Welcome to a different take on cooking. I am Jeff Zeanah, the founder, and creator of Zous Chef. After a 30+ year career in analytics consulting and teaching and simultaneously having a passion for all things related to cooking, this is an effort to combine these two efforts.
As the son of a home economics teacher, I had the opportunity to serve as an apprentice in the writing of her guide to cooking, If you Want to separate some Eggs. In the field of analytics, I developed and taught two popular courses through the SAS Institute’s Business Knowledge Series program: Explaining Analytics to Decision Makers and Exploratory Analysis for Large and Complex Problems along with a blog about analytics. My consulting work involved nutrition, electric transformers, fraud detection, marketing, and even stars. I am now very pleased to be able to apply those same processes to the issues of cooking. My goal is to use analytics to develop a deeper understanding. Hence the tag #DataDrivenChef. In an interview with the Why I Network, I go into greater depth into my background and my desires for this site.
The advent of social media and the internet, combined with the continued production of fine cookbooks, gives a cook an unprecedented amount of data. This presents a situation that was faced many times in my consulting career. Consumers of this data think, “Wow this is great. I have so much information.” The reality is something different. Yes, there is a lot of data, but to get information requires work; requires patience; requires asking good questions. In short, it requires analytics and the tools of analytics.
Lastly, I am Southern. I grew up with Southern cooking. This cooking was not the stereotype of Southern cooking. It was healthy and fresh. Much of our food came from markets and close to the farm. It was simply prepared to allow the taste of the ingredients to shine. I also endeavor to share that passion.
I always believed analytics has a very specific role. It provides specificity to discussion. General descriptions are replaced with details. Greater dimensions of a problem can be investigated. In a business setting, the hope is these more specific discussions lead to better decisions. In culinary efforts, using data to increase clarity in how and what people cook leads to a better understanding to apply in our efforts — both in ingredients and instruction. The result? Making you a better cook.
The posts will reflect deep dives into dishes understanding how they vary and why. Through this, the reader can gain insight into what defines their favorite recipes.
President, Z Solutions, Inc.