Chef's Roll, LinkedIn for the Culinary Crowd, Draws in Miami's Kitchen Talent

There's no denying that the culinary world is its own wild, woolly trip down the rabbit hole. The kitchens of the world are a far cry from the corporate boardrooms, particularly when it comes to career paths. Ever read Kitchen Confidential? Yeahhhhhhhh, that.

So it makes major sense that chefs should have their own social network. Somehow, LinkedIn doesn't seem up to the task of showcasing a sous chef's epic au jus or highlighting a toque's talents with a blade. So for back of the house superstars, there's Chef's Roll.

See also: Fashion Blogger Pamela Wasabi Embarks on Vegan and Raw Foods Chef Career

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The food-focused site was founded by 13-year hospitality industry vet Thomas Keslinke and tech expert Frans van der Lee. The duo noticed there was a major gap in the self-promotion social media space for culinary careerists, so they set out to fill it.

"Chefs were coming to our web development firm looking to market and promote themselves, but it became apparent that they had little budget and even less time to go through a whole website design and social media strategy process," says co-founder van der Lee.

The site allows chefs and culinary students to list a whole host of juicy details on their profiles, including skills and expertise; upcoming events; education and experience; specialties; photos and videos; awards and accolades; client reviews; links to print, and press coverage.

There's even a job board. In initial rollout right now, they expect it to be serving up some impressive options down the line.

"The job board was soft launched last week and we are looking to make it the industry leader for culinary positions," van der Lee adds.

Some major names have jumped on board already, including Fabio Viviani, Taji Marie and Michelin starred Gianfranco Chiarini.

Locally, there's James Tahhan and chef Alain LeMaire and Tom Parlo, executive chef of the St. Regis Bal Harbour, among others.

"The network effect of it being just professional chefs also eliminates the noise of having non culinary members," van der Lee adds. "Also, the visual power of the platform is very appealing. It's being used by top TV casting producers to scout new talent."

And who doesn't want to be on TV? That's half the appeal of being a chef these days.

Another unique asset is that culinary groupies can snoop their favorite chef's profiles (unlike via LinkedIn, where membership is required). Also, it's search engine optimized, so van der Lee says profiles usually pop up pretty high in search results right away.

So what's up next for Chef's Roll? "Some upcoming features to the network are allowing members to post recipes, link recommendations to other members, and a mobile app," van der Lee says. Those recipes ought to be an improvement on the home cook concoctions you find on Pinterest. Seriously.

If you wanna jump on with Chef's Roll, chefs and culinary students can sign up at Chefsroll.com. Profiles run $19 per month or $99 per year.

Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.

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