A wave of new internet startups aim to do for eating out what Airbnb did for travel accommodation and Uber for taxis, with diners eating in chefs’ own homes

Last weekend, with a certain amount of trepidation, I made a booking with a website called EatAbout, whose tagline invites you to “enjoy private meals in the home of a chef”. Conceived last October by two young Swedes living in London, the website launched in January with the intention of “democratising eating out” and making “good food accessible to everyone” by cutting out many of the costs associated with running a restaurant. Despite a deep and abiding love of the traditional restaurant-going experience, I was curious enough about the concept to give it a try.

First, I scan a map of London for hosts – EatAbout currently has 30 chefs in its network, all within the M25 – and settle upon Carine O, whose food incorporates influences from France and her native Cameroon. Then, out of five options, I pick a three-course menu called “Fish BBQ My Way”, priced at £77 for two. Once I’ve chosen a time and submitted my card details, Carine gets in touch to ask whether we’d prefer mackerel or sea bass and then offers some friendly advice on wine (EatAbout invites guests to bring their own). The next day, bottle in hand and with the meal already paid for, we arrive at Carine’s home in south London ready for some barbecued fish.

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Read more at Is it last orders for restaurants?

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