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$19,648 pledged of $200,000 goal
backers
By New Food Ventures
$19,648 pledged of $200,000 goal
backers

About this project

TICKETS (see right column):

To get more than a single ticket at any reward level, please select your reward in the right column and then increase the dollar amount per the reward's instruction. We will automatically assign you the correct number of tickets even though Kickstarter doesn't reflect this. Order processing is via Amazon payments. Tickets never expire and are good at any future Rival location.

$149 -- 8-course ultra-gourmet meal, surprise extras

$199 -- 8-course ultra-gourmet meal, surprise extras, full beverage pairing, includes service/gratuity

$299 -- 8-course ultra-gourmet meal, surprise extras, PREMIUM full beverage pairing, VIP seating next to the stage, backstage passes, includes service/gratuity

Additional VIP experiences are available at higher reward levels; please see right column. 

At Rival, everyone will have the opportunity to interact with our two featured chefs and culinary team as they prepare a multi-course meal in our two dueling kitchens -- and you will be wrapped right around the action.  Here are our early concept drawings and more advanced designs of this amazing kitchen arena...

Rudimentary wireframe / inspiration board
Rudimentary wireframe / inspiration board
Overhead plan concept
Overhead plan concept
Early 3D model
Early 3D model
The Rival Arena
The Rival Arena
The On-Stage Walk-in Meat Locker
The On-Stage Walk-in Meat Locker
View from the Lighting / Sound Booth
View from the Lighting / Sound Booth

EXPERIENCE THE RIVAL ARENA IN 3D

Take an inside look yourself at what one of our featured chefs would see from the stage.  QuickTime player required; please be very patient to load...

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Click image to view (QuickTime required)

Rival is a first of its kind. Chefs from the San Francisco Bay Area and from all over the world are slated to appear.  For example, Louis Maldonado (Spoonbar in Healdsburg, CA) and Jason Cichonski (Ela in Philadelphia, PA) from the most recent season of Top Chef will compete at Rival.  

"Top Chef" stars Angelo Sosa, Jason Cichonski & Louis Maldonado
"Top Chef" stars Angelo Sosa, Jason Cichonski & Louis Maldonado

Plus, chefs from Michelin 3 Star restaurant The French Laundry, Morimoto, and dozens of other elite restaurants will grace our stage. Even the executive chef of the New York Yankees players will compete!

Chef Walter Abrams throws down his glove...

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We also hope to create the next crop of star celebrity chefs.  Some chefs on our roster are actually the unsung heroes of their restaurants; they oversee operations and develop the dishes behind a more well-known owner.

A Global View of Rival Chefs
A Global View of Rival Chefs

See a partial roster of the chefs participating on our Facebook page.

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Here is a storyboard walkthrough of an evening at Rival:

Kickstarter backers that go for VIP and VVIP ("Very VIP") levels will enjoy experiences with special access to our chefs:

  • Sit up-close to center stage
  • Featured chefs call on you to help him/her prepare and plate a dish
  • Shop with the chefs
  • Workshops - help chefs prep ahead of the night's event
  • Personal behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchen arena by our chefs or founders
  • Invitations to other parties and cooking events
  • And other surprise benefits...

Download our app on your smartphone or supplied iPad to vote on your favorite dishes.  Post, pin, and tweet your comments and photos as the fast-paced action of the show unfolds.  Our app allows guests to change camera angles during the event - now is that cool or what!

Depending on the night you attend Rival, you might even find yourself appearing on our webcast or, in time, broadcast television -- even see your name in the credits!  Team member Rob Weiss is a Hollywood TV producer and is spearheading the effort...

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Early on in the development stage, we were eager to hear the public's thoughts about Rival.  Here is what you told us!

We've built a community of chefs who will appear regularly to share their passion with guests around the country in a circuit of ongoing Rival venues including...

  • San Francisco (flagship location, planned early/mid-2015 open)
  • Las Vegas
  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Seattle
  • Chicago
  • Washington D.C.
  • Miami
  • Philadelphia
  • Boston
  • Dallas

Our target is to announce a preliminary chef appearance schedule and take San Francisco reservations from Kickstarter backers by the end of 2014 before tickets go on sale to the general public.

