Steve Jobs is not normally associated with food. You don’t know where he goes to dinner, his favorite coffee shop, or find him on top chefs’ lists. Surprisingly, aside from dramatically changing the entertainment and media industries, he’s had the greatest effect on the food industry.
Do a Google search of Steve Jobs & food and this is what you’ll find: 1. He spent 27 years as a vegan. 2. His obsession with apples dates back to the 80s when he experimented with an all-apple diet. He then named his company Apple. Coincidence? 3. Apple’s cafeteria is well stocked with the healthiest treats around, accommodating both vegan and non-vegan eaters alike. That puts Oprah’s One-Week Vegan Challenge to shame, no? Maybe we can learn something about food from him alright.
Back to his influence on the food world. There’s the Mac, iPhone, iPod, and iPad, all contributing to the proliferation of instantaneous information, including information about food.
How many food-related apps do you have on your phone? Here’s a few to refresh your memory: OpenTable, Food Truck Tracker by Burger Beast, Miami Cheap Eats & Street Food, Yelp, Urbanspoon, Epicurious, Saveur, Bon Appetit, Tasting Table, The Lucky Peach (this even came out before the hard print version giving readers with access a sneak peek), Zagat, Locavore… The list goes on and on, from reservations to directions, reviews and recipes, there’s an App for it.
Then, there are Apps like Instagram and Foodspotting that help you get the images of the food in front of you out ASAP to EVERYONE i.e. texts, emails, Twitter, Facebook, whatever. You know who you are. Exhibit A: It’s not just the Asians that do it anymore. It’s not unusual to see diners taking pictures of every dish at their table and even at someone else’s table. Exhibit B: How many diners live tweeted from their iPhones during the Friends & Family opening of Yardbird Southern Table & Bar? Exhibit C: How many people only watch Top Chef and No Reservations on their iPads or iPods?
And finally, there’s the next frontier, and its reaches are boundless. Look at the exciting change at Shula’s Steak House, which recently launched a national program that gives guests food & wine pairings based on their preferences on an iPad Tablet.
Hell, food is one of the most popular things around right now. A hot commodity! The way that people share and communicate about food has in effect changed the way that we perceive food and the reason why we can now stalk our favorite chef or why there’s an Angry Birds cookbook.