PioneerChef.com, a new web magazine, puts foodies in touch with their favourite chefs from across the globe
Just over a month old and PioneerChef.com is already seeing traffic of around one lakh visitors a day. This is certainly not the kind of response that Lovejeet Alexander, a Gurgaon-based food photographer and now editor of PioneerChef had in mind when he started the website. “I’ve been doing food photography for around six years now and met many interesting chefs over the years. They always have interesting stories to tell,” says Alexander, a former journalist who has been in the industry for about 14 years now. Through PioneerChef, he hopes to take foodies into the minds of chefs and introduce them to the people behind some of the best kitchens across the globe.
On the site, we find interviews with home-grown chefs like Vikas Khanna and Aditya Bal, Romy Gill who runs a kitchen in the UK and Italian celebrity and Michelin-starred chef Gianfranco Chiarini, in addition to restaurant reviews contributed by chefs like Michael Swamy. “We were barely a month-old when Vikas Khanna called us,” recalls Alexander. “When Italian chef Gianfranco Chiarini uploaded our interview with him on his website, there was so much traffic that our site crashed!,” he adds. With their sights set on coming up with a proper e-magazine for e-reading platforms, Alexander and his small team that includes his wife and a couple of friends, hopes that the momentum will continue.
“The sections that you see on the website are all suggestions from our readers. People have been giving us a lot of feedback and many are asking for sections where chefs review food products as well,” he shares. And while he is not sure if they will be coming up with a print version of the magazine, Alexander shares that a coffee table book can be expected in the not-too-distant future.
— Ryan Peppin