Tasty Startups: Traveling Spoon
The Craving it Satisfies
Dinner in people’s homes around the world
Why it has a winning recipe
I’ve always loved traveling, and trying local cuisines wherever I’ve gone. Not until recently did I learn that there’s an entire culinary tourism industry that works to connect travelers with unique culinary experiences around the globe. As you might guess, I’m a huge fan.
Last week I encountered Cookly, helping foodies find cooking classes wherever they plan to visit. This week I’m pounding knife and fork against the table to tell everyone about Traveling Spoon. This startup connects travelers with home chefs, ranging from your typical grandma to professional chefs who like to cook outside of their workplaces.
Hosts bring guests inside their homes to enjoy an authentic meal, as the locals really eat. Yuuuuum! Traveling Spoon can also help to arrange accompanying these chefs to the market to see where and how they shop, or to join them in the kitchen to learn how dishes are prepared.
Don’t get me wrong, I love tasting what the pros do in restaurants, but this is the style of cooking and eating that feeds my imagination these days: straightforward, delicious comfort foods that I may (fingers crossed) be able to make for myself with the right instruction. These are the plates – and the encounters with people – that even culinary meccas like Chicago (where it’s possible to eat ethnic food from anywhere on the planet) can’t match.
Currently Traveling Spoon operates in Asian countries spanning from Turkey to Bali. Those hesitant to dine “of the eaten path” will appreciate that Traveling Spoon ensures that either the host or a translator on hand can speak English. The founding duo of Aashi Vel and Steph Lawrence also vet each cook, to make sure that they are a capable host and can bring it in the kitchen (If you ever grow large enough to need someone to travel and vet more cooks, I’m your guy!).
I dunno, there’s architecture and museums and landscape and so many other things aspects of a place that sing to the travelers heart. Beneath it all though, are the people who live in any given place, living and eating day to day. Traveling to escape is great, but if you explore in hopes of truly engaging, why wouldn’t you race to try Try Traveling Spoon. Seems a no-brainer to me.
I’m ready for them to open up shop in New Orleans, where I’m living for a brief time! There’s so much great food here. I read that any restaurant’s greatest competition is home cooks. I plan to make friends, but so far know only transplants, no one with a direct line to the rich cooking tradition that I want to mainline. Patience…
In the meantime, if you’re venturing anywhere in the Asia-Pacific, don’t miss out. Discover great meals prepared by talented cooks in their home on travelingspoon.com.
Off the eaten path: an authentic way to travel and eat @TravelingSpoon