APPetizing: Morsel Gives Voice To, Expands Culinary Community

By Erika Kubick in Food on Oct 17, 2014 6:00PM

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Morsel's Web Feed

Morsel, a recently launched social media application, is shaping the way Chicago (and the nation) talks about food. The app is the brainchild of Ellen Malloy, a well-respected and connected former restaurant publicist who has worked with the likes of Paul Kahan. Years ago, when social media was first embraced by chefs and the culinary community, Malloy noticed that the role of a restaurant publicist was becoming less vital. Rather than approaching her with their creations and ideas, chefs were now directly sharing this information with the public through Twitter, Instagram and other channels. While the public responded enthusiastically with “likes” and retweets, this dialogue had its limitations.

Malloy decided to create a platform to facilitate the discussion in the culinary realm, one that went beyond food porn on Instagram. “The way that most of us get into food is through story, and we really want to continue that conversation,” says Malloy “It’s not just about reviews on Yelp or food porn on Instagram.” That’s why Malloy, along with co-founder Kris Peterson, created Morsel, a user-generated platform that invites everyone in the culinary community, from chefs to bartenders to food enthusiasts, to share a their stories. The app is currently only available for iPhone/iOS devices, but the website is accessible to anyone.

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Adding a Morsel on the Iphone App

Social media channels like Twitter and Instagram only provide a glimpse into the mind of a chef, often devoid of context. But this food porn, or other tidbits, that chef’s share through these channels are gold to food enthusiasts. Morsel not only provides the creator with a voice to divulge on their art, it provides the reader with a peak inside the method of the creator and the artistry we find so entrancing.

The Morsel feed lies somewhere in between food porn and blog entries, expansive with written content but still brief and accessible. The application has an editorial look, currently populated with entries created by professionals in food and beverage, due to Malloy’s connections from her previous career. But Morsel is open to any food and beverage enthusiast who is interested in contributing. The process is simple: download the app, create a morsel, choose from one of 12 available storyboards and fill it with pictures and written content. The app also gives users the ability to share their posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even business or personal websites. Restaurants, such as MFK restaurant, have even donated portions of their website to showcase their employees’ morsels—using the application to communicate with, and perhaps lure in, potential customers.

Chicago’s tight-knit culinary community is driven by integrity and a drive to cooperate and assist each other, and that touching concept is at the heart of Morsel. There is an unmatched joy in the bond that forms when people come together to cook and learn from each other and Morsel is a place where everyone has a seat at the table.