Home-Cooked Social Dining: 5 Questions with the Founder of Cozymeal
Check out our interview with the CEO of Cozymeal, a Bay Area-based company that enables people to enjoy a home-cooked meal with others.
Samad Nasserian is the Founder & CEO of Cozymeal, a Bay Area-based company that enables people to enjoy a home-cooked meal with others. He launched Cozymeal in December 2013 with his long-time friend and cooking partner after being frustrated with the experience at restaurants. We asked him about the new company.
1. What is Cozymeal?
Cozymeal is a community connecting food lovers of all kinds. It is a place for home chefs to offer meals and cooking classes, and for food lovers to enjoy a one-of-a-kind dining experience in the home of a chef.
Hosts are either professional chefs or outstanding home cooks. All have been vetted by Cozymeal staff to ensure their food is delicious and their home is welcoming. Afterwards, they upload their meals to Cozymeal where diners can browse the menu, photos, and choose what they’d like to experience.
2. Describe a recent Cozymeal that you attended.
My most recent Cozymeal was a cooking class in San Francisco which I attended with six other people. In 90 minutes, we learned how to make a delicious four-course meal from scratch, and then sat down to enjoy the food we had prepared.
We started off by making a refreshing cucumber & mint soup, followed by a garden salad with goat cheese, and the main entree was a fish dish called “Boonville Bouillabaisse” with a side of lemon-roasted potatoes. We topped it off with a delectable hazelnut cake for dessert.
Everyone had a fantastic time, and the host told me that two students prepared the same meal for their families the next week. They even sent him photos of the dishes! That’s what we really love about Cozymeal - it brings people together to build relationships that will last longer than just a meal.
3. Tell us about one of the more exotic dishes (or meals) at a recent Cozymeal.
For me, one of the most exotic meals on Cozymeal experience was the Peranakan food that I had with one of our hosts. Peranakan cuisine is popular in Singapore, where our host is from, and combines Chinese, Malay and other influences into a unique blend. The other interesting aspect of the meal was that our host lives on a boat in the Berkeley Marina in California, and prepares and serves her food on the boat!
4. What is the history of the company?
My co-founder and I launched Cozymeal in December 2013 in San Francisco after being frustrated with overpriced and overcrowded restaurants that serve mediocre food. At the same time, we wanted to offer tourists the opportunity to connect with locals so that when they travel to new places, they can go to a local’s home and enjoy a truly local experience with authentic food and local people, rather than going to restaurants and be surrounded by other tourists.
Since then, we have been growing rapidly and have expanded to a few neighboring cities. The plan is to expand across the US and internationally. We are looking for more hosts to join us!
5. What do you see in the future for Cozymeal?
Dining together is one of the most social experiences we have as humans. We hope to bring this social experience back to its core and provide an avenue for these food enthusiasts to connect, no matter where they are. Our plan is to expand nationally and internationally, so that as many locals and as many travelers as possible can enjoy the unique Cozymeal experience whenever they want and wherever they are.