Mobile

Food porn app Chefs Feed releases version 3.0, expands into Canada

Above: The Rivera brothers doing what they do best -- eating.

Image Credit: Chefs Feed Facebook

Close your eyes and imagine a big, juicy filet mignon or freshly baked chocolate croissants dusted with powdered sugar. Drooling yet? Food porn app Chefs Feed released its version 3.0 today, and it includes four new features to encourage planning and sharing of delectable dishes.

Chefs Feed is a social network for chefs and food lovers. Chefs create profiles with a selection of their favorite dishes from around their city. Users scroll through images on their profiles and can click on specific items and chefs to learn more. The content provides a glimpse into what elite chefs like to eat and serves as a guide for diners.

It’s a way for locals to learn about fare in their city as well as for travelers to quickly figure out where they’d like to eat. For chefs, it provides an opportunity to connect with their fans outside of the kitchen. The community now has 750 chefs in 24 cities.

“People are getting frustrated with user-generated content,” said founder and CMO Jared Rivera. “They want to get straight to the point. Anyone who cares what they are putting in their body and doesn’t want to sledge through a bunch of noise to find out whats good, goes right to the experts. A meal is a terrible thing to waste, and you don’t want to screw around with good food.”

The latest update has a “notify the chef” feature where you can let a chef know that a dish is on your to-do list and they may respond directly. You can also search for friends, tag friends or chefs in messages or comments, and share your status and meal photos on your personal feed. The app also serves to bring groups of friends together to embark upon “culinary adventures.”

The company was founded by Jared and his brother Steve Rivera. They previously ran a successful restaurant PR company that Wagstaff Worldwide acquired. They were working on Chefs Feed as a side project and decided to turn it into a full-fledged business. Jared then embarked on cross-country journey, sponsored by Virgin, where he became the “chef whisperer” and ate at over 500 restaurants in eight months.

The company has aggressively been adding new cities across the country and today also announced expansion into Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver in Canada. Founder Jared Rivera told me that Chefs Feed is establishing 35,000 chef-to-user connections a day and over 3 million total to date. Since the release of 2.0, nearly 400,000 dishes have been marked as “eaten” or “planned.” Rivera said this is a new form of lead generation and customer acquisition for the restaurants, and an opportunity for diners to feel special.

I am picky about food and am frequently disappointed by the resources on Yelp and Zagat. I used Chefs Feed at home in San Francisco and on weekend trips to Seattle and Portland, and not once has it steered me wrong. The app provides a quick way to surface the best food in a location and find delectable things to eat. It is also includes beautiful photography of most of the food, which I appreciate. I always wish that restaurants would include dish photos along with menus because so much of eating (or selecting what to eat) is visual. Along these lines, the company is launching a video network with original content later this summer.


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