[iPhone] Indulge your love of food and celebrity chef culture with Chefs Feed

mzl.chtfxrmy.320x480-75It’s probably safe to say that we’re experiencing a national fascination with cooking. Between cooking how-to shows, reality cooking competitions, and cooking-focused travel programs, TV fans have never been so obsessed with chefs and chef culture. Chefs like Anthony Bourdain and David Chang have parlayed their cooking abilities into TV deals, making them household names. Considering how popular chefs are, it’s amazing it took someone this long to put together Chefs Feed.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Chefs Feed is described by its developers on the App Store as “the first and only chef-powered restaurant guide.” This app allows users to follow their favorite chefs, and get their recommendations for their favorite restaurants. After all, who knows food better than a chef?

Pros

  • Lets you sign up with Facebook or create a new account
  • Gorgeous photography that gets your mouth watering
  • Tons of restaurant recommendations for well-known restaurants (as well as some hidden gems)
  • Recommendations can be viewed by chef, location within the city, or map view

Cons

  • By localizing your results, it feels like you might be missing out on what chefs are doing in other cities
  • You have to change your city settings in order to get accurate search results
  • Despite an overall solid design, the UI still feels clunky at times
  • App currently supports just a few major US cities, as follows: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver/Boulder, “Hawaii,” Houston, Las Vegas, LA, Miami, NOLA, NYC, Philly, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington DC. The only foreign city currently supported is London.
  • Annoying “share this app” pop-ups
  • Sometimes, it takes a while for the distances to be correctly displayed
  • You’d better spell a chef’s name exactly right in the search bar, as no recommended results are shown for similar spellings

Discussion

mzl.lanrpkfu.320x480-75When you sign up, you can login with Facebook or set up a new account. Next, you’ll be prompted to select your city, so your results can be personalized. The number of cities is somewhat limited, but you can suggest a city if you like. Based on the city you’ve chosen, you can then “follow” a number of prominent restaurant chefs or celebrity chefs from your area.

The city-centric nature of this app is both a blessing and a curse. You have to change your city settings in order to get accurate search results: for example, if you set your location as Boston, and then search for New York-based chef David Chang, his name won’t come up unless you specifically search in New York.

Having to toggle back and forth between locations is annoying, and it makes discovering new chefs somewhat difficult. Having to spell a name precisely is also annoying: why can’t I get any “did you mean” results? I also wish more cities were supported.

My “Cons” list above seems pretty extensive. But while I think there’s a lot of room for improvement, I love the core of this app. Getting restaurant recommendations from people in the restaurant industry is great: it’s like having your favorite celebrity chef in your pocket.

Conclusion and download link

Chefs Feed still feels like it hasn’t quite hit its stride. On the one hand, it is easy to find and follow restauranteurs in your city. On the other hand, we live in an era when many people are being exposed to interesting chefs via TV, meaning that they are interested in chefs who live and work far from the location of a given user.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 2.6

Supported OS: Requires iOS 6.0 or later

Download size: 8.8 MB

Chefs Feed on Apple App Store

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