Valentine’s Day is a day for romance.
Love is in the air.
But how one shows that amore and affection can lead to stress and fretting – a surefire wet blanket on the fires of love…
Flowers, or chocolates? Dinner – where? Champagne? What wine to impress??
What if Valentine’s dinner is a group of friends, family, and not a couple?
For those foodies who find the idea of getting a reservation insurmountable or are unwilling to pay cha-ching prices for tonight’s prix-fixe menus, plus find getting out to a restaurant especially in the throes of Dr. Zhivago-esque weather too much, there is Kitchensurfing.
Kitchensurfing is like the ultimate matchmaker!
It’s love at first bite.
The online service brings together food and those who love to eat and “matches up chefs and people who need a cook.”
If food and drink is arguably the apex leading up to the intimate experience, or if foodie "foreplay" or considered porn as in food porn, then the question becomes why would you go out at all on a day of ultimate romance?
True luxury is pleasing your loved one(s) in a special way with a sensual, delicious meal made just for them -- in your own intimate space.
Kitchensurfing is all about the celebration of food.
This is not take-out.
A specially-selected Kitchensurfing private chef prepares and serves award-winning meals in the privacy of your home or apartment – or venue of choice.
One can readily peruse the portfolio of chefs available via Kitchensurfing and choose by Cuisine (think not only Greek, Italian or Asian, but also Health Supportive and Gluten-Free) Cooking Style, Culinary Experience, hourly rate, Favorite ingredients, and/or their signature recipes.
See, unlike the online dating services that promise true romance and wedded bliss that too often goes awry, the match up with a chef of choice and a memorable meal makes for a truly lasting relationship.
Foodies love to know where their food comes from - there is no doubt.
The icing on the cake then, is that Kitchensurfing allows the customer to know who is cooking their food.
The culinary narrative truly bonds the hosts as customer to the chefs in a special way.
Customers want this food story.
According to Chris Muscarella, Kitchensurfing CEO and co-founder, the seeds of Kitchensurfing took root while he and his partners were hiring a chef for one of their restaurants and despite a pile of resumes as thick as an old phonebook, this techie found his executive chef online through Craig’s List.
“He was nonetheless a highly pedigreed chef but the fact that technology brought us together, was an ‘aha’ moment.”
Muscarella, a passionate cook and huge food fan, recognized a zeitgeist food-fueled trend.
His experience in the restaurant business informed him as to how “brutal the food space is.” He added, “It takes a lot of money and often chefs and restaurants don’t make a lot of money.”
They do it for love…
So he thought, “How can we create a business that will allow the chefs to do their own entrepreneurial thing and be creative?”
Thus, Kitchensurfing was “cooked up” in November 2012.
Here is a match made in heaven – or in this case - the kitchen.
Kitchensurfing sits at the intersection of food and technology.
What is spectacular about Kitchensurfing besides how easy it is to use, is the enabling power of choice.
There is limitless variety of great food at affordable pricing.
One can choose a menu, ingredients, and a chef. Just like that.
Or, just tell Kitchensurfing your culinary desires and they will match a chef that fits your style.
Muscarella says customers can choose chefs “that fit their vibe.”
If seduction is the only thing on the brain today, then browse Kitchensurfing’s seven suggested menus that range from a three-course dinner to a Valentine’s Day Spectacular – a molecular gastronomy-inspired dinner for those that know love (and food) comes in all forms.
Gotta' love “I’m in the mood for Love Pasta” menu with ‘Heart’y Bucatini Pasta Frisee and Arugula Sala Lovers Flourless Chocolate Cake” from Chef Elizabeth Panagiotidis and the “Night of Romance” menu featuring “A sensuous Valentine’s Dinner along with a bottle of Presecco” with chef Diana Sabater.
Go to www.ktichensurfing.com and a special and simple Valentine’s Dinner – or any meal – can be ordered up in as few as three steps:
Pick a menu
Customize with a Chef selected from a portfolio of outstanding, talented chefs
Reserve or Book it
When asked, Muscarella offers some tips to both customers and chefs to create a rich, culinary experience.
“Customers can get a great deal or value when there are six to eight guests – so invite a few friends for a dinner party. This way the chef can exercise their creativity and make money. Customers can explain to the chef what kind of atmosphere or vibe you want to create.”
He describes a favorite Kitchensurfing scenario where guests are passing the plates, family-style, leaning in, eagerly asking to send the vegetables back this way…
For Valentine’s Day, Muscarella suggests creating a customized menu that includes favorite recipes from a recent trip, honeymoon or try cuisines from places you are dreaming about visiting and then select a Kitchensurfing chef who can best fulfill those culinary dreams.
