• From Foodspotting's inception in fall 2009 until we announced our angel funding last summer, we were a bootstrap operation through and through. So, when we announced that we raised $3 million in Series A funding in early January, it was nothing short of a dream come true. But who are these people who believe in Foodspotting so much that they invested in us? Meet Jay Jamison, venture partner at BlueRun Ventures, who advocated for us from the beginning and who made the funding possible. We sat Jay down for an old-fashioned Q+A and found out that food isn't only the best way to someone's heart, sometimes it leads to a great working partnership too...

    Why did you invest in Foodspotting?

    At BlueRun Ventures, we were immediately drawn in to Foodspotting, I suspect in large part for the same reasons that so many users are. We love food, and Foodspotting helps me enjoy my passion for food even more. I enjoy spotting food, and I love seeing the dishes others are submitting from all over the world.

    In addition to loving Foodpsotting as users, we admire and respect the Foodspotting team—passionate professionals who are have such a great dedication to creating a vibrant, authentic brand.

    Let's talk about dishes. You’re stuck on a desert island, and you only have ingredients to create three dishes for the rest of your life. What are they?

    Edamame, buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad, and grilled salmon with beurre blanc (a type of French butter sauce) topped with poached egg and asparagus…

    Spill it - Favorite meals of all time?

    I wish I’d had Foodspotting for each of my favorite meals. They are:

    Gotham Bar & Grill in New York. I took my wife there on our first date.

    Daniel in New York. On the evening of June 17, 1994—the day OJ Simpson led the LAPD on a low-speed pursuit in LA broadcast on TVs everywhere—my parents and I ate here. We had what I can only describe as the best meal I’ve ever tasted.

    Il Mulino in Tokyo, Japan. On my 35th birthday, a group of close friends and I spent the day golfing and then rolled into a dinner at the Tokyo branch of Il Mulino. Best Italian restaurant I’ve ever been to.

    Blue Ribbon in New York, c. 1994. After I finished college, I moved to New York to pursue a career as an actor. Much of this time, I was waiting tables. Open until 4am nightly, Blue Ribbon was the restaurant for restaurant professionals to go after their shifts. My brothers in arms from different restaurants and I had a blast rolling into Blue Ribbon at about 1:30 and staying until close.

    This again shows why I think Foodspotting can be such a powerful brand—many of us can tie certain very fond experiences in our lives with the food we were eating at the time.

    Last but not least, what are some key goals you have for Foodspotting this year?

    Foodspotting is an application and community that we all love being a part of. If we continue to focus on continuing to extend that to more and more people in the same authentic, high quality way, then we will have achieved what I think our key goals are for 2011.

  • In honor of Presidents' Day, we decided to take a look at what US presidents past and present love to eat. Thanks to the Internet, we soon learned that George Bush senior famously expressed his dislike of broccoli and that, throughout his presidency, Jimmy Carter often served some variety of grits to White House guests. Much like our own taste in food, presidential food preferences cover a wide range, from Abe Lincoln who was "almost entirely indifferent to food except that he liked apples and hot coffee" to Bill Clinton who didn't shy from fast food at all. Below are some more presidents paired with their favorite dishes.

    HINT Click on the photos to reveal the presidents' favorite foods.

    Research based mostly on The Food Timeline.

    • about 7 years ago.
      Paramendra, click through the photos to reveal the dish :)
    • about 7 years ago.
      Very Cool! It would be great to find out what other top world leaders eat, including Trinidad and Tobago's first female Prime Minister...... That would look fab on the FS world map!
    • about 7 years ago.
      I'm in Chicago today, I might have to try Obama's favorite!
    • about 7 years ago.
      @Noms, yes please! And make sure to report back/foodspot it :)
  • What makes a job the best job ever? A few weeks ago, Foodspotting got the chance to talk to one of our heroes, technology and gaming video hostess, Veronica Belmont, for Best Job Ever. In this segment, our co-founders Alexa and Teddy talk about the qualities we look for in a Foodspotting team member, and discuss what makes for a great developer in any company. Think you might be a good fit for Foodspotting? Apply here.

    • about 7 years ago.
      great video! wish I was a developer :)
    • about 7 years ago.
      cool video and information! Working for you guys would be awesome!
  • Considering how popular green markets have become in cities like San Francisco, New York, and Minneapolis in recent years, it's hard to believe there are still many farmers who have yet to get their goods to customers even when there is demand for them. That's where our friends at Plovgh come in. Last Friday, Plovgh launched their first virtual farmstand with eggs from Neversink Farm.

    Right now, Plovgh co-founders Elizabeth McVay Greene and Nikki Brovold are using a neighborhood-based distribution model to make food from farms available at hubs throughout cities across the States. To start, they have sign-ups in New York and 80 other cities. For foodspotters who are interested in getting food straight from the farm, take a look at Plovgh's website! Elizabeth and Nikki say that once they have sufficient demand in a particular neighborhood, they'll match that neighborhood with farms that can feed it.

