Nom, Live Food Videos from YouTube Co-Founder, Launches
Yesterday, a new food video service that I’m pretty excited about launched to the public, giving anyone the ability to create, script, and host live food demonstrations. (Or pre-recorded, if live isn’t your thing.) Called Nom and founded by YouTube founder Steve Chen, it’s a new live, interactive video platform that will allow anyone to produce, direct, and host their own food show. For the launch, Nom has partnered with some high-profile chefs like Benu’s Corey Lee; Otium’s Timothy Hollingsworth, Slanted Door’s Charles Phan, and Mister Jiu’s Brandon Jew, showcasing their restaurants, cooking styles, and other insightful, personable details.
Nom does a whole lot more, too, and I’m very excited to check this out personally while in Austin. Stay tuned to the @ChefsTech Twitter account for more news about Nom and examples of how great this platform is. Very exciting.
Come to an Awesome #SouthBites Panel This Weekend!
If you’re coming to Austin for SXSW this weekend, I have a panel for you to star: Sensors, Transparency, and the Modern Restaurant. I’ll be speaking on the panel with 6Sensor Labs’ Carla Borsoi and Angelique Toschi of Shakey’s USA detailing the current scope of consumer devices and ingredient sensors that can scientifically determine the contents of a restaurant meal. What does that mean for the restaurant-diner social contract? What should be expected of people who manufacture these devices? Will this change how people dine out? Mark your schedule for Saturday, 11am, in the Maximilian Room at the Driskill: Film Badge, Interactive Badge, Gold Badge, Platinum Badge access. (And if you have a burning question, feel fee to give me a heads up so I can give you the most thoughtful answer possible.)
Get Excited About These Things with Me!
Speaking of SXSW, The #SouthBites lineup is stronger than ever this year, with a ton of insightful content and events. A few things I’m especially looking to attending:
- Will no tipping save the restaurant industry?
- Must-Have Branding Lessons for Food Startups
- Tech vs. Craft: Making Food, Wine, and Spirits
- Culinary Innovation: Tracking Food Trends
- Evolution of Fast Casual and the Shift to Mindful Eating
- Anthony Bourdain as Interviewed by Nathan Thornburgh (I might be the most excited about this one, I’m an unapologetic fan girl. True story.)
- JUST Food: What It Looks Like When We Start Over
- Changing Times: Restaurant Survival in Real Time
- How Digital Killed the Recipe
- Eat this Panel if You Dare: Food Myths Debunked
- Meet Nom: Food and the Future of Live Video (particularly pumped about this one.)
So much great stuff. See you there?
AI, Robots, and the Importance of Human Interaction
James Beard Award-nominated Chris Stang pens my very favorite @infatuation restaurant reviews and commentary, and has again managed to impress with an articulate perspective about artificial intelligence, robots, and the importance of human interaction. The topic is one I personally spend a not-insignificant amount of time thinking about, and his piece, about the thought process behind the Infatuation’s Tex Rex messaging service and how to scale the experience while maintaining the all-important human touch.
As a proponent of human recommendations over super-smart robots, I appreciate the perspective and explanation of choosing humans over bots. It’s a nice read. (If you’re heading to Austin, put Text Rex’s new number, 64560, into your phone — he’ll be giving recommendations for the best spots to hit up during the festival.)
The Whole Foods Pre-Peeled Orange Debate and Internet Culture
Convenience foods are a hot ticket in the industry and have been for some time. Recently, the shift from preservative-laden, nutritionally void convenience foods has picked up steam, with options that are significantly healthier and more nutritious than a bag of potato chips or a Snickers bar. convenience foods also include things like pre-washed and pre-chopped vegetables, and at least one Whole Foods location, already-peeled oranges, wrapped in plastic. Huh. One shopper tweeted an image of the fruit, and as you can expect, this one took off.
Almost immediately, Whole Foods pulled the offending oranges from shelves and issued Twitter apologies, promising to leave oranges in their “natural wrappers” in the future. In its thoughtful piece on the topic, The Atlantic concludes with: “The discussion will likely continue, and it will likely continue to play out as one that is not only—indeed, not really—about oranges, but about the kind of world we want to build, together.”
- How one restaurant plugs into food tech — Forbes
- In addition to its new Austin-based Tex Rex feature, The Infatuation has launched its Austin content just in time for SXSW — the Infatuation
- New Ruby Tuesday ad strategy to find customers where they are — AdAge