“They’ve fried hard shell tacos, made a comforting bowl of chicken noodle soup, even whipped up a batch of rainbow sprinkle-covered doughnuts. In an age of molecular gastronomy, this may not seem like culinary genius. But on Tiny Kitchen, everything is cooked in a dollhouse kitchen roughly 1/12 the normal size.
Now in its second season, the popular online video series is produced by media group Tastemade. Jay Holzer, head of production, says the idea for a tiny cooking show came from one of Tastemade’s Japanese partners, who sent them a box filled with a tiny stove, tiny utensils, and a set of tiny cutting boards. Miniatures have long been popular in Japan due to the cultural dominance of kawaii,or all things cute, but making minuscule edible food — rather than polymer clay copies — is the newest incarnation of that trend. (A quick search of YouTube reveals several similar tiny cooking shows that appear to be from Japan.)
One of Tastemade’s food stylists, Hannah Aufman, now works on Tiny Kitchen exclusively. The show has also commissioned a special kitchen from a dollhouse maker in Germany. Once the crew finds a tiny working oven and a tiny barbecue, the Tiny Kitchen folks plan to continue expanding their tiny culinary repertoire.
A lot more goes into creating a new recipe than math. In addition to rewriting existing recipes to fit the mini serving sizes, Aufman is responsible for jury-rigging ways to fry teensy taco shells (she bends a paper clip into something like a frying basket) or figuring out how to deal with eggs (use part of a quail egg, the smallest commercially available variety).
And forget gas or electricity — this mini stove is heated by a tealight. Since the volume of food being cooked is so small, the candle provides more than enough energy to melt butter or boil water. In fact, things often cook too quickly. Burgers take no more than a few seconds on each side.
“You can’t regulate the heat,” Holzer says. “It’s either ‘hot as a tealight’ or no heat at all.” Luckily, the crew is quick with their tiny spatulas and ladles — utensils that are often not much bigger than a fingernail.” (Courtesy of NPR)
In one good paragraph, if you were to cook in a tiny kitchen, what would you make and why? And how would you do this?