Chefs Feed, a food media company that offers thousands of restaurant reviews from expert chefs in 25 major cities, recently unveiled its API and announced high-profile content syndication partnerships that use the API.
"The Chefs Feed API adds an additional layer of incredibly engaging content around food that will further connect publishers with their audience," Chefs Feed CEO Rich Maggiotto stated in a press release. "We've built a robust catalog of photos, tips and videos featuring popular chefs that allows media and commerce sites to help readers decide where to eat and what to order based on mobile geolocation technology."
The first partners using the Chefs Feed API to integrate the company's content into their own experiences are Foursquare, Urbanspoon, Red Bull and Virgin America. Foursquare and Urbanspoon, for instance, are using Chefs Feed's API to create "Popular Dish" and "Tips" features for their users.
The API, which is RESTful and built using Ruby, PostgreSQL and Redis, was crucial to Chefs Feed's ability to ink syndication deals with these prominent companies, according to Matthew Davis, the company's VP of product. It is also used to power the company's own website and mobile apps.
Evolving Its API Thoughtfully
Many companies start with a public API in an effort to fuel rapid adoption of their products and services. Chefs Feed, however, is in no rush to make its API widely available. Instead, it's aligning the use of its API to the company's immediate strategic goals.
Chefs Feed doesn't have any plans to open its API up publicly this year, but Davis says it might be considered next year as the company grows and its strategy evolves. "Most of our efforts on the product side are about balancing our efforts as a media brand with our curiosity about what we can achieve as a technology," he told me. "Our apps today might help a diner find the right thing to order. Now we want to help chefs and the restaurant industry understand and cater to diners on mobile devices. Our APIs will evolve concurrent to these efforts."