These days, it’s easy to have a favorite chef—there are cooking shows, social media platforms, and higher visibility of who’s behind the menu at your favorite local restaurants. But there were fewer chances to support those chefs outside of visiting their restaurants. Kittch is helping solve that: It’s a new live streaming platform (one that LeBron James invested in) allowing chefs to control the content they make, and giving fans the opportunity to directly connect with and financially support them.
What is Kittch?
The name is a play on Twitch, in part because it’s similar to the live streaming service. But where Twitch has ridden the success of gamers, Kittch is dedicated entirely to culinary content. As of now, anyone can apply to be a creator on the Beta version of the app—once you’re approved, you can start streaming.
Viewers can access a mix of free and paid content. Similar to a platform like OnlyFans (only with food porn), you can send tips in exchange for content or subscribe to certain chefs’ channels. As of now, there are more than 500 chefs with channels on the site, ABC News reports—a mix of relative unknowns and big names like Marcus Samuelsson, Ruth Reichl, and Bill Oakley. When watching, you can expect everything from cooking classes and kitchen tours to interviews and product reviews. Essentially it’s up to the chefs to curate their channels however they like.
Another feature that really sets this platform apart is that viewers can join with their cameras on—it’s probably one of the most personal connections a fan can get with one of their favorite chefs.
Why live streaming makes sense for chefs
During the pandemic when restaurants were closed, many chefs had to pivot towards finding new ways to not only make money but continue being creative in the kitchen. In an interview with ABC, chef Sara Hauman says that Kittch was the logical next step, where chefs could using digital platforms to grow their audience and try something a little different.
“You get to see behind the scenes, you get to see a chef, maybe a little more messy than usual,” Hauman says in her Localish segment. “For chefs who don’t have the celebrity status or the Instagram following, Kittch is a way to have that platform and to speak to those causes that you’re passionate about.”
Hauman, for instance, gets to wax poetic about sustainable seafood—something she might not get to do with every guest at her restaurant--while also selling her own tinned fish line directly to those watching her stream. Other chefs, like Joe Sasto, sell masterclasses of sorts in bread baking, pasta making, and more.
Because the platform is still in its Beta stages, we can expect to see some upgrades and additions in the coming months. But as it stands now, Kittch can be whatever a chef wants it to be.