Instagram for Amateur Cooks
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
This online database for amateur foodies could revolutionize the home-cooking community – and give you whole new bragging rights.
By Rachel Levin
You shop and chop. Slice and stir. Sautee. Braise. For hours, sometimes days.
All that work, and what do you have to show for it? Yeah, yeah, supper — but we all know it’s no longer the actual meal that counts; it’s the picture we take of it.
It’s a tool for amateur cooks to connect across home kitchens, a place where you can guiltlessly post your homemade enchiladas.
But for those home cooks who care about the quality of their food porn — plus solving the perpetual “What should I make for dinner?” dilemma — there’s Fork, a new app at the increasingly crowded table of food apps. Launched last month by Mark Briggs, a Seattle-based tech entrepreneur and journalist, Fork was just officially unveiled at the (sold out) 2013 International Food Bloggers’ Conference in Seattle.
What sets Fork apart, he says, is the focus on home chefs and creating a community for them. The app’s not intended to feature restaurant raves or to be recipe-driven (though users will soon be allowed to post recipes along with their pics). Instead, it’s meant to be a tool for amateur cooks to connect across home kitchens, a place where you can guiltlessly post your homemade enchiladas in between images of wild-mushroom meatloaf and fried chicken as opposed to sneaking ’em onto Instagram between your toddlers and those gorgeous sunsets.
Fork users’ masterpieces tend to be more mundane than fancy (a chopped chicken salad with blue cheese crumbles and turkey-and-cheese pita are par-for-the-course posts). And they are sometimes objectively unappealing. (Does sourdough toast topped with avocado slices doused in Trader Joe’s jalapeno hot sauce sound good to anyone but me?) Still, that’s what makes it kinda fun: You don’t have to be a pro. You just need to be a half-assed home chef who wants to know what everyone is cooking.
“We’ve already heard from early users that Fork motivates them to make better meals,” says Briggs. “Because they see their friends — who are just as busy as them — making better meals, too.” It has filters like “ginger” and “caprese” and “braised” that help transform your gloppy-looking eggplant parm into a plate that might actually make Mario Batali swoon. Or, well, at least your BF.