    A few days ago, Plovgh stopped by Foodspotting's New York office to chat about their venture and farm fresh food, like the beautiful multi-colored eggs from Neversink Farm, which got us thinking about egg dishes. We considered cooking with the eggs, but our good intentions were thwarted when we realized we had a big kitchen, but no stove! Nevertheless, just think of all the egg dishes in the world, like the Croque Madame Soraya had this morning and, my favorite, burgers topped with eggs. For our #heartspotting Valentine's Day campaign, Foodspotter JKat even submitted a heart-shaped egg in a hole!

    Tell us - how do you like your eggs? And what are some of your favorite egg dishes?

    • about 7 years ago.
      Eggs are used in so many dishes, I just finished eating, so now I am thinking about something sweet. And I do love lemon meringue pie, there are yolks in the filling and whites in the meringue.
    • about 7 years ago.
      Eggs Benedict is another favorite.
  • EDITOR'S NOTE Today's guest post is by Foodspotter Kat Chan from London.

    We love burgers. And we love food trucks. So it's a real treat that in London we've got The Meatwagon, which serves the world’s best burger. Their juicy meat feasts have seen kids queuing up for hours to get their chow on.

    That is, until the truck got stolen.

    To celebrate World Foodspotting Day and to help raise some money while we were at it, Protein organized an eat-up at The Meateasy: the temporary pop-up diner by The Meatwagon.

    Loads of people jam-packed into the dimly lit Meateasy sipping on jam jar cocktails and stuffing their faces with onion rings, buffalo wings, coleslaw, and, of course, the best burger ever. We took over the top floor of The Goldsmiths Tavern in New Cross and made some money to go toward a brand new truck for our fair grey city. We'll be organising more eat ups soon, for sure. Until next time, we wish Foodspotting a happy birthday. We love you! KC

    ABOUT KAT Kat Chan heads up feeding and seeding for the Protein family, which means getting the word out on what's good. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Kat is now based in East London where she works, eats, and drinks pints of Guinness. Follow her foodspottings and on Twitter @fatchanny and @proteinfeed.

    PHOTOS BY Teddy Fitzhugh of Protein.

  • Birthdays are a time to reflect and wonder where the heck the last year went. We did the whole "Year In Retrospect" thing last week when Foodspotting celebrated its first birthday, but where would we be without the good people who found the company? That's where our co-founder and CTO Teddy comes in. On this first day of his 30th year, we're dedicating this blog space to chat with The Man himself:

    AC Happy birthday, Teddy! Do you want the questions to be frivolous or to show THE REAL YOU?

    TG The real me!

    AC Here goes nothing then. We know you love us, but what do you think you'd be doing and where would you be if you were not working on Foodspotting?

    TG When I started working on Foodspotting I had recently left Get Satisfaction to go rock climbing around the country. I'd like to think I'd still be in a tent in Zion Canyon, UT. That, or out saving the world.

    AC Fiona wants to know: What's your favorite online video?

    TG I'm currently really into The Beard Cage.

    AC I know we were considering seeing Blue Valentine last week while the New York team was in San Fran, but what movie would you highly recommend?

    TG I am kind of a movie geek. I just saw a great documentary called Dear Zachary.

    AC What has been your most definitive moment related to food?

    TG Traveling has definitely had the biggest effect on me. Visiting countries like Morocco, Korea, Thailand, Spain and France have forever changed my perception of food and how it relates to culture. I try to take a cooking class everywhere I go. I took a really fun and interactive class in Marrakech that involved shopping for all the ingredients in the souks. I think we each had $5 or something and we had to haggle to keep on budget. The worst classes are the ones that prep everything for you.

    AC Most unusual dish you've discovered on your trips?

    TG BBQ eels in Seoul. They squirm around on the grill until they're fully cooked. Take a look.

    AC Can I tell everyone that you know the words to Usher's latest album and Taylor Swift's You Belong With Me?

    TG I have a secret music crush on Usher. Taylor who?

    • about 7 years ago.
      Happy, happy birthday!
    • about 7 years ago.
      Happy Birthday from the interwebs
    • about 7 years ago.
      Wishing you a Very HAPPY Happy Birthday!!
    • 4 months ago.
  • We spend a lot of time interacting with Foodspotters online and off and we're always thrilled to find Foodspotting at the center of discussion and debate. How can we improve? What do you like about us? What would you change? As much as we love hearing our moms say we're the awesomest awesome people on earth, it helps to get constructive feedback on how to be, well, more awesome. But, sometimes, when we get a great review, we have a dance party and we tell all our friends - you guys!

    So, when we saw this glowing video review by Andrew the App Geek, we got in touch with the New York-based eighth grader right away. Check out our latest, greatest Q&A.

