Entrepreneur sets up social network based on hit show Come Dine With Me

IT'S a tried and tested concept cooked up in a popular TV series with all the ingredients to whet the appetites of the Capital's foodie fraternity.

Now budding entrepreneur Jamie Kirk, 23, is hoping to capitalise on the hit Come Dine With Me series by launching an online social network loosely replicating the premise of the cult Channel 4 show.

In keeping with the show, five amateur chefs take turns to host a dinner party in a Come Dine With Me-style cook-off with an emphasis on culinary prowess and hospitality.

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But contrasting with the TV show, the motivation is not competition nor a cash prize, but a desire to socialise with similar personalities in a relaxed atmosphere.

Clients create a user profile when subscribing to the Come Dine With website in which they disclose interests, favourite dishes and food allergies among other details.

People with similar characteristics are then matched together in a bid to serve up harmonious dinner parties.

Mr Kirk said: "Whether our clients' aims are friendship, cooking skills, networking or dating, we will provide them with the opportunity to interact and get to know new people over the elegance, fun and mystery of dinner parties in the comfort of their own homes.

"They will be able to wow their guests with their hosting and culinary skills, giving them a night to remember.

"Having conducted extensive research among our target audiences prior to launch, we are excited about the potential of Come Dine With to make a real and lasting positive impression on the lives of many of Edinburgh's residents, now and in the future.

"Most, if not all, of those who have tuned in to Come Dine With Me have either sat envious or hid behind a pillow as the hosts' parties go exactly to plan or from bad to worse.

"Now Edinburgh residents can put their money where their mouth is and attempt to host their own perfect evening.

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"They might even find a new best friend or the love of their life. Many singles may prefer to use this service to meet that special someone because of the awkwardness of a one-to-one scenario when you've never met the person before.

"With our service, it's more relaxed because there is the safety net of having other people there."

Mr Kirk, who already runs his own personal trainer service, had the "eureka" moment while watching the hit TV show at his parents' house in North Berwick.

Seeing potential in a service combining online social networking with tasteful dinner parties, he began putting the necessary infrastructure in place and set up the website, initially offering a free service.

He has now hosted a number of successful dinner parties with users paying 9 per month subscription to get involved.

Visit www.comedinewith.co.uk for more details.