Social Networking for Food: The Dinner List

We recently came across a site called Dinnerlist, a social networking platform for people wanting to share their food ideas and recipes. What makes this site unique from the vast majority of recipe sites like AllRecipes, Epicurious and The Food Network, is that it’s much more personal. Groups of families and friends, coworkers and neighbours use this site to talk about what they’re eating, and share personal status updates - aka tips and ideas. Of course, we thought this sounded like something you all would want to know about! Here we track down the founder of Dinnerlist, Faye Hess, to investigate how this site got started and why you’d want to know about it. Enjoy!

BT: How did Dinnerlist come to be?

FH:  Actually, Dinnerlist came about as a way to support my TV show, Dinner Confidential, which is a series that encourages families to come back to the dinner table to share meals together. My partner/friend Kelie and I launched the show together, and developed the site as a way to support our goals with the show. From there, Dinnerlist has taken off on its own.

BT: Tell us more about what Dinnerlist is used for.

FH: Essentially, Dinnerlist connects a community through their food.  As a professional cook and a mother I have this need to get people to want to cook and eat dinner together.  Many of us have lost the skills to do this, and some people avoid it altogether because they feel really intimidated. Food television has been a resource in the past 20 years but I am convinced that ultimately it's the people we know that inspire us to get in the kitchen to cook and then sit down to a table and eat.

BT: How does Dinnerlist encourage people to do this?

FH: By creating groups of people whom you know, or are from the same town or want to travel to the same place, and posting what you made or where you buy the best food, or where you ate out (hometown, Italy, Toronto, Gross Island, excellent packed lunch) you have a real connection to others that are posting.  My hope is that through these groups people will begin to share their knowledge and questions with each other.  Groups can be created around anything--young moms, professional chefs, an office floor, a dorm, or old friends- who live all over the place.  

BT: Thanks Faye! It sounds like an amazing resource. Can you leave us with a recipe or great dinner/food tip you discovered personally via Dinnerlist?

Gosh, the best recipe is a hard one.  This chicken pot pie recipe I have posted up there is a great one and there is a video to go along with it. There is also a treasure trove of recipes from the Italian cooking class that I just came back from, and of course if anyone ever has questions, they can ask me anything! And here is a great recipe for chicken, prunes, oranges and onions from Chiara, who lives in Mercatale di Cortona.  

Thanks Faye. Great chatting with you! For anyone else using the Dinnerlist, let us know what you find! Join the conversation here

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