Jacob Joins is neither an underground restaurant, nor the chef of one. Sorry if that is disappointing news for you. Instead, the name Jacob Joins stands for global cooking, or in other words: Recipes from all over the World. No question, the web is full of cooking communities and recipe databases. But really inspiring online sources for other countries’ culinary wisdom are hard to find if you ask me. Even tracing down a supper club in Wanne-Eickel seems an easier task (doesn’t mean I know one, but if you do, feel free to share your finding with me).
So where do you turn to when you are after a truly authentic recipe from a certain country, one that reflects what the local people do actually eat and how they prepare that specific dish? 8 Multi Media Arts & Technology students working on their final project at the University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg created Jacob Joins to solve that problem: Targeting users from all 5 continents to share their favourite recipes, Jacob Joins is a global cooking community – or, to be precise, it’s on its way to become that. It started off last year with the students sending out handcrafted invitation letters to randomly selected addresses around the world, asking people to upload recipes on the Jacob Joins website. They were quite uncertain whether anyone at all would react to such letter, however nicely designed it might be. But people did indeed, and today Jacob Joins lists recipes from European countries like Austria, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Hungary and the UK, but also from India, Taiwan, Peru, the US and Australia. The website’s name is by the way a variation of the English term ‘Jacob’s Join’, also known as potluck: a dinner party where everyone brings some food to be shared with the others. So here we go again, dear friends of social dining: If you want, Jacob Joins is the virtual equivalent of such dinner party, gathering people globally to share not their food – a thing that would be practically hard to do – but their recipes with each other.
In the meantime, all 8 team members have successfully passed their Bachelor exams, which would usually mean “game over” for such students project. Some of them have started in their first job and the others continue studying for their Master degree. But Jacob has developed a life of his own, with his fan base silently growing further. Recently, the site was even featured by ZEITmagazin Blog and in print magazine Brigitte: Wow! To receive such level of attention months later was a huge surprise but has of course given the former team a good extra dose of motivation. So the good news is that Jacob is here to stay. The team is now planning to go over parts of the website again and add some new features, and also to send out another round of invitations for getting more people to join the platform.
Take a look at the Jacob Joins website yourself, and I’m sure you will agree: The idea is just great, and the execution extremely charming and showing a great deal of passion and commitment. So don’t forget to tell all your friends about Jacob Joins! And finally, if you happen to be looking for a recipe for the best orange cake ever, one that is dead simple to make, keeps well for days, tastes like a BIG mouthful of sun and is furthermore gluten-free and diary-free, go and find it here.