coala's Call for Chefs

A story I like to tell to showcase the welcoming atmosphere at coala is one about ramen. Some time last year I was talking with Asnel about how to improve a bowl of instant ramen until you get a healthy (and also very tasty) meal.

Because it was a rather quiet evening we did so in our main channel, when suddenly a wild newcomer appeared (I sadly don’t remember the name). While we helped him get started, we also continued our discussion on how adding some vegetables and a soft-boiled egg could make all the difference between a cheap snack and a fulfilling meal.

Later that evening, the newcomer just found their way into our offtopic channel, they voiced their amazement about how we, “the gods of programming, the wise elders of this awesome open source project” could discuss such profanities as upgrading your ramen game. Surely we had more important, ground breaking, work to do. I am pretty sure those weren’t the exact words but the idea was the same. Even more amazing, the newcomer was able to participate (who has never eaten a bowl of instant ramen?) and contribute. The newcomer loved the casual atmosphere and being included, who would have guessed.

This taught me some things.

  1. The welcoming culture in other open source projects must be horrible if such a simple thing would blow someone’s mind. From my point of view, we didn’t do anything impressive. We talked about food…

  2. A lot of people don’t know how to cook nice meals. Or even just how to get a little more out of your instant ramen.

  3. Including newcomers in your offtopic fun is a way to help them get accustomed to the new environment they ventured into.

It was the last realization that made me embrace the “Secretary of Offtopic” title (which I gave to myself to be honest). Offtopic interaction seems to be something people love and it can connect complete strangers over something all sides know about.

In comes:

Call for Chefs

Right. In an attempt to get more offtopic fun going and to get more people to cook real food, we will start a cooking competition. Probably with more focus on the cooking and less focus on the competition. The goal after all lies on the fun of experimenting in the kitchen, trying out new meals and get becoming your own chef.

The Format

At this point I am not entirely sure how the format will go. We probably will do a 2 week run, where everyone can enter with a dish they cooked themselves and the recipe and then there will be a vote. I guess we’d invite the winner(s) to showcase their dish on the coala blog (maybe we can get our own category so we don’t spam it too hard) and maybe we can find someone crazy enough to get some form of prizes, who knows. As long as there are no real prizes involved, I don’t think any real rules will be written as the whole thing is just for fun and giggles.

Any Timeline?

Just to get rolling, the first round will start now and end in two weeks (April 29.). If you want to participate, just cook something, make nice pictures of the result (maybe also during the cooking part), write a blog post and get it onto the coala blog.
Update: Create a PR to coala/recipes with your entry as a .md file and blog post format.
The first round will mostly be an idea finding time to figure out how we can organize this and how it is supposed to work. :)

Finally, have fun cooking!