Hardware is the New Software

Hipster Cooking Device from Fatty Crab and Babbo Alums Sparks Investor Interest

Pairs well with a subscription to Lucky Peach.
 Hipster Cooking Device from Fatty Crab and Babbo Alums Sparks Investor Interest

(Photo: Nomiku)

What do you get when you mix one part fresh-faced “bicoastal foodies,” one-part pioneering Chinese accelerator, and one-part high-brow cooking fad? Nomiku, an immersion circulator that wants to bring a “Top Chef”-worthy cooking technique to the amateur kitchen.

By clipping Nomiku’s device onto any pot of water, users are able to master sous-vide cooking, a method increasingly popular for its consistent, juicy results. Meat smokers? So 2010.

Although the startup is based in San Francisco, its cofounders have ties to New York’s restaurant scene. CEO Lisa Q. Fetterman worked at Jean Georges and Babbo before running Lower East Kitchen, which open-sourced a DIY sous-vide kit. Cofounder Wipop Bam Suppipat worked at Fatty Crab and Zoku. Rounding that out is Lisa’s husband Abe Fetterman, Nomiku’s CTO, a Princeton astrophysics Ph.d. They prototyped the device at Haxlr8r, a hardware accelerator in ShenZhen, China, where they “developed solid relationships with ethical facilities.”

Nomiku was Kickstarter’s fastest-launching campaign in the food category–raising more than $287,00 in three weeks and meeting its goal in 11 days. Momentum has slowed somewhat on the crowdfunding platform: the project has raised $291,680 with nine days to go. But as of this morning, Nomiku is “trending” on AngelList.

While it doesn’t guarantee funding, the startup has 113 “followers“–up from 86 earlier today–including Jason Calacanis, who backed the project on Kickstarter, Path’s Dave Morin, Brit Morin (Martha Stewart for the Etsy set), 500Startup’s Dave McClure, and Quotidian Ventures’ Pedro Torres Picón.

Immersion circulators, which started showing up on the market a few years ago, cost between $500 and $2,000 reports Engadget, which tested out the device and liked what it saw. Nomiku will retail for $299, is small enough to fit in a New York kitchen, and doesn’t require a proprietary cooking vessel.

From the eat-your-own-dogfood school of marketing, the company’s Kickstarter page boasts that, “Our Nomiku prototype floored everyone at Q and Abe’s wedding by making perfectly cooked steaks.” If production goes according to plan, we expect to see Nomiku   join the KitchenAid Mixer on the wedding registries of artisanal Brooklyn. Singletons might want to opt for the $75 DIY version (calling yourself a “maker” optional).

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com