A new online artisanal food market helmed by former Gourmet magazine editor and prolific food writer Ruth Reichl has launched for the deep-pocketed foodie gourmet.
After much hype, Gilt Taste launched Wednesday with a welcome message from Reichl and a virtual store stocked with premium, artisanal seafood, meats and other specialty items normally only accessible to professional chefs and restaurateurs.
And like all top-of-the-line products, they also come with a premium price tag.
A four set of 10 oz (280 gm) American Wagyu steaks from Mishima Ranch in northern California, for example, carries a price tag of $199.
Cheese lovers for whom there is no price too high for a savory, runny cheese can order an assortment platter that includes Camembert, cave-aged Gruyère, chèvre, Gorgonzola and Manchego from Murray’s Cheese in New York. Its price tag is $145.
And a caviar package of American Paddlefish eggs, blinis, crème fraiche and mother of pearl spoons cost $222.
For the cook who likes their kitchen toys, the equipment section also offers items like caviar sets (to go with that $222 set you just bought) for $64.
The site also features original recipes from chefs, experts and food writers like Melissa Clark, a food columnist for The New York Times and cookbook author, and Francis Lam, poached from Salon.com where he was a popular food writer.
Wednesday’s launch includes an essay by Barry Estabrook on the impact of fracking, a process for drilling natural gas, on food supplies, and new ways to cook asparagus.
At the moment, foods can only be shipped within the US. Gilt Taste is the food version of Gilt Groupe, a virtual luxury retail store that offers deep discounts on high-end fashion brands.
The food site also offers weekly specials for members who register.
The people at Gilt Taste aren’t the first to come up with the idea of creating an online marketplace for artisanal products.
Foodzie.com was also built on the premise of hosting purveyors of passionate food producers and growers. They’ve been featured in O, Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, and The New York Times.