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jessicahowles

Food Startup Idea

6 posts in this topic

Hi guys, I am a programmer who loves food a lot and I am thinking of working on a food recipe website.

My idea is to create a website which indexes and categorizes recipes from the Internet. I want to provide better recipe search results and recommendations based on users’ preferences (I use Google currently but I feel there is much room for improvement.)

I would like to know what you guys think about the idea and whether it is something you would like. And do you have any features that you always wanted in a recipe website? Thanks again!

P.S. When I get something going, is anyone interested in beta testing for me?

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There are already a lot of apps out there for recipes. The websites with the actually good, test-kitchen tested, recipes already have their own apps, and they own the copyright to those recipes.

Other sites rely on 'user' reviews of recipes which means that there is a lot of review padding by friends, relatives, and possibly hundreds of alternate identities of the original author. -Not to mention everyday housewives who think you can sub Kool-Aid for fresh squeezed OJ in a recipe.

What I want in a website is pretty much what ATK, Food & Wine, Epicurious, etc. already provide: recipes tested by thousands of reliable testers, weight based measurement of dry goods, and reviews by professional reviewers.

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Thanks for the feedback Lisa!

I guess what I imagine our website to be is a collection of recipest from various sources (including those that you mention) which can be presented in a single page for the reader. Similar to how kayak allows its users to compare flight offerings from different airlines, the site I am planning to work on allows users to compare recipes from different websites. For eg, if you search for chocolate chip cookies, you will be able to see a list of recipes say

1) Bon Appetit's Recipe, 5 comments were found on the actual site, vegan

2) Food & Wine Recipe, 4 comments were found on the actual site, non-vegan

3) NYTimes Recipe, 14 comments were found on the actual site, vegan

I won't be able to provide the entire recipe since it is their copyright, but I can list down the title and main ingredients though, which I believe will still be useful.

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We have had several of these requests recently. It seems every programmer suddenly discovered food - far too late. I doubt anyone can seriously compete with the giants who have already set up recipe finding services, The BBC is one I use a lot. Recipe.com is another. There are many others which have serious funding. A Google search for 'recipe finder' gives 25,200,000 results!

You would be entering one of the most overcrowded areas of the internet you could find. Unless you have something very, very special, I can't see you getting very far. Sorry.

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There is always room for something better. The weak link in most search engines for food is that there is usually no quality assurance for the recipe itself. Epicurious provides that by having every recipe being tested before publication in select food magazines and then adds on user ratings from people who have made the dish. Pretty hard to top that.

You might try an angle like side dish pairings or something like that.

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I have often thought about this subject, being a programmer too. In fact, the first tutorial of Computers 101 at University was to translate a recipe into a program, so I've always felt the fields were very similar, i.e., inputs (ingredients) and outputs (finished or intermediate), various steps by which inputs are transformed into outputs, with timings and other constraints.

- What I'd like to see is a way to put together a dinner party, let's say for five people, with a particular theme, say Greek, and then give me a shopping list and an optimized 'project plan' ... this is something you don't see on other sites.

- Another thing would be a way to annotate recipes for it to work with your own preferences/circumstances/constraints, and then be able to share it with friends on Twitter/Facebook/other networks. This can also include 'dinner party project plans' as described above.

- Thirdly, for the days when we each have a tablet in the kitchen, a kind of playback mechanism where each step of a recipe is displayed, with a timer counting down, so that one doesn't miss anything, which is always a drag. Some way would need to be found to accommodate concurrent steps, such as steaming rice while you boil milk, etc.

I would do some beta testing for you once things get to a certain point...

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