Connecting with Founder James Hill and food.social

How did you come up with the idea for food.social?
I have been in the travel media business for two decades, first building a Japanese publishing company for Japanese Global Travellers, then I Launched ‘BeIn’ City guide, and finally founded LUXOS Magazines, luxury travel guides distributed in 4 & 5 star hotels across several different countries. Apart from working with luxury brands, I regularly talked to chefs, restaurant owners and all kinds of venues looking to create experiences. My sister-in law is a lawyer and opened my eyes to the change of regulations for home restaurants as well as the success of new businesses like Airbnb and Uber. So I thought that this new sharing economy trend was definitely the path to follow and decided to create something that could “connect people through food”.


How has your experience in the travel space helped you?
I have been travelling all around the globe for the last 25 years, and one thing I’ve noticed is, when travelling people are looking to connect, discover new experiences and meet new friends. I really felt we needed a new kind of platform that could bring all these people and experiences together, that’s how food.social was born.

connecting with founder james hill and food.social Connecting with Founder James Hill and food.social WhatsApp Image 2019 06 12 at 00

Do you like to host?
You can ask my wife: when I am not travelling my passion is to open the door to my home and invite all my friends to enjoy great food & wine. Even when I travel I love discovering new restaurants, meeting the owners, chatting with chefs, and just generally learning more about their stories. Now that we have launched food.social we are working with incredible creative people that see food in their own unique way, and we are turning their visions into wonderful experiences that both local and international guests can enjoy. What’s amazing about this platform is that guests can become hosts and viceversa. 

connecting with founder james hill and food.social Connecting with Founder James Hill and food.social WhatsApp Image 2019 06 12 at 00

What do you tell your hosts?
I tell them to be a beacon of bright light for guests, help them to enjoy life, let them try new and unique ways to eat. The hosts need to create the optimal meal sharing opportunities in order to become that bridge for people to meet each other and share their experiences with their friends and loved ones.

What’s next for food.social?
We are confident that after launching pilot market in Milan followed by official launch in London, we will be looking to expland to New York City by end of Q4 2019, our global role-out will be organic and new markets will want to be part of the world we are creating. food.social is like a baby, it will need support, love and attention as we hope it will grow and develop into something special. 

food.social Chef Interviews : Valentina

In this episode of food.social experiences, we change our direction to a cool Milanese loft owned by our chef Valentina. She is a journalist who writes about design and architecture, and also a university professor, but also a passionate gluten free chef! Her passion for cooking transformed to gluten free cuisine when she found out that she was celiac. A well known home chef in the gluten free circles, Valentina enjoys crowded social dining experiences with people from all over the world. Keep following Valentina on food.social to find out more about delicious gluten free dishes and join amazing culinary experiences.

food.social Chef Interviews : Sylvie

food.social team visits Sylvie, a traditional Italian home chef at her cozy and welcoming house. She shares her cooking journey with a big heart warming smile. The way that she enthusiastically describes how she selects the right combination tastes to please her guests can only give a hint about what you should expect when you join her dining events. Keep following food.social to learn about Sylvie and join amazing culinary experiences.

Cooking Class followed by Dinner with Mariangela

Are you on a visit to Milan and wondering how will you pack so many souvenirs for all your friends back home? Or perhaps you’re a resident of the city and are looking for a new refreshing activity to do on your day off? In either case, we have the answer for you. Sign up for a cooking class with Mariangela at Cascina Cuccagna.

Here are the top reasons why you should sign up for this class:

1. Cooking skills make for a great souvenir.

When in Italy, learn to cook as the Italians do. Sure, there will one too many Italian restaurants around the block from your home, but there’s no better Italian food than the homemade kind. Learn the traditional recipes and surprise your friends back home by throwing them an authentic Italian themed dinner party.

2. Cooking is therapeutic.

For those who reside in the city, and have had a hectic work week, it is vital to do some de-stressing activities on your day off. Cooking has proven to have therapeutic effects on people, especially when you are making something you love to eat. This class offers the opportunity to learn the traditional Italian recipes and cooking techniques that have been passed down generations in Italian families. This unique learning experience will revitalize any food enthusiast, and give you a chance to reconnect with your roots.

3. You get to interact with fellow food enthusiasts.

This class is conducted by Mariangela, a Sicilian woman who has been enamoured by the culinary arts ever since she was a child. Mariangela grew up watching her mother and grandmothers preparing wonderfully delicious meals for their family, creating art in the kitchen. She took inspiration from these amazing women in her life and realized her passion for cooking. At Cascina Cuccagna she runs her own cooking school, “The Cucinista” where she passes on her love & skills for Italian as well as international recipes. Being in this class will allow you to not only interact with Mariangela but all other students who have come in with similar excitement to exchange recipes, trivia and skills.

cooking class followed by dinner with mariangela Cooking Class followed by Dinner with Mariangela marinangela

4. There’s dinner.

That’s right. You aren’t just following instructions and cooking up a small portion enough to take a photograph for your social media. This cooking class is followed by a dinner which allows you to taste all the varieties that have been prepared during the class, plus additional delicacies by Mariangela. This is a great bonding and networking opportunity.

5. It’s located in an 18th Century Farmhouse.

Cascina Cuccagna is a charming 18th-Century farmhouse, that has been restored to a modern functional space that preserves the old-world beauty. Located in the centre of Milan, this farmhouse serves as space for the community to promote cultural and entertainment activities. Easily accessible and a hub of cultural activities, this is the perfect place to unwind and mingle with like-minded people.

food.social Chef Interviews : Mariangela

In this first episode of food.social chef interviews, we are visiting Mariangela at her home. A Sicilian who now lives in Milan,  feel in love with cooking while watching while her grandma and mom preparing wonderful meals in the kitchen and has been cooking since her childhood. She now manages her own cooking school in Milan where she teaches her guest amazing Italian and international recipes. You can enjoy her classes and food at food.social.