June 22, 2024

LeBron James wants to bring a private chef into your kitchen

From the court to the kitchen—that’s where LeBron James is headed with his latest investment. The Lakers forward is reportedly putting his money on the new livestreaming culinary platform Kittch, “a place for foodies to interact and learn from some of the most famous chefs in the world,” reports Page Six.

Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Kittch launches Tuesday and features Food Network faves Marcus Samuelsson and Amanda Freitag, among others. The option of creating on the platform is open to other professional chefs as well, though Page Six reports there will be a screening process; the app also has plans to eventually include home cooks among its content creators. “The bulk of Kittch’s content, including 24/7 livestreams as chefs prepare meals from their homes or their restaurants, will be free to access, but users will also have the option to pay for classes,” the outlet adds.

Explaining the formula further, Fast Company reported last year: “Chefs can opt to stream content for free on their channels or charge viewers—via tokens called ‘clams’—for special experiences and classes, Viewers can also tip chefs with clams at any time, and an e-commerce feature is being worked on. There also will be opportunities for brand partnerships and sponsorship deals.” Viewers who opt into that specialized content gain VIP access via their own digital “Chef’s Tables.” 

Samuelsson told Fast Company Kittch could be at the forefront of  “democratizing our profession. It helps the next generation of great chefs be more like street artists than classically trained chefs,” he added. 

Like LeBron, Kittch’s roots are actually in the sports world: “Co-founded by Classic Sports Network/ESPN Classic and CBS Sports Network maven Brian Bedol, Kittch can be described as the Twitch-TikTok-Zoom of culinary,” reports Page Six, which explains the idea to create interactive digital platform came in response to the crises many in the culinary world were facing early on in the pandemic.

“I was helping chef friends navigate this new world, and I realized it was crazy that a vertical platform didn’t exist for culinary creators,” Bedol told Fast Company. “More importantly, I realized that everything that was going on on the internet was transactional. Yet hospitality is such an important part of the culinary experience. Hospitality is live, social, and communal.” Co-founded by Chef Elana Karp and co-executive producer of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Doug DeLuca; in addition to Samuelsson, other founding members of Kittch include Chefs Chris Bianco and Chris Shepard.

While the amount of LeBron’s investment was not disclosed, Kittch notably makes the leap from several months of beta testing into our kitchens on International Women’s Day, March 9. In celebration, the app has reportedly committed to donating to a “women’s hospitality Initiative” for every new registration, one of several philanthropic efforts in the works.

Maiysha Kai is Lifestyle Editor of theGrio, covering all things Black and beautiful. Her work is informed by two decades’ experience in fashion and entertainment, a love of great books and aesthetics, and the indomitable brilliance of Black culture. She is also a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and editor of the YA anthology Body (Words of Change series).

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