“Transcend the usual restaurant food,” Muscarella admonishes with the wisdom of Cupid. Or James Beard if he were Cupid.
Apart from Valentine’s Day, Kitchensurfing is a fun way to entertain.
Do you secretly long to be a top chef? Or host a dinner party with your own master chef? Or learn from a talented, personal chef?
“Most chefs love teaching,” adds Muscarella.
Another of his favorite stories is the request Kitchensurfing received from the parents of a nine-year old who wanted a cooking lesson for his birthday with four of his friends.
Muscarella says that while there is no formal Kitchensurfing training program for their chefs, there is a rigorous overview and guidelines – a kind of “Chefs Education” with the culinary professionals so that they can understand the Kitchensurfing hospitality values. The Kitchensurfing team suggests chefs learn how to “read the room” where they are cooking, serve good food and clean up quickly.
Kitchensurfing chefs can exercise their culinary creativity on a part time or full time basis.
“Chefs feel special when they see their customers enjoying their food creations. Too often they are stuck in the kitchen and don’t get to experience that creative fulfillment as they can with the Kitchensurfing environment,” explained Muscarella.
The Power of Love: Special Valentine’s Day Culinary Episodes
Restaurant servers have “love-lore” galore about Valentine’s Day episodes – from the scary – losing the engagement ring in the fruit cocktail served to another table (and ultimately retrieved) to the sublime – “hiding” the ring inside the folds of an orchid.
This Examiner asked Kitchensurfing about special Valentine’s Day requests they’ve received.
Sure enough. What’s love without the carefully-planned seduction?
Here are a few Kitchensurfing Cupid capers planned for tonight!
1. “We've got a wedding proposal going down that a sister is doing for her brother. Simple fresh ingredients.
First course: Love tuna sashimi and avocado
Fresh Course: Salad with citrus with balsamic vinaigrette, goat cheese, nuts, etc. or a Caprese type of salad. She loves tomatoes..
Main course: Tenderloin and the halibut. Maybe we could do both (Client asks: she gets one and I get one and we share)?
For sides I think Brussels sprouts definitely needs to be in there, and a potato dish (new potatoes if they're good and seasoned or maybe au gratin)
Dessert: Customer says, “We're not huge chocolate fans, so not sure about the truffles unless it's just a very small amount. I do like the idea of white cake, berries, and cream (the white cake is nice foreshadowing for events to come).
2. Another Cupid caper:
We've got a Michelin starred Indian chef making authentic Goan dishes as a surprise for a customer's boyfriend, who lives in NYC and misses real Indian ("Goan") cuisine. https://greenhouse.kitchensurfing.com/menus/valentine-day-s-dinner-52f2fecfeb7a7b7d98000020
3. A lovely pescatarian menu happening for a homebound couple with a newborn.
4. For a two-year anniversary dinner happening. The stage is set: the girlfriend is a native Nigerian (like the chef) and while they have a favorite Nigerian restaurant in Brooklyn, they’ve only dined there a few times a year. So here, they can recreate their beloved native dishes at home:
5. This is a super all-out crazy dinner for two from a former sous chef at Gilt:
Fat Duck Fat Potato Chips with smoked paprika lemon aioli
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Basil, pistachio, olive oil, grana chips
Watercress, radish, lime, sherry vinaigrette
Uni, brown lobster butter, toasted Panko, black pepper
Tempura Battered Cod
Tartar sauce, powered red wine vinegar
Seared Foie Gras
Kumquat chutney, pickled radish, sherry gastrique, arugula, toasted brioche
Lamb Rib Eye
Sweet potato puree, black garlic, fennel, grape fruit
Parmesan and Crispy Raw Honey
Vanilla ice cream, orange chocolate sauce
Assortment of Chocolate Truffles and Macaroon
Kiss and Tell
Keep it simple. Focus on the romance.
Choose a Kitchensurfing chef that will make a memorable meal to melt a sweetie’s heart.
This Examiner often says, of all the ingredients a chef uses, the best one is Love…
Here are Kitchensurfing’s & Classic Dishes for a Valentine’s Day Table for Two (At Home)
Broken Hearts of Palm, Oysters, Pork Chops with Cherry-Rhubarb Sauce, Cranberry-Champagne Cocktail and more…
Food as aphrodisiac?
Did you know that potatoes were long considered an aphrodisiac?
So too are oysters, mushrooms, figs, chocolate, tomatoes, artichokes…
What ingredients will you choose?