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Ruth Reichl and the Future of Gilt Taste

Ruth Reichl Reveals What's to Come at Gilt Taste

After hosting a launch party to celebrate the arrival of Gilt Taste in New York City, editorial advisor Ruth Reichl and her team headed to San Francisco where last night, they met with journalists and chefs to reveal more details about the venture. What you see now is only one-tenth of what it will be. More features, videos, a community, and a revolutionized recipe system are in the works. Although Gilt is known for being a daily deal site that offers consumers a discounted item or experience, Susan Lyne, chairman of the company, doesn't believe this concept can be applied to food, "it's hard to think of great deals as food because what's the discounted stuff? The food that's about to go bad?" she said. To get the scoop on what Gilt Taste hopes to be, keep reading.

  • Animated gifs! When you click into one of the product categories, like seafood, you come to a page in which the header is an animated image. A hand squeezes a lemon wedge onto raw oysters, a steak smokes while cooking on the grill, a cheese wrapper flickers in the wind, etc. The plan is to have these tantalizing moving images, which seem like they are out of Harry Potter, all over the website and not just as headers.
  • Video series. First up is a five episode dinner party. An unknown chef and fashion photographer gathered a group of hip friends in a cabin in the Catskills and threw a dinner party. Gilt Taste was on hand to shoot the whole thing and plans to air the videos, with no words, just cool music, starting next week. Videos were described as being "artful and beautiful" and perhaps, inspired by Eater's Sound Bites series?
  • Readers and consumers will be able to customize their experience with Gilt Taste. In the future, you'll be able to favorite and save stories and recipes, plus share them with friends.
  • Currently there's 40 artisans and 200 products, but within the next month, they'll introduce 100 more. The items for sale are specialized, for example while the cheese is from Murray's, it's not the cheese that anyone can buy, it's the cheese that's sold only to restaurants.
  • What Reichl and company seemed most excited about was their new recipe prototype. They're still working out the kinks — when they went to show off the technology it didn't work — but hope to have it launch with the ipad app. The new recipes are for people who cook with their computers. When you have a computer in the kitchen, you eventually have to touch the keyboard with dirty fingers. With Gilt Taste's motion activated recipes, you'll be able to simply flick your hand and the recipe will move to the next step. It's illustrated of course, with each step having a gorgeous photo of a salt being sprinkled on the chicken, of the chicken being seared in the pan, etc.

It's clear that Reichl and her team are thinking big, but only time will tell if they can turn web commerce into something new and longstanding. Have you checked out Gilt Taste yet? What do you think of it?

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