David RD Gratton

Rouxbe: a new Internet business actualling MAKING original content!

April 16, 2007

With so many companies focused on user generated content or aggregating content it is really refreshing to see a company like Rouxbe ( pronounced ROO - BE). Joe Girard the founder of Rouxbe has decided to take a different path and create original content for the Internet. As the company name indicates, Rouxbe, delivers personal culinary instruction. If you watch the Food Network like I do you, you will have noticed the decreasing focus on food preparation. The content on Rouxbe is outstanding: this is not about personality. It's about food! The production quality of the video and presentation is amazing. To Joe and his team, clearly food is about "experience". They have even gone so far as to create their own musical pairings! Rouxbe team member, Elliott Fienberg is a composer. His focus is on creating original musical pairings for each dish. You can listen to a sample of Rouxbe music here.

The video player uses a layered "drill down" approach that my company originally developed for Electronic Arts and User Friendly in 2000 and dusted off for Rouxbe in 2006. However, in the last year, the Rouxbe team has really improved the user experience from our original player and created a near perfect viewing experience for video instruction. The drill down approach enables viewers of varying skill and knowledge level to advance at their own pace without removing them from the context of what they are learning. There are distinct advantages to the Rouxbe approach versus a standard recipe site. Technique is critical to food preparation, but it is very difficult to demonstrate in text alone, even with images. Joe and his partner Dawn Thomas are accomplished and reputable chefs, who show you how with all the tricks of the trade to actually make food like the pros.

There are also plans for a social network, which I am really excited to see when it is launched.

Check out the site.

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Hey David, thanks for shedding some light on the originality of Rouxbe Music. I've always sort of been proud that Rouxbe features original music by myself(and hopefully other great artists in the future), cause if you listen to popular cooking shows on TV you will frequently hear a lot of stock music. This is not to say that the music is necessarily *bad*, it's just sort of slapped on there. Well that's the world of television for you and they have their own issues so I can't really criticize it too much.

I know a lot of people who are surprised when I tell them that I write original music for the site, and I guess this is a testament to the founder's vision for creating an awesome experience as you pointed out. I hope that other companies in similar fields will follow suit on this.

And while i'm here I just wanted to give some props to the Opus Player. I think it's great. Francesco and I were just saying how cool it not only has the playlisting features but also the podcast features too!