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CurEat: A Positive Space for Chefs and Food Lovers

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Photo by Carly Mask of Seattle's Sitka & Spruce

We were sitting around the CurEat table and realized that we haven’t really talked about ourselves at length. We’re not shy; we’ve just had a lot of great people write about us since our launch, paving our way to you. Now, we’re ready to give you some real talk about who we are — an autobiography of sorts.

Like any startup, CurEat started as an idea. (We know. Way to state the obvious.) Founder Steve Mangano met with a group of chefs in Raleigh/Durham, NC, who all own and operate independent restaurants, to discuss a positive approach to review-based apps and websites. They helped refine the concept and from there the CurEat snowball started rolling fast.

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Photo by Andrew Sherman of Cast Iron Kitchen in Wilmington, NC

Steve wanted to create a positive space for individuals to discover independent restaurants, bakeries and breweries — a place for food lovers to be able to cut through the clutter of reviews, ratings and chains. His hope was for people to spend time promoting and discussing the places they love instead of perpetuating a negative spin cycle. Tastes are unique and one person’s favorite pizza may be another’s least. Catch our drift?

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Photo by Bax Miller of CurEater Matt Register’s Southern Smoke BBQ

The restaurant industry is a hard grind. Everyone has a bad day.  Should a restaurant have a negative review live online forever? One negative review could prevent you from enjoying a new experience and unique food. There’s enough negative juju in our society right now, do we really want to continue to add to it?

It is our view that reviews and ratings are rarely helpful as most restaurants are rated the same, making it difficult to find any real distinction and credibility. We think Chef Andrew Zimmern, of Bizarre Foods, said it best in a recent Yelp rant. We want to know where friends, chefs, and food writers eat, and we want to know where are favorite bartenders drink. Most importantly, we want you to take what you like, put them into lists and share with friends. Plus, everyone loves a solid list, right?

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Photo by CurEater Chana Lynn of CurEater Vansana Nolintha’s Brewery Bhavana in Raleigh, NC

All of that being said, what makes CurEat different and the app that you need to clear some space on your phone so you can download? First of all, it’s easy to use. You download, make a profile and start creating different lists of your favorite places to eat and drink around the U.S. For example,  if you liked that great cocktail bar in D.C., put it on your D.C. list to recommend it to friends. You can also find and follow prominent chefs, restaurateur, bartenders, creatives and artisan craft-makers in different cities to see where they eat and drink around the U.S. We like to call them CurEaters.

If you’re reading this paragraph, kudos to you for sticking with us. We want CurEat to be your go-to source to finding and recommending independent restaurants and bars. You can download CurEat on the App Store or get it on Google Play. We want to make things easy for you, so if you have any questions just give us a shout on social.