Your Next Meal and a New Way of Fostering Community

The concept is simple, of course: crowdsource your next meal at a convenient nearby location. It’s easy to see what sorts of tucked-away eateries are right around the corner from you with sites like Urbanspoon and Yelp, but Super Marmite has taken the idea in a different (and somewhat unexpected) direction.

Launched in Paris last October, Super Marmite invites chefs all over a city to cook a limited number of portions of their latest creation – in their apartment kitchens or culinary workshops – and set a price and a pick-up time for those interested in sampling their cooking concept. Those with the Super Marmite app can review a menu of dishes cooking in their neighborhood from their phone and select one that sounds best to them. Because of this, the dining menu in a city already thick with gourmets has been further enhanced in a way that breeds community as well as more creative dishes and a greener approach to leftovers.

Social networking and crowdsourcing in the culinary world is a continually growing and engaging field for cooks and foodies alike. Since food has always been a highly social activity, it is no surprise that it would continue to be in its online incarnation. A new website, Big Fat Dish, set to launch in the coming months allows cooking aficionados and enthusiasts to build profiles for themselves and contribute recipes of their favorite dishes. Users can then award points to the user based on their recipe’s tastiness and ease of prep so that the most successful contributions bubble up to the top. The site Cocktail Builder allows contributors to upload their favorite cocktail recipes and users can input the contents of their liquor cabinet to find out which recipes they can create for their next party.

But Super Marmite has made a space for a new social interaction in the offline world as well. You still have to pick up the food, eat the meal, meet the chef, so new communities are being built in both the real and virtual worlds (a pleasure for tourists and locals alike). Super Marmite has international aspirations (with a UK facebook page launched and an English version of the site already available) and it is possible that Super Marmite will eventually pop up in other major cities. I, personally, can’t wait until it hits Seattle.

So do we have any freelance, super chefs out there? What are your culinary aspirations? What other ways does the online crowdsourcing community find its way into our daily offline lives?

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