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Friday, May 25, 2012

50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #49 Soraya Darabi & Alexa Andrzejewski {Foodspotting} - Greek Skillet from Angelo's Family Restaurant

the "Gourmet" prompt...
49. Soraya Darabi & Alexa Andrzejewski- Foodspotting, in which FourSquare meets those backlit pictures of dishes in diners and Chinese takeouts (with a dash of, well, Gourmet Live thrown in), is no doubt part of the future. Not sure why—it just is. And these two (plus a guy) thought of making a business out of it.

So say you've been traveling to other countries and locales.  Immersing  yourself in the culture, the people, and of course, the food!  You discover new cuisines, flavors, and dishes. And you fall head over heels.  Then imagine going home and getting a craving for those foods and having absolutely no luck finding a place where you can order them.  This is exactly what spurred Alexa Andrezejewski to start Foodspotting after her travels to Japan and Korea and her subsequent return home to San Francisco.  After being unable to find Okonomiyaki, she decided she wanted to build a sort of "visual guide to foods and where to find them".  This would be a better way for people to learn about new foods and to be able to source them locally (wherever they may be).  Before starting Foodspotting, Alexa was a User Experience Designer for Adaptive Path where she "helped clients ranging from startups to established companies reimagine products from the ground up".
The idea for Foodspotting was spawned in 2009.  Alexa was working with Ted Grubb to design and put it together when they hooked up with Soraya Darabi, who was an early devotee and lover of food, travel, photography, and technology.  Darabi previously worked for Epicurious .com, drop .io, and she successfully launched the social-media presence of The New York Times and created digital partnerships for them with platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.  She joined as cofounder (with Alexa and Ted) and their business proposal received seed funding in September of 2009.
The Foodspotting website was launched in January of 2010 with the iPhone app to follow in a couple of months later in March.  Users from all over the world can now whip out their iPhones, Blackberry's, Androids, or cameras (to be uploaded via computer) and snap photos of dishes they love.  But only good ones.  There is no point in sharing the poor experiences.  Foodspotting aims to help users find GOOD food locally and quickly.  No lengthy restaurant reviews to sift through.  No negative reviews.  Only destination meals.
To be completely honest, I had never used Foodspotting before this week.  Yes, I'd heard of it.  I'd even browsed the site a few times just to see what it was all about.  The main reason I didn't pay it much mind?  I don't go out to eat very often.  Seriously, not often at all.  I'd say a good 99% of the food we eat, we eat at home (or somebody else's home).  But that being said, when we do go out to eat locally, we do have a couple of favorites.  One of them being Angelo's Family Restaurant.  It's a locally owned restaurant (Greek family, the patriarch being Angelo) that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We've only ever gone for dinner. And every time we go, I order the same thing.  Because I ADORE it.  Over the years, I've occasionally strayed from my favorite dish...just because I think I "should" try other things.  But I always come back to it.  It's what I love.

So, the hubs and I went out to breakfast a couple of days ago since he was off of work.  The kiddos were at school, so it was just the two of us.  Did I mention he has a favorite dish there, as well?  He always order the Chorizo Skillet (seasoned potatoes, green peppers, tomatoes, jalapeños, melty cheese, with two eggs, and toast).  And my favorite?  Well, my favorite is Angelo's Greek Skillet.  Basically, it's shredded potatoes with onion, tomato, and diced gyro meat (lamb) that's covered in feta cheese and I top it with two poached eggs.  They serve tzatziki on the side and I always get mine with pancakes (malted, my favorite).  Orange juice and coffee as well, thank you very much.  And in honor of our game-changers this week, I Foodspotted it!  My very first entry.  But not my last...

 Soraya, Ted, and Alexa cofounders of Foodspotting
photo by Lianne Milton
further info: website | facebook | twitter (foodspotting) | twitter (Alexa) | twitter (Soraya)

In May '11, Gourmet posted a list of 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food) that runs the gamut from food writers to cookbook authors to television personalities to restauranteurs to chefs to food bloggers.  Some are a given.  Some are controversial.  Speaking the names of some brings fond childhood memories.  Speaking the names of others will make some readers cringe.  And of course, some of our favorites were not even included.  We food-lovers are a passionate bunch of people and whether we agree or disagree, every woman on this list has earned her place for a reason.  Being a woman who is passionate about food (cooking, eating, talking about, writing about, photographing), when I caught wind of Mary from One Perfect Bite's idea of cooking/blogging her way through each of these 50 per week...I knew I wanted to join her.  Many of these women paved the way for us in culinary school, in the kitchen, in cookbooks, in food writing, and on television and I think it is a fabulous way to pay tribute to their efforts.  Some of the women on the list have been tops with me for years.  Some I have heard of (perhaps even seen, read, or cooked from) before.  And there are even a handful that I am not familiar with at all.  I excited to educate myself on each of these women game-changers and hope you look forward to reading along.  We are going in order from 1 to 50.
Who is cooking along with these 50 Women Game-Changers?

resources/bibliography: Foodspotting

I can hardly believe that we only have ONE more game-changing woman to go.  Yup, next week we feature #50.  Stay tuned for our final woman, Julie Powell next Friday!

Would you like to comment?

  1. I adore a skillet breakfast and you certainly found a grand one. It has everything. Fun that you will be a convert to foodspotting! They are certainly up to something!

  2. Good for you for Foodspotting your dish! I wish I could have, but the trifle was a seasonal thing and like all pastry chefs, they don't want to repeat. I've not seen it on the menu since.
    It's an interesting concept, don't know how much I'll use it, if at all.
    (Eliminating Ted Grubb from their #49 game changer list must have led to quite a discussion...he deserves to be there, and I imagine they wanted to get Foodspotting on their list, so he was ignored. Nice to see that all of us have given him credit!)

  3. Jill ( 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    What a great post Heather and your breakfast looks....well, drool worthy!! I'm giving you 5 spittles!!! P.S. I love your new banner! As for the stars-I was trying to use them and it just kept applying a negative sign-I kept clicking thinking I would get back to 0, but as you can see I stopped at -13-YIKES!! I DO NOT MEAN THAT!!!

  4. I think that chorizo skillet sounds really good. I use the soyrizo that they sell at Trader Joe's. It's a really nice subsititute. I'm sad that our group is ending.

  5. I just downloaded Foodspotting and am hoping to try using it this weekend, what a fun way to find good local places to eat.

  6. Couscous & ConsciousnessMay 28, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    I didn't know about Foodspotting, but can't wait to check it out now - even though it's unlikely there will be much in the way of New Zealand food joints. Love that you entered your breakfast, which looks pretty sensational.

    Love your new blog header too, by the way.

    Sue xo

  7. Fun to go out to breakfast while the kiddoes are in school (You went without ME?); we liked to do that. These days we have one left in graduate school on the East coast, so whenever we go out it's without the kids--unless you count Gabby and Tucker, our goldens. Enjoy the weekend!

  8. Very creative Heather!!!! Angelos sounds like my kind of place too!

  9. Ha! Cool take on this week's challenge! What's not to like with all that 'nom' piled on the plate, right? Yum yum!

  10. Such a great post…I had not visited Foodspotting before this week and, I really had no idea what it was about…your post helped me “get it”! Love the Greek Skillet…absolutely yummy looking! Have a wonderful weekend, Heather!

  11. Great post…a very creative way to feature Foodspotting! Love the Greek Skillet…so yummy looking!

  12. The boy and I have been going to a greek diner a lot for breakfast/lunch on weekends and I always order an omelet. And it's always OKAY. But not amazing. I wish they would have something like this on the menu!