The heightened awareness of food these days has brought upon a set of greater expectations about what a culinary experience should be. As The Wall Street Journal outlines, many gourmands are now more interested in cooking classes than simply buying fancy kitchen gadgets or going to a nice meal. “Authenticity has replaced luxury as a culinary watchword, a new crop of companies has sprung up to indulge this heightened craving for epicurean adventure.” Here are a few examples:
Personal cooking time with top chefs. One online company, IfOnly, sells special packages like Tyler Florence designing your kitchen and then showing up to cook a dinner party ($45,000). The proceeds go to a charity of the chef’s choice. Kitchit is another website where one can arrange for special at-home meal cooked by one of 200+ chefs at about $65-150 per person.
Restaurant VIP. Blackboard Eats and Gilt City are two sites offering special experiences in select cities, like concerts paired with meals (Blackboard Eats) or cocktail parties combined with a lesson in mixology (Gilt City).
Culinary tourism. SideTour, Jetsetter, Vayable, Little Adventures in Hong Kong, and Epicurean Ways are all companies that help travelers explore a city or region by way of food. On Paris by Mouth, “French-food journalism stars Patricia Wells and Dorie Greenspan weigh in on the site’s lists of where to find the best grub in the city.”