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Start-up Spotlight: With Kitchit, book a chef to cook at home

You’ve heard of farm-to-table dining. Now a tech start-up is serving up chef-to-home dining.

Kitchit, which launched September in the Bay Area, enables people to book well-known chefs online. The professional chef works with you to create a customized menu -- “from world-class gastronomic adventures to casual dinner parties” -- buys all the ingredients, cooks the meal in your kitchen, plates and serves the courses, and cleans up at the end.

The San Francisco start-up on Tuesday launched its service in Los Angeles, its second market. Fifteen L.A. chefs are currently available for hire including Neal Fraser of BLD and Grace; Marcel Vigneron from “Top Chef All-Stars”; Mark Gold of Eva Restaurant; and Nyesha Arrington of Wilshire.

It sounds pricey, but the company insists that chefs -- who set their own prices -- can be hired at about the same price as a meal at a restaurant. Among Kitchit’s L.A. chefs, the price per person for a casual dinner starts at $25; the price for a four-star dinner starts at $50. The chefs are also available for in-home cooking lessons, cocktail parties and buffet-style meals.

Brendan Marshall, chief executive and co-founder of Kitchit, said the company’s success in San Francisco “made it clear that people want the ability to connect directly with chefs.”

“Los Angeles is a great addition with its contrasting celebrity chefs and historic food culture,” he said. “Selecting Los Angeles as our second market is a natural next step.”

Kitchit’s launch event last week in Santa Monica featured a five-course dinner by Vigneron, including a vanilla and kefir fluke atop ratatouille and an eight-hour hanger steak. The chef called the Kitchit concept a “match made in heaven -- it’s like they’re the yin to the yang” and said he jumped at the opportunity to sign on.

“I’m constantly searching for people that want to have amazing dining experiences in their homes,” he said. “It’s always nice when you have something like Kitchit as the liaison that brings those two parties together. So it totally made sense for me to it.”

Kitchit is funded by Crosslink Capital, 500 Startups and is also angel funded. It takes a percentage of every online booking.

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