Foodie Tuesday: Where Chefs Eat

What’s the first thing you do when planning to travel? I reach out to any friends who might have a restaurant recommendation for the area I’m planning to visit. Usually I end up with a folder full of emails with lengthy lists of restaurant recommendations and never end up visiting them. I’m short on time and it’s just not convenient to research every place and locate it on a map. Or I visit a recommended restaurant and it ends up being a dud. Where Chefs Eat seeks to solve both problems by creating a restaurant guide using the most trustworthy source — chefs — and utilizing interactive mapping to get you there.

The app pulls recommendations for 2000 restaurants in 60 countries from over 400 of the world’s elite chefs. It’s not a definitive list of the world’s best restaurants, rather, a list of the best places to eat, whether it’s a midnight snack or a greasy spoon breakfast, a bargain meal or a special occasion. Today’s chef is a world traveler who visits other restaurants for inspiration. Phaidon Press has tapped into this invaluable resource to bring you an interactive guide that’s easily to access on the go.

Are delicious meals essential to your travel experience? If so, keep reading to learn more about Where Chefs Eat.

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Getting Started

To create the guide, Phaidon Press sent chefs all over the world a list of eight questions regarding their favorite breakfast joint, late night bite, bargain meal, place to celebrate a special occasion and regular haunts. They also cleverly asked, “Which restaurant do you admire the most and wish you’d opened yourself?” and “Which restaurant would you travel any distance to eat at?” to ensure a selection of memorable meal options. Answers to, “Which restaurant best sums up your city … a local favorite?” ensure that you don’t get stuck in a tourist trap, but instead eat the most authentic meal a city has to offer.

Want to know where chefs eat? Launch your search by selecting one of the 4 categories.

Want to know where chefs eat? Launch your search by selecting one of the 4 categories.

The home screen is bold and beautifully simple, the way an iPhone app should be. You want to know where chefs eat? Choose from four ways to start your search: Where (continent on the globe), Chefs (who is making the recommendation), Eat (by restaurants in the guide) or Tipped For (type of experience). The Info button reveals a helpful User Guide to get you started, but it would be even better if these tips were presented as a tutorial taking you through the process.

Tap Where to view recommendations by continent on the globe, left. Select Tipped For to search for recommendations by dining experience, “From Bargain to High End,” right.

Tap Where to view recommendations by continent on the globe, left. Select Tipped For to search for recommendations by dining experience, “From Bargain to High End,” right.

If you’re planning for an upcoming trip, you’ll want to tap on Where to search by location. Making a bucket list? Peruse the Chefs section for recommendations from your favorite celebrity chefs. Curious if a restaurant your BFF in Denmark recommended is on the list? Tap on Eat to find out. Whether you’re planning ahead or looking for a last-minute idea, Tipped For categorizes recommendations by dining experience according to the eight questions mentioned above. It’s great to have several different ways to approach the guide.

Using the Guide on the Go

To find all the restaurants nearest to your location, you’ve got to select Eat and then Distance, which brings up a list displaying in order of closeness. The information loads super fast if you’ve got a decent Internet connection. You can also tap the globe icon to view all restaurants on the map, zooming in on your area. The map view works well and it’s easy to read.

I viewed a list of restaurants nearest my location in Ireland, left. You can also tap the globe icon to view all the restaurants on a map, zooming in on your area, right.

I viewed a list of restaurants nearest my location in Ireland, left. You can also tap the globe icon to view all the restaurants on a map, zooming in on your area, right.

Restaurant recommendations are tagged with a description of the type of dining experience, like Worth the Travel, High End, Bargain or Late Night. You’ll find the address along with how many miles you are from the restaurant. The phone number includes the country code so you can dial simply by tapping it — but beware of international call charges.

Restaurant recommendations are full of useful information, like miles from your location, the address and contact info, along with good to know policies and opening hours.

Restaurant recommendations are full of useful information, like miles from your location, the address and contact info, along with good to know policies and opening hours.

You’ll also find useful policy information, like whether they accept credit cards or reservations and what the opening hours are. Keep scrolling to read a detailed, thoughtful description of what makes the restaurant special and which chefs recommended it. Tap a chef’s name to learn more about his or her restaurant and see all the recommendations from that chef.

Keep scrolling down the restaurant recommendation and you’ll find a detailed, thoughtful description of what makes that place special, left. You can also see which chefs recommended the restaurant and what other restaurants from the guide are in the area, right.

Keep scrolling down the restaurant recommendation and you’ll find a detailed, thoughtful description of what makes that place special, left. You can also see which chefs recommended the restaurant and what other restaurants from the guide are in the area, right.

The app continues to over-deliver by providing a list of restaurants that are also in the region at the bottom of the screen. Information in the Where Chefs Eat app links up seamlessly, making for an immersive browsing experience that gives users a complete picture.

Interactive Mapping

To quickly access restaurants on the map, it’s best to select the globe at the bottom of the home screen, where you can drill down through the recommendations by selecting the funnel button to set filters. Work through the filter sections at the bottom of the screen by selecting a Region, Tipped For, Cuisine and Price, then hit Apply to view the recommendations on the map. Zoom in on the area that interests you. It’s quick, easy and fun.

Use the globe button to quickly access restaurants on a map and filter down the options by location, dining experience, cuisine and price.

Use the globe button to quickly access restaurants on a map and filter down the options by location, dining experience, cuisine and price.

View your location as it relates to the restaurants on the map by selecting the crosshairs icon next to the funnel. Where Chefs Eat gives you all the information you need, and nothing more. It’s beautifully designed with users in mind, keeping useful tools close to hand without cluttering the screen.

Conclusion

Now it’s time to answer the big question: Is Where Chefs Eat worth the hefty price of $14.99? If you only travel a couple of times a year, you’ll have a hard time understanding how the app can be worth so much. On the positive side, Where Chefs Eat is a useful tool for finding high-quality restaurant recommendations in a foreign place. When you’re eating the best dumplings of your life in London Chinatown’s Jade Garden because Fergus Henderson recommended it on Where Chefs Eat, you’ll be glad you dropped the cash on this app.


Summary

Where Chefs Eat is a guide to restaurants across the globe, from fine dining to greasy spoons, created by surveying the best chefs.

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