partners) started putting ideas to paper and then on the screen, and came up with a prototype that is unlike anything the intellectually disabled community has ever seen. And it's pretty darn exciting.
How Will It Work?
Subscribers to LCE will pay a yearly subscription fee (much like some newspapers; likely in the $20 to $25 range). With their subscription they'll receive menus each month that can be viewed on their iPad, tablet, or PC. Each menu (which could be breakfast, lunch, or dinner) will be divided into three components and each component will be broken down into what to buy, tools to use, and three short videos (each less than a minute long).
The material will be presented largely as images and videos--there will be very few words (in the event that reading is difficult). There will be audio voice overs of ingredients and tools to help identify items, and the videos will be able to be easily stopped and started for those who want to cook following the video.
Menus will be created with taste, nutrition, and simplicity in mind, but also a sense of fun! Knowing that users may have difficulty with fine motor skills, we'll use some ingredients that are already prepared (chopped onions, precooked diced potatoes, rotisserie chicken, fresh broccoli florets) to sidestep more challenging kitchen tasks. Some canned ingredients, like tomatoes and beans, will also be used. We are committed to teaching cooking fundamentals and creating a more confident, independent, self-sufficient cook without relying on processed foods.
Helpful "Tell Me More" tips will be peppered throughout the pages to add another layer of information and entertainment. These "pop up" videos will be short clips of Forrest or Mia or another student talking about something special in the recipe ("Be sure to use a lot of sauce on the chicken. That'll make it taste awesome!"). They are designed to be peer-to-peer conversations to help foster a sense of "Hey, I can do this too!"
The pages are currently being redesigned to be more visually compelling than what is depicted in the prototype, but superfluous design will be kept to a minimum, eliminating the need to swipe or click back to pages to get information. In that same spirit, LCE will NOT take advertising. We want to be sure users stay focused on cooking and being successful without distractions or unnecessary information.
How Will the Money Be Used?
Funds raised will go toward building out the LCE website and creating the infrastructure necessary (templates, etc.) for producing the magazine digitally. We'll also start production on more recipes, images, and videos, creating a well of content to draw on when we launch the magazine and begin to sell subscriptions. Funds will also be used to help underwrite marketing efforts and spread the word about LCE.
When Do We Expect to Launch?
We're aiming to make LCE available to subscribers in mid-2015.
Want to See More?
Our original video was too long to run in the introduction, but we liked it so much that we couldn't let it go. To get more information about LCE and see how it could be used, check out the video below. Didn't those kids do a great job??
Projects like this don't happen in a vacuum. We're indebted to our talented friends for offering their expertise to get us to this point (and we'll very likely turn to them to help launch LCE when it's funded!):
Dean Tanner; Mark H.; Chris Glowacki; Dan Miller; Melinda Collins, Julie Grylls, and the staff of Ruby Van Meter School; Plymouth Grounds Coffee Shop volunteers and Plymouth United Church of Christ; our video stars, Mia, Forrest, Lucas, Charlie, Madison, Austin, Alex, and Aye Win; Dana Borremans; Adam & Laura Engle; Mimi Reed; Hannah Lee. If I neglected to mention you, I am very sorry...
Talk About Town!
Hey, we're getting some great press about the project! Epicurious.com featured us on their blog this morning, and we'll be on our Des Moines' NBC affiliate, WHO Channel 13 news tonight at 5pm! We're grateful for the shout-outs!
UPDATE: Here's a link to the TV spot aired on Monday. Check it out! Share, share, share! http://bit.ly/1srfqen
We've hit a major milestone, people! Over $25k! Thank you so so much! Let's get this done! We have two weeks. Ready, set, go! In the words of my friend, Mia, "Together we can make this happen!" Yes, yes we can!
Risks and challenges
A project of this magnitude could very well run into unforeseen challenges, likely technological in nature. Backers will be kept in the know of progress and setbacks, and we'll do whatever it takes to make sure we don't disappoint. Everyone on the team is committed to not letting our supporters down and will do everything possible to make sure we hit our deadlines.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)