Cole Wagoner is crushing it in the kitchen and has become a pretty hardcore #anovafoodnerd, sharing his crazy good sous vide food photos with the fellow food nerds on Instagram almost daily. He developed a deep appreciation and high expectations for the quality of food during his years living in Portland, a city with some serious food game. When Cole met the girl of his dreams, he followed her across the country from his beloved home state of Oregon, to a small town in Alabama. The only thing missing seemed to be the glorious abundance of grub he’d previously enjoyed, which took a bit more of a drive to find in his new neck of the woods. So began Cole’s journey for the perfect kitchen tool companion to help him recreate food experiences from the comfort of his home, while snapping epic food photos along the way.
Reddit-obsessed customer dude, Bill, you should totes drop him a quick hello. He hangs out on Reddit on the reg.
Fast-forward to present day, Cole is killin’ it in the kitchen cooking sous vide 5-6 times each week, preparing the picture-perfect works of precision cooked art that you’ve probably seen on Instagram. No, he’s not a pro, but the dishes he dreams up look so damn good that friends are convinced he’s taken a job as a chef.
“I can't build a birdhouse, I can barely color in the lines, but I can cook!” Cole told me, adding that he cooks every protein sous vide, and is beginning to explore sous vide veggies.
Cole loves the cooking experience from prepping to plating, using it as a way to express his creativity. And, let’s be real, his instafood photos are bomb dot com. He doesn't even use pro editing! So, I asked Cole for some tips on how he nails those flawless food photos. He's a huge fan of using natural light and shoots from directly above, when possible. He applies the final touches with the VSCO Cam app, just to clean it up and add a filter if he's feelin' it.
We continued nerding out over food photos and since I’m a culprit of spending countless hours crafting a killer shot on Instagram, I asked if he did the same.
Insider info: Cole plans what he’s going to cook based on how it will look on a plate for his food photos. He spends Saturday mornings rocking out (currently to his John Isbell playlist) while scrawling ideas about what he's going to dish up next in a notebook dedicated to recipes. Umm...did we just become best friends???
“Yea, it’s funny, my wife had been asking me to cook this Chicken Marsala dish for like, two weeks. Don’t get me wrong, it tastes awesome, but I kept putting it off because it just doesn’t look good on the plate.”
Simmer down, nerds, his wife eventually got her request. In fact, Cole loves cooking for his wife, explaining that, “there’s really no better way to show someone you love them, than to be able to cook them an incredible meal.” He added that he enjoys nothing more than when his wife joins him in the kitchen to break out the Precision Cooker for some sous vide cooking together.
Cole is passionate about the quality of food, and sticks to locally sourced meat and produce as much as possible. He encourages people to purchase more local food, and tells everyone he encounters about the benefits of sous vide.
“Food tastes so much better. People are missing out and they don’t realize they’ve probably had food cooked sous vide before. I’ve cooked a $13 ribeye, and it tasted like a $40 dish you’d get at a restaurant,” Cole said. He added that he’s been told by many a Twitter follower to, “stop talking about sous vide so much.” Don’t listen to them, Cole. They’ll see the light someday.
Come nerd out with us on Instagram for your daily dose of @anovaculinary awesomeness! You can even show off your own killer sous vide food photos using #anovafoodnerd for a chance to be featured.
See you on the flip side, nerds.