Seven Great Websites for Independent Food Professionals
Each time I draft a blog post, I dig around the internet for interesting and useful information for independent chefs and food professionals. And each time I find cool websites and content that I’d love to share with CookItHere readers. There is so much good stuff out there—from recipe sites to food blogs to celebrity chef sites to culinary magazine sites—this list is far from exhaustive. I tried to find diverse sites with useful content and professional interfaces. Here is a short list of some sites that are worth exploring.
ChefTalk has all the fun of a foodie website with a great social networking aspect, too. Join, set up a profile (kind of like Facebook, but just for chefs and foodies) and you can converse with professionals and home cooks from all walks of life. They also have articles and columns covering everything from ingredients to kitchen tools.
American Personal & Private Chef Association
American Personal & Private Chef Association is the largest association of its kind. Their website offers everything from kitchen advice to business building advice. APPCA offers classes and certifications, as well as industry-specific job boards. The site has an active blog and news features that food professionals will find informative and helpful.
This site is like a nitty-gritty reference about kitchen and restaurant management. You won’t find recipes here, but you will find everything you need to know about specific ingredients. You’ll find tools to organize recipes, plan menus, inventory your pantry—all the nuts and bolts of operating a food business. If you’re not a chef or restaurant owner but aspire to become one, dig around this site for a reality check about what food professionals do when they’re not cooking and tasting.
Culintro.com is a restaurant job board and networking site. According to stats on the site, they have about 30,000 members including executive chefs and other industry personnel. Positions on their job board include all kinds of hospitality functions, including management and administrative staff, not just kitchen trades. They’re based in New York and San Francisco, but I did see jobs posted for other geographic areas as well. Culintro.com also posts industry news and events.
Small Food Biz
Smallfoodbiz.com is a blog, not a big site like the others so far, but the content is so dead-on for the CookItHere crowd that I had to include it on this list. Written by a pastry chef who later got an MBA, the blog covers all aspects of artisan food businesses from an entrepreneurial angle. You’ll find lots of business building tips and insights, interviews with food entrepreneurs, and practical information for launching a food business. Posts are short and informative, and though she offers consulting services, her site reads like a resource and not like a commercial.
Like the Cooks Illustrated magazine, this site is more than recipes—it’s like a free education. Recipes and articles cover techniques in detail and include a lot of “why” information that you can use to improve your culinary skills and general food knowledge. The site also has a whole section dedicated to equipment comparisons and reviews. So helpful!
Food & Wine
I had to throw in a good, well-rounded culinary magazine site. This site has recipes, entertaining and presentation articles, travel and international food-themed stories—it’s a real treat for professionals and amateur food-lovers alike. Not necessarily as practical as some of the other sites on my list, FoodandWine.com is a good one when you want to relax or be inspired.
Don’t forget to come back and read this humble blog once in a while, too, and remember that when you need a kitchen to apply all the new knowledge you’ve gleaned, you can find a commercial kitchen to rent at CookItHere.com.