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SupperKing is a freshly minted app out on the marketplace that hopes to bring friends, neighborhoods and strangers alike together to share in a very important thing that happens every day: eating!
Whether you want to split and share expenses with friends, or simply play chef for a night and sell seats at your table for your home cooking, SupperKing hopes to fill a niche by allowing people to easily find events near them or to host events of their own.
The idea for the app came from various ideas and experiences: visiting a foreign country and seeing large groups of outdoor gathering, and wishing there was a way to easily experience the culture by joining in to try new foods and meet new people; a single person living in an apartment building and eating alone and wishing for a platform that would enable him to seek out and meet neighborhoods to share a meal; cooks who love to throw dinner parties but want/need to share the expenses with friends.
Now, I’m not really into the “dining with strangers” thing, but I am totally into throwing dinner parties and playing chef! I was recently invited to try the free app (current only available for iOS but coming soon to Android and the web) to host a dinner of my own and to take the app out for a test spin.
Here are my thoughts.
– It’s super easy to use. You can easily set up a new event – it’s almost like just setting up something in your calendar but with additional options (like photos, location, and picking out what kind of menu you’ll be having at your event).
– The lowest price to set for an event is $1 and you control the costs of the event. All payments are currently through Paypal – in the works is the ability to use credit or debit cards without a Paypal account.
– Can easily search for events nearby that you may want to attend. Easily find other home cooks in your area and possibly share a meal.
– Great for starting weekly food clubs or dinners, holding events for pop-up chefs/restaurants, holding charity events or just trying to make a little extra money with home cooked meals and for making new friends.
[my pretend puppy bowl party]
THE NOT AS GOOD
Since it’s a new app, there are some flaws with it that SupperKing hopes to address in the future:
– Currently, hosts cannot edit their events so I wasn’t able to add to my description or change anything about my event. But, I was assured this would be changing soon.
– One of my guests registered for my event, but then was removed. I never received her payment and she wasn’t notified that her payment didn’t go through. Definitely needs some kind of notification system so guests can be informed.
– No way to easily contact your guests (or host) from the app if there’s a change or update to the event.
– Currently no way to easily promote on social media if you’re a host, but there is an in-the-works feature that will allow hosts to do this.
– Additional tools would be nice to see, such as photo galleries, voting, and comments – currently no way to communicate with the host/guest to ask questions, or to inform about dietary restrictions or allergies.
– I also felt myself wishing it would automatically add the event to my calendar.
[how the event looks in my “past events”]
SupperKing still has some work ahead of them to create a really robust and great app – but the starting point and idea is a great one! I hope to see the app build up and gain some more events, hosts and followers and that improvements will make this very easy for everyone to use. I could see myself using the app to host future events and play chef again (and hopefully share costs), or to maybe have a charity dinner to raise money for our annual bake sale (who knows!). I probably still won’t want to invite strangers over for dinner, but maybe that’s just me and my anti-social ways…
Now… let’s check out my dinner! I set my price point fairly low ($1) since I was just taking this thing out for a test drive.
I did my best to make this look like a restaurant with the table runners, low lights and candles glowing. If I was going to play “chef” for a night, I was going to do it right.
I even made menus, yo. I’m so hardcore.
[course one: loaves of homemade bread]
When coming up with the menu for this dinner, I wanted to make foods that I loved. One of the things I love, love, love is bread. Seemed like a prime opportunity to break out and use my recipe for No Knead Bread again. This bread is so easy to make and it’s really delicious – all win win! You just gotta prep in advance.
[all sliced up]
I baked this bread off that morning and when my guests arrived that evening, I popped the bread in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes to crisp it back up. I put a little water on top for “extra crispness”. I forgot to take photos of the accompaniments for the bread, namely a white bean dip made with cannellini beans, onions, garlic, and spices plus little saucers of blood orange olive oil and balsamic glaze.
One of my goals for this year? Bake more of my own homemade bread! I’ll branch eventually (maybe).
[course two: crispy polenta squares with a three mushroom medley]
Course two involved mushrooms (with thick sliced bacon!) since mushrooms are one of my most favorite things ever.
The mushrooms joining the party were baby bellas, oyster mushrooms and simple little white button mushrooms. They were cooked in butter and more of that blood orange olive oil (new favorite thing!!) along with some bacon, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a touch of fresh rosemary and oregano then topped off with freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese.
[crispy polenta squares, sans mushrooms]
For the non-mushroom lovers (pfft), they got simple squares of polenta. The polenta was prepped earlier that morning and is simply a concoction of garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary, salt and pepper, homemade chicken stock, half & half, and milk with yellow cornmeal. And of course, more Parmesan Reggiano. God, I love that stuff.
This course had a bit of heat that snuck up on you as you ate it. The first few bites didn’t seem spicy at all, but as you went along… bam! Spices!
[course three: bao buns, two ways]
I went all “Asian” for the third course! These were originally supposed to just be pork belly bao buns… but they didn’t have any pork belly at Whole Foods when Jake and I went! I had to compromise and decided we’d do it two ways: one with some really lovely skirt steak we got at Whole Foods and another way with some of the marinated pork belly from H Mart. Continue reading “supperking app to host and find local events / or, how i played chef for a night”