Image: Super Marmite
The New York Times: Globespotters, 29/04/2011
In a city famous for its cuisine, it can sometimes be difficult to find a decent meal in Paris with a price that’s easy to stomach. Olivier Desmoulin, a co-creator of Super Marmite, is trying to make it a little easier, via the magic of crowd-sourcing and GPS.
Super Marmite is a Web site that invites budding chefs to share the contents of their marmites (French for cooking pot) with their hungry neighbors. Users list the culinary treat they’re preparing that night, set a price (usually 3 to 8 euros, about $5 to $11) and arrange where to pick it up, or invite guests to eat with them.
In a few months the site has grown rapidly in popularity among locals, as well as visitors keen to meet and eat with some real Parisians.
“The idea was to create a neighborhood menu with dishes cooked by locals,” said Mr. Desmoulin, who created the site with friends. “I thought to myself, all around me there are people cooking simple meals. Surely amongst all of them there would be the dish I was dreaming of, something cooked with love.”
Regular user “Emperor Norton” is a fan of the site as both a chef and consumer.
“I use it to find specialties like Mexican and certain Japanese foods that are either unavailable or simply not well made here in Paris,” he said. “Being a social site, we’ve gotten to meet many fellow Parisians of all stripes. And my wife bakes when she’s stressed, so we offload the extra calories on the general public.”