2.3.2015: Bocuse d’Or / Epicurious


@Gachatz and the Bocuse D’Or Coverage

If you haven’t come around to admit the power of Twitter, I don’t know what to tell you. To be fair, I can’t speak to its ability to convert advertising dollars to revenue, but I can speak to its ability to connect smart people in public-facing discourse. The latest: Grant Achatz asking top US food media why they didn’t cover this year’s Bocuse d’Or competition in France. (He even managed a dig at Brooklyn in the process.)

Except… most of them did cover the event, which they were quick to point out. (Both the NYT and Eater, specifically.)

That’s not especially remarkable on its own, but what followed was a great discussion about why the event doesn’t appear to be covered in as mainstream a fashion. Bocuse d’Or started in the late 80s by Paul Bocuse. Its final event — sometimes compared in prestige to the Olympics — happens every other year in Lyon. This year, team USA took second. The (very generalized) consensus: It’s a pretty big deal, but this competition is not the made-for-TV spectacle that is “Top Chef” and its ilk. And then a discussion of whether it’s food media’s job to drive an audience for this sort of thing, or just report on the event. Which, I think, is interesting to think about, especially in the age of digital media and especially because, thanks to lots of chefs and restaurants on Twitter, I bet a whole lot more people actually discovered the event this year.

illustration by April V. Walters


Meals on Demand in Asia

More on-demand food! This time, in Asia, where the Line messaging app will introduce food delivery in Thailand.
(Previously, Line was best-known for its dizzying array of cartoon stickers.)

I feel like I write this every week (probably because I do): but this isn’t ground-breaking stuff. What is interesting is that this relatively “new” technology is coming to market via a casual chat app and not some sort of dedicated grocery service. Seems friendlier somehow, doesn’t it? Plus, with an already huge user base (TechCrunch says they report 36 million registered users in Thailand), it’s a captive spot to introduce a new concept without having to build a community from scratch.

Sort of related: ICYMI, Beyonce and her trainer are launching a vegan meal delivery program. Because why not?



Foursquare’s Tastes that Make the City

Ok, ok so I don’t always love restaurant best-of lists (as evidenced by last week’s C+T edition), but to my New Yorkers and San Franciscans: did you catch Foursquare’s “Tastes that make the city” lists? They’re pretty fun. The lists, comprised of 50 “best-ofs” in each city, came from Foursquare’s data scientists, who, thanks to check-in info and tips left by users, identified the top 50 must-dos in each city. The list was presented as an interactive checklist, with a small leaderboard of your friends and social contacts on the side. Fun! (I’m 21 out of 50 in SF and 9 out of 50 in New York which is slightly embarrassing but not too shabby, IMO.)



The New Epicurious

I love a good redesign. Today’s comes courtesy of the fine people of Epicurious, who have relaunched the site complete with new logo. There are some decidedly techy features too: a “Food Forecast” in partnership with The Weather Channel (it told me to make a “pick-me-up for today’s 65-and-sunny in San Francisco forecast) and a feature called “Cook It” that “uses artificial intelligence to predict what you want to cook. Looks good!


  • The YouTube comedy wine reviewer (who is also Mindy Kaling’s personal assistant) — GrubStreet
  • Can’t get enough of April’s awesome illustrations every week? Me either. Check out her gorgeous take on dinner at Thomas Keller pop-up Ad Lib — aprilvwalters.com
  • Thirty days of “get your restaurant in shape” posts. Awesome. — Open For Business
  • Social tracking software provider Sprinklr on restaurant social media — a good overview —NextRestaurants

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