A sous vide smartphone app. Welcome to the future. Co-founders of the Nise Wave, Rayner Mendes and Grant Hu, have it “in the bag” with their new invention.
The popular cooking method of sous vide, which translates to “under vacuum” involves plastic-bagged food submerged in warm water for several hours until cooked to perfection; although Mendes and Hu wanted to take it a step further.
The Nise Wave Kickstarter page explains, “While you are away, the patented adaptive temperature system automatically controls the cooking process. It creates a unique temperature curve for the recipe you select in the Nise mobile app, based on your desired doneness, ideal tenderness, and exactly when you want your food to finish cooking.”
This all began when Mendes, an Ivey Business School grad with an entrepreneurship fellowship, made a LinkedIn connection with Hu, a University of Toronto alumnus who, at the time, ran a Beijing-based company that sold commercial-grade sous vide cooking machines.
“He said, ‘I went to U of T and you went to Western – we’re both Canadian so why don’t you come over [to China],’”
That’s where the creative duo came up with the consumer-oriented sous vide device, building a new company focused in North America.
Now a year later, having made use of U of T Mississauga’s ICUBE incubator to develop the product, Nise Tech is nearing its launch date in Canada.
Raising $240,000 on Kickstarter, which is close to seven times their $35,000 goal, Mendes and Hu are looking to have the Nise Wave available to customers by early 2018.
“We’re the number one live project in Canada and the number one most-funded project in food right now,” said Mendes, now the company’s CEO. “Hopefully, we can leverage that into a good seed round after this.”
How did the inventors set the Nise Wave apart from the other sous vide machines marketed to consumers?
Mendes exlained the Wave comes with smartphone integration and an adaptive temperature control system that allows users to determine exactly when their meal is ready.
“You use your phone to transmit a recipe and it will do the rest for you,” he said. “With this method, you can get a medium rare steak every single time. You can also cook vegetables, pork, beef, desserts and it’s as easy as putting food into a reusable bag and then into the water with our device.”
Priced just under $200, Nise Wave is cheaper than rival products, added Mendes, and that their target market is people who lack the time or cooking experience to prepare meals.
Sous vide cooking first appeared in the mid-1960s. In an article titled, ‘The Rise of Sous Vide’, Jamie Calvetti wrote why this French style of cooking is so great and why this trend continues to rise in popularity.
Calvetti says there are many benefits to cooking the sous vide method, but he highlighted precision and consistency.
So, if you could have a juicy roast chicken just the way you want it each time, and with a device
to do all of that for you, what could be better?