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Gabe Newell invests in bizarre cooking startup, has cameo in ad

Chell's kitchen.

Gabe Newell has invested in a new cookery company.

It's probably not what you think.

Newell was wowed by the Joule kitchen peripheral when its creators offered to come to his house and cook for the Valve boss and his 11-year-old son.

So wowed, in fact, that he is now personally helping to fund the venture (Valve is not involved) and has recorded a cameo appearance in its new advert.

The Joule is an "immersion circulator", designed to help cook meals using the sous vide method which gently heats food in water (thanks, VentureBeat).

The advert shows Newell stuck in traffic, frustrated and waiting. I wonder what that feels like.

It was designed by Seattle startup ChefSteps, founded by friends Chris Young and Grant Crilly - both former Microsoft alumni.

"They came over and it was easily the best food I'd ever had," Newell told Eater. "Spectacular in its design and execution."

Newell's son was so entranced he began reading the gadget's range of cookbooks.

"It was his bedside reading for six months. Even though, up until then, he'd never been interested in cooking at all, he suddenly decided he wanted to be a chef. And when I talked to him, he was talking about it like an engineer talks about it, he was talking about trade offs and fundamental principles and thermodynamics."

So there you have it. Gabe Newell has likely spent more money in the past year on an experimental cooking device than on developing Half-Life 3. Amiright?

Watch the Joule's advert below - the Valve boss pops up for his cameo at the 1:31 mark.

Watch on YouTube