Intimate, chef-driven experiences can get expensive, and hiring a personal toque for a soiree is nearly impossible. Fudi, a culinary-experience app based in South Florida, wants to change that.
The software, created in early 2016 by techie Nizar Lavji, allows chefs and home cooks to create unique restaurant concepts and pop-up events with the help of personal chef services in the comfort of their own homes or commercial kitchens. In turn, gourmands have the ability to handpick their desired experience with a personalized chef, from set-menu meals to themed eats and gatherings.
"There really isn't anything that allows you to access chefs. This lets you create your own foodie event with friends or family," says Denise Zubizarreta, Fudi's director of business development. "The goal is to create unique experiences that are accessible for diners while giving chefs more freedom."
For chefs, the app allows for more exclusive events, something that would be unthinkable in a conventional kitchen. "Now chefs can showcase something more than the restaurant they are in," Zubizarreta says. "There's no restaurant overhead. Everything is on their terms, times, and price."
Think of Fudi as Uber for chefs. All users need to do is download the app on an iOS or Windows device, register, and log in. Then scroll through chefs that are available on a desired day.
Chefs have the liberty of making their own hours, which gives users a variety of toques each day of the week. Once you've found a chef and meal experience, make a reservation. Depending upon the reservation, chefs cook for users beforehand in a commercial kitchen or in a user's home. Prices are crafted by each chef, depending upon food and labor costs, and Fudi takes 10 percent of each payment.
"There's in-home cooking and delivery," Zubizarreta says. "And there's pop-up events that you can reserve a seat or two for with others. Pick based off of your style and your food. It's all for the user."
Right now, Fudi boasts 200 registered chefs spanning Miami-Dade to Martin County. There are also chefs in California, Georgia, New York, and Chicago. The second-highest concentration of Fudi chefs is in the Windy City, Zubizarreta says, because a handful of those based in South Florida have relocated there.
To register, chefs must be authorized to handle food and must have a food-safety certificate. Restaurant experience is encouraged but not required.
For more information and to download, visit fudisys.com.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.