Rocco DiSpirito On The Relationship Between NFTs And Restaurants - Exclusive

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You might not think of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and restaurants as having much in common. NFTs are firmly ensconced in the virtual realm, allowing people to claim ownership over unique digital items (if you need a primer on what NFTs are, this piece from The Verge should get you up to speed). While NFTs use the blockchain to enable people to purchase goods that can't be held, tasted, or smelled, restaurants deal in much more tangible goods. When you show up at a restaurant, you generally exchange (non-crypto) money for real-life food that you then consume with your physical body.

NFTs and food might seem like an odd pairing, but that isn't stopping creative people from finding ways to make them work together. Food NFTs have started to take off. While actual food can't be packaged as an NFT, food businesses have found a way to make NFTs a part of the experience, often by giving people who buy NFTs extra perks or using NFTs as the basis of rewards programs. There's also Flyfish Club, which bills itself as the world's first NFT restaurant. The proposed plan for Flyfish Club is to create a members-only restaurant where you have to own the brand's NFT to eat.

Renowned chef, cookbook author, and TV host Rocco DiSpirito is no stranger to food NFTs. In fact, he told Mashed in an exclusive interview that he created the world's first NFT recipe. In the interview, he discussed why he thought food and NFTs were a natural fit.

Why NFTs work well with food

Rocco DiSpirito sees many parallels between the NFT space and the culinary world. "We [as chefs] build a community, we serve that community, and we are in contact with that community on a regular basis. A lot of what NFTs do is very much the same. You find your community, you try to gather them together." He sees tokens as the blockchain equivalent of a dining reservation and brought up how Flyfish Club is using NFTs to provide real-world restaurant access to people who buy its tokens.

The chef is very focused on how food NFTs can provide tangible utility to people who buy them. To that end, he has gotten involved with Tom Colicchio and Spike Mendelsohn's CHFTY Pizza project. While CHFTY Pizza doesn't seem to be planning to open a restaurant, it does allow token owners to interact with a community of food celebrities. You can see on CHFTY's Twitter that Rocco DiSpirito cooked paella for CHFTY at NFT.NYC, an NFT event.

Although DiSpirito acknowledges that it's not all sunshine and pizza in the world of NFTs, cryptocurrency, and the blockchain these days, he remains optimistic. "The crypto market is crashing right now. [It's] not a great time to talk about the value, but that aside, I'm surprised we didn't come up with something like this 10 years ago, to be honest."

For more information on upcoming Dan's Chefs of the Hamptons events, visit their website. Rocco DiSpirito's cookbooks are available on Amazon.