Social media is connecting cooks and gourmets throughout Barcelona. If you want to taste the culinary delights on offer, you’ll need to rent a flat in Barcelona. ShBarcelona has had 10 years of success providing apartments for rent in Barcelona.
Technology is making the world smaller, building bridges across the information highway. Social media is an increasingly powerful tool in connecting individuals. Dutch start-up Shareyourmeal is harnessing this power to connect our kitchens.
Shareyourmeal was founded by Dutch couple Marieke Hart and Jan Thij Bakker after an alluring aroma wafted over the fence from their neighbour’s kitchen. Ms Hart remembers the day well:
“Our neighbor was cooking, and the scents made us curious about the food, and also about her. We had lived there three years and never met her. We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to walk over to your neighbor’s house with a few Euros and some empty plates, and then return with a home-cooked meal? So, we asked her, and luckily she reacted with great enthusiasm.”
What began with the scent of pumpkin soup soon developed into ‘a virtual cooking square’; a meal-sharing platform bringing together cooks and epicures from the same neighbourhoods. Since opening in Amsterdam in March 2012, over 120,000 dishes have been shared between more than 55,000 members. After numerous television features and awards in the Netherlands, Shareyourmeal have now entered foreign markets, including Barcelona.
Users enter the culinary community through the website http://www.shareyourmeal.net. Both cooks and their customers must first register an account. Budding chefs submit their dish together with details about the ingredients, the number of servings, the duration it will remain fresh for and its availability. Upon submission, other members living locally are sent an e-mail advertising the meal. A simple click on the link requests the order. Alternatively, an area map can be used to locate foodies, who only order meals, or cooks, who can also collect meals. The number of portions remaining of each given dish is illustrated by, naturally, a pie chart. From chicken biryani to chocolate brownies, there’s a dish for every palate. After the chef confirms the time and date of collection, the customer arrives as arranged with the cash to cover the order and some Tupperware to take it home in. The meal can be shared immediately through clicking the Facebook or Twitter icons, the same means by which compliments can be given to the chef.
The only payment required from users is for the meals they purchase. There is no for to the use of the website. As a non-profit, Shareyourmeal reinvests all income back into the project itself. The venture embraces a vision of collaborate consumption. As Ms Hart asserts:
In these times of economic depression and growing environmental concerns, Shareyourmeal’s culinary quest addresses wider concerns. The project reduces waste, saves money and connects food lovers. As the British philosopher Julian Baggini once said, “It’s not leftovers that are wasteful, but those who either don’t know what to do with them or can’t be bothered.”