Food Hacking at the Office


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Food Hacking at the Office

I wanted to explore the idea of "food hacking," or how to find the fastest and easiest ways to change your cooking habits. Bearing this goal in mind, I turned to one of the most efficient environments I could think of: the corporate office.

In the Male Chef kitchen, I’m always looking for new ways to manipulate, play with, and eventually ingest my meals. After running a food blog for some time, me and the rest of my Male Sous Chefs have been invited over to VICE for a chance to explore the rear-end of food culture even further.

I wanted to kick things off by exploring the idea of "food hacking," or finding the fastest and easiest ways to change your cooking habits so you can maximize your life’s efficiency. Bearing this goal in mind, I turned to one of the most efficient environments I could think of: the corporate office.


All photos by Male Chef

“Food hacking” is not unlike the “computer hacking” that we see in Hollywood movies like The Matrix, but instead of placing your fingers on a keyboard, you're using them to shovel food into your mouth. For this inaugural edition, we spent lunchtime trapped in a cubicle inside of one of New York City's tallest skyscrapers, brainstorming some fun and convenient food hacks where no kitchen is required.

The first rule of food hacking: stop being so narrow-minded and heteronormative by confining your cooking to a kitchen. At work, start your hacking as soon as you enter the building's lobby. An elevator can easily become an ascending workspace to create an E-Z morning snack. With the help of a piping hot cuppa joe, a stupid, boring raw egg becomes a hard-boiled delicacy.

A quick tip for your elevator ride up to the office: grab a piping hot cuppa joe at the corner store and stick an egg in it to make a hard boiled morning snack.

No great hacker has ever put their family first. Before leaving the house in the morning, steal your daughter's hairdryer to really "heat things up" without leaving the comfort of your desk. The kids can figure out their own hacks at school.

Here's a cool trick: in the morning, steal your daughter's hairdryer while she's sleeping to heat up the situation without leaving your desk.

Finding cheap and easy solutions to cooking in any environment can be a real challenge, so be sure to scrounge around. One man’s toilet may be another man's treasure.


Why go out for lunch when you can just mail it to yourself? Outsourcing work makes everyone’s lives easier and the US Postal Service works as a perfectly reliable delivery service without inciting the usual guilt of “forgetting” to tip.

Orders of certain “refreshments” can be hidden within bulk purchases of office supplies. This type of subversive, self-centered behavior is key when hacking food.

Helpful advice: buy in bulk if you can

Forget to contribute to the office potluck? Put a little South in your boss’s mouth with these quick and E-Z shredder nachos. ¡Muy caliente!

Any successful lunchtime involves making time for recess, so do something creative with your down time. Art is defined as anything you make that can be shared on the internet, so make sure your camera has a self-timer.

Hiding your food amongst office supplies allows for continuous snacking throughout the day. And, as with anything, organization is of the utmost importance.

Don't forget: organization is key. Don’t limit your hacking to lunch! The more efficient your corporate eating habits are, the more you’ll be able to get done at work. Why waste time by going home to eat dinner with your family? Office sleepovers can be a lot less lonely if you use your quota to print out a special someone.

Lonely at lunch? Photocopy a special someone and hang her on the wall to add a romantic touch to the break room.

Much like in prison, eating between meals at work is almost impossible. Why limit yourself to the traditional means of dining when you have the cunning mind of an adult human being? Heck, the ingenuity of food hacking looks good on anyone’s resume. It might even land you a promotion.


Special thanks to Misha Spivack, Hunter Steinman, John Wilson, Brad B. and Elena Tarchi.

For more from the Male Chef, visit Male Chef's food blog.