    First things first, what's your favorite food?

    Double CheeseburgerI found Five Guys in New York using the Foodspotting app. Their double cheeseburger is amazing.

    Favorite thing about Foodspotting?

    My favorite thing about Foodspotting is its very simple and easy UI. It's also an amazing way to find a perfect restaurant and dish for any occasion. It makes picking where to eat so much easier.

    What inspired you to start The App Geek?

    I started the App Geek with my friend Blake. We were big fans of websites like Engadget and Gizmodo, and thought it would be interesting and fun to do the same thing, except mostly videos. At the time, we only had iOS devices, so we decided to create reviews on apps. Since then another member, Jack, has joined.

    How do you decide which apps to review?

    A majority of our apps are given to us by companies to review. They give us a promo code so we test it for free. Then we review it for them on our YouTube channel and website.

    And how did you come across Foodspotting?

    We learned about Foodspotting when you guys were Apple's App of the Week, which we found interesting.

    Favorite app of all time?

    That's a hard one. Favorite Game: Infinity Blade. Favorite Non-Game: Office Squared HD

    What do you want most for Christmas?

    An Apple iMac or XBOX 360.

    Last but not least, what's your dream job?

    My dream job is to be a project manager for Apple.

    Well, if that doesn't work out, you can always work for Foodspotting!

  • They say a picture says a thousand words, and that's a good thing because if you're looking at Chris Connolly's photos on Foodspotting, you'll be left with no words at all. I first came across Chris' work a month ago and I revisit his profile from time to time to see the latest lucky dish to be captured by his lens. It's like stepping into a gallery where you reflect, not on what's on paper, but what's on a plate.

    By day, Chris is a user experience designer in the San Francisco Bay Area, currently leading the user experience for a project called Tunerfish. By mealtime, however, he's one of our most active Foodspotters, which gained him a place among our first hundred Super Spotters who were announced yesterday. Here is our food pic-focused Q&A with the photog himself.

    You've been to some of the most renowned restaurants in California. Is that where you're from?

    I'm actually from Arizona, which is a desolate land in terms of food culture (although I've heard it's become better over the years). I spent some time in the Los Angeles area before moving up to the SF Bay Area, which is where I fell in love with food and the culture around it. There are so many amazing places up here, and the culture of emphasizing simple, local ingredients really shines through in the end products.

    Which foods do you think are the most photogenic?

    Desserts and cocktails tend to be pretty easy shots, meaning you don’t have to try hard to make it look good. As for main courses - anything with a lot of green, leafy bits tend to photograph well. Also, put anything on a pure white plate, and it will photograph well as long as you’ve got good light.

    Seeing that you take quite a few photos at high-end restaurants, what has your experience been like as a customer with a camera?

    Largely very good. Most high-end restaurants have no issues with you breaking out a digital SLR camera as long as you follow some basics. Always attempt to ask if you can photograph - 99% of the time, they’ll give you the green light - and never use flash. If you don’t disrupt other diners' experience, and don’t let the act of photographing your meals ruin your own experience, then there is little harm in it. Also, restaurants tend to like when their creations are photographed well – I just hope I’m doing their food justice.

    The Foodspotting team is in awe of the Salad Emmanuelle photo you took at Benu. What camera and lens did you use? What was the post-production process like for that photo?

    I shoot all of my shots with a Canon 5D Mark II camera, and most of my food shots are with my trusty 50mm 1.4 lens. Post-processing is all done with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop – but with the 5D Mark II, you don’t need to do much work to make the food look good. It’s mainly just color correction and centering photos within Foodspotting’s wacky (and lovable) square crop. I think that photo just required a bit of color and contrast alteration. Glad you like it!

    It looks like you've been eating a lot of dessert, breakfast, chicken, and ice cream. Would you say those four foods sum you up pretty well?

    Oddly enough, I’m not a huge dessert guy, but it does tend to photograph well, so I always end up posting those shots. Breakfast food, yes, I can eat it at any hour of the day. Sadly, my favorite food of the moment is Korean BBQ burrito, which does not tend to photograph as well.

    Any tips for aspiring food photographers?

    I suppose the biggest thing is learning to control light. Try to pick outside tables with lots of natural light. If your table doesn’t have good light, don’t be afraid to adjust your table’s lighting so that you can get your shot. Also, be patient and respectful to the restaurant staff. More often than not, they’ll stay out of your way. In some cases, they even help by removing unnecessary items from the table to help you get a better shot. Also, come out to the Bay Area. We have great food and great light over here :)

    • over 7 years ago.
      Wow. Amazing photos!
    • over 7 years ago.
      I am BIG BIG FAN of IN-N-OUT Burger. Great Shot!!
    • over 7 years ago.
      I'm hoping I can create shots like this with my iPhone. I'll have to do it quick, my wife doesn't have much patience...
    • over 7 years ago.
      I'm following him as of right now!