New Delhi: It’s Saturday night, and you’re at the new Italian restaurant in town, fiddling with a menu card that throws up an array of tongue twisters — soffiato di ricotta, insalata di polpo, braciolene ripiene and what have you. You haven’t tried them before, can’t pronounce their names, so simply rely on the waiter’s recommendations.
But when your order is delivered, umm... delicious! Why can’t the wife conjure up something like that for you once in a while, instead of doling out the standard paneer pasanda and murgh tikka every time you want to party at home? Well, she can, now.
No, this isn’t about any of those exotic cookery shows on television. It’s about www.ifood.tv, a website that’s dedicated to bringing you tongue-twisting delights from across the globe and teaching you how to convert them into palate ticklers in an easy and user-friendly manner.
With ifood.tv, you can download recipes, watch and share cooking shows with your friends, cook while you learn through video recipes, read restaurant reviews, get health tips, opinion and thoughts, and get the latest on food events anywhere on the planet.
Co-founder Vikrant Mathur is now attempting to rope in a wider range of users. So regardless of whether you’re hooked on to Italian, Indian, Indonesian or Irish food, all you need to do is use the efficient search engine to get what you want.
The portal also caters to specific categories, such as diabetics, through dedicated space on sugar free desserts. For the calorie-conscious fitness freak who nevertheless can’t keep his fingers off fried food, there’s a special section on fat-free delicacies. If you’re the experimental type there’s even a section on fusion food.
“One can even explore one’s desired recipe and try it out in the kitchen simultaneously. For instance, a home cook can watch recipe videos when she is ready to cook. She can pause, rewind and play the video again to meet her pace,” quips Mathur.
The site has array of partnership that varies from food bloggers to restaurant chains to bolster its online presence. iFood’s partners include Hari Nayak, owner of America’s first ice-cream patisserie and head of several corporate cafeterias, home chef Skati Jha, an expert on cooking in India and chef Melissa Scheer, who runs her own cooking show, ‘Two for Ten’, in the US.
“We’ve also partnered with chef Armand, who has been associated with hotel chains such as Hilton, Radisson International, Marriot and Novotel,” says Mathur.
Is iFood planning to expand into physical food chains? Nyet says Mathur. “We view ourselves as technology providers and the food businesses can leverage our offering to promote and brand their products and services online. We view Mcdonald’s, Pizza Hut, and Haldirams as partners, not competitors,” he explains.
An exciting virtual domain for food fanatics to explore and expand their knowledge bank in the culinary department, this Future Today Inc-venture, has already achieved 5 million hits a month.
The site already has over 30,000 pages and is rapidly moving towards becoming the most popular food site in the US, Canada, UK and India. According to Alexa Traffic rankings, the portal is ranked in the top 1,000 sites in India – it is ranked 974 – and is among the top 12,000 sites in the US.
“The huge market potential, timeless nature of recipes, and its universal appeal make iFood.tv a compelling business case,” says Mathur. “The site does not compete with traditional recipe websites. It is all about consumer experience and about providing the user with information on demand, in format he’s comfortable with.”