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By Anita Senaratna
December 02, 2013
By Anita Senaratna
December 02, 2013

If you’re living away from home and you’re not much of a cook, chances are you’ve got a couple of go-to takeaway spots and a couple of packs of Mi Goreng when all else fails. But soon, there’ll be a way of ordering a home-cooked meal that’s just as fast and probably way more interesting and healthy. Yourfork is a Sydney-based website where home cooks post their menus and customers can order off them online for pick-up.

According to founder Roshan Mahanama, the idea for Yourfork came from his sister-in-law who, after backpacking in the Americas, had a craving for a particular Peruvian dessert. To their amazement, there wasn’t a single Sydney restaurant that made it.

"We thought ‘Wow, isn’t that weird that there’s all these restaurants in Sydney and you can’t find this because it’s just not mainstream?’" he said.

Roshan and his brother Shanu came back to the idea of an online platform for home cooks in late August this year after selling another business, a food and coffee reordering app that had never really taken off. After spending a month mocking up the website on pieces of paper and setting up a Facebook page to gauge the level of interest in the idea, they realised the demand was pretty big. After the page received over 200 likes in two weeks, the brothers started looking for home cooks who wanted to sign up to the website.

As well as providing a platform for aspiring chefs who aren’t ready to take the risk in a fully fledged restaurant, Roshan said that one of the goals of Yourfork was to create a space for niche cuisines that might not fit in with whatever the latest dining trend might be (Mexican, anyone?). Some of the examples on the site include raw food and Egyptian-Indian fusion.

“What we realised very quickly was that our Facebook community was telling us what they wanted to see, and it wasn’t stuff you could get in a restaurant,” he said. “From a restaurant’s point of view, they’re not sure if enough people are going to order it so they never make it because they don’t want to lose money. But a mum and dad at home ... they don’t care if one thousand people or two people order it.”

Right now, the site is still essentially in beta testing mode, with five chefs ready to go and 45 more signed up and still working on their menus. While the chefs are scattered all across Australia, the majority are in Sydney. Roshan says he’d ideally like to launch the site properly in the next couple of months.

As for what he’d ultimately like to see happen with Yourfork? “It’d be really cool if I’m with a bunch of mates, and they don’t know that Yourfork’s my site, and we’re all like, ‘I don’t feel like cooking tonight,’ and somebody goes ‘Oh, let’s Yourfork it.’”

Published on December 02, 2013 by Anita Senaratna

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