Kitchensurfing: The New Culinary Shidduch

By on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

There are a lot of lonely kitchens out there. And there is a corresponding passel of great meals and dinner parties yearning to break free around one of those underutilized islands…if the chef lived in something other than a studio with hotplate.

A new site, kitchensurfing, allows members do just that: surf for kitchens, chefs, food companionship.

We either yearn to have one, yearn to share one or yearn to meet up with other people who love to eat in one.

But if the guys at Kitchensurfing have their way, we won’t be yearning for long. Book a chef, learn how to cook, barter to create unique events through this new, impeccably designed site… the idea is virtually anyone, at any skill level, with any kitchen, can find something here.

Kitchensurfing founders are testing and re-testing their concept before official launch in April/May.

We’ll use the Internet for the arrangements, the details, and the directions. But then we’ll, you know … talk. We’ll cook. And we’ll eat.

Boy will we eat.

Kitchensurfing USA

Four founders in New York City—Wendel  Davis, serial entrepreneur and foodie; Chris Muscarella, tech company founder and Brooklyn restaurateur; Lars Kluge, web developer, snowboarder and food lover; and Borahm Cho, product designer and coffee aficionado—are and they’re signing up cooks and kitchens to share great food with each other.

Personal chef Aja Marsh prepares a meal at Kitchensurfing's headquarters in Brooklyn.

And, importantly, anyone can do it.

You might be a culinary school graduate, or you might just know your mother-in-law’s lasagna, the one where she puts a contract on you if you use cottage cheese instead of ricotta (and where it’s pronounced rigott) and the meat actually melts in your mouth.

Either way, you’re in.

Same deal on offering your location for the meal.

“An important point is that we let people say how they’d like to offer their kitchen: they may be open only to bartering with a chef where they get a seat at the table,” says Muscarella.

They’ve signed up spaces “from airplane hangars to beautiful loft apartments to more modest” locales, he says.

The quartet began in earnest in January, and is focused mainly on their backyard at the moment — though it is a really big yard. An early event drew at least 50 chefs and more than a dozen food photographers.

At the same time, they’re also using their own spaces, and those of friends.

“We will be eating our own dog food, so to speak,” Muscarella says.

It’s a highly tech- and start-up-oriented group, but he declines comment on what that means for the food part of the equation.

The goal is great parties — and of course “we hope to be in every city in the world some day.”

That’s a lot of people coming together.

And all of this uses the web — but only to make it easier.

They are on Facebook.

They’ll use Meetup.

Yes, they tweet.

And blog.

But once you find that special place to cook, eat or both, ditch the smart phone.

Don’t Eat Alone

As the last millennium ended, a book called Bowling Alone made the point that community was in the gutter. Then the Internet began in earnest.

Even before, articles taught lone diners-out how to manage, and a popular TV show proclaimed, we’re all alone here, but we do it together.

That’s all going to change, if the founders of Kitchensurfing have anything to say about it. One lonely kitchen at a time.

Written by Paul Hughes

I tell stories.


  1. Mark Moreno says:

    Kitchensurfing: The New Culinary Shidduch: There are a lot of lonely kitchens out there. And there… via @toquemag

  2. Paul Hughes says:

    On kitchen surfing in Brooklyn. @toquemag @kitchensurfing

  3. On kitchen surfing in Brooklyn. @toquemag @kitchensurfing

  4. Kitchensurfing: The New Culinary Shidduch @toquemag

  5. Share cars? There's a biz 4 that. Share jobs? 'course. Spouses? yuk. Now u can brk bread in someone else's kitchn

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