We believe that the world craves a live cooking throw-down where guests and chefs together share in the creation of great food in a show that is never quite the same evening to evening.  So, Kickstarter allows us to get the word out to you and build a fan base of like-minded food lovers.  

Specifically, your backing will help us build up our signature stage (pictured above) with its unique live produce wall and walk-in refrigerated lockers, as well as to address the costs associated with hosting our featured chefs.  We will also be able to add more interactive features to our app.  By backing us, you are also reserving your spot to see this show before it sells out.  

We look forward to unveiling Rival to you. Thank you so much for your support!

Jason Akel | Co-founder; entertainment/new media

Jason recently led a notable mobile and PC games distribution company.  He created the world's first Android games service which premiered on Verizon Wireless and other worldwide mobile carriers.  Jason also ran the gaming services for Yahoo!, AOL and others and launched dozens of game publishers into digital (Ubisoft, Atari, Big Fish Games).  Jason is a festival-winning independent film producer and spent years at Hollywood studios (Disney Channel, Warner Bros.) and on television sets (Charlie Rose, Penn & Teller).  For Rival, Jason drives audience development, show orchestration, and business partnerships.

Stephen Walker | Co-founder; long-time restaurateur

Previous owner and general manager at four San Francisco Bay Area fine restaurants.  He opened the hugely successful SMALL Foods in the SOMA/South Park area of San Francisco. Stephen is also a professional chef and high-end caterer.  For Rival, Stephen is responsible for all food and beverage operations.

Ken Frank | Michelin Star Celebrity Chef, Advisor

Chef and owner of Napa's acclaimed La Toque restaurant, rated by Wine Spectator as one of the top 25 restaurants in the nation; in fact, he just received the 2014 Grand Award for his amazing wine list - one of only 74 recipients in the world with this distinction.  As an advisor to Rival, Ken vets featured chefs and their menus and helps form the culinary challenges.

Kelley Jones | Celebrity Chef Restaurateur, Advisor

Operating partner of the experience Dinner in the Sky Las Vegas, multiple celebrity chef restaurants (e.g., those of Bradley Ogden and Top Chef star Angelo Sosa), and recently led training for Madison Square Garden's Los Angeles Forum, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theater and Chicago Theater. As an advisor to Rival, Kelley ensures smooth operations, especially as we expand to a circuit of venues.

Rob Weiss | Hollywood TV Producer, Advisor

Created thousands of hours of programming for the likes of Discovery, NBC, FX, and VH1.  As an advisor to Rival, Rob is spearheading our digital streaming and broadcast TV efforts.  His experience producing talk shows is also invaluable for the project. 

 As a long-time restaurateur, Stephen is always looking how to make his guests' experience better. While running two prior restaurants, guests would tell him how they loved cooking shows and were measuring dishes against Iron Chef fare.  Guests were constantly giving feedback and comparing notes with his chefs.  Stephen's 'aha!' moment came after a marathon of watching TV competitive cooking shows himself -- give his guests what they really wanted, total insider access and influence over their meal.  Stephen called up now fellow co-founder Jason Akel and proposed the Rival concept.

Jason had spent years in Hollywood, digital gaming and creating interactive products. He produced CastOurMovie, a popular site where over 1 million people voted for the lead actors who were cast in a full-length indie motion picture.  His vision was to create a Hollywood like experience, with fully-immersive, big theatrics.  It was a mutual love of great entertainment and food that sealed their partnership.

Stephen and Jason want to offer guests an accessible way to know the artists behind the meals they're eating and enjoying not from afar on television or through the semi-open kitchens that many restaurants feature today.

Our team wants to give hundreds of rising star and well-established chefs an opportunity to showcase their full talents outside their home environment.  Chefs have been coming on board for the spirited competition opportunity and to create new fans of their work.

Our First Backers: Reese & Tyler Akel
Our First Backers: Reese & Tyler Akel

Reese and Tyler Akel came up with the idea of running a lemonade stand on a 100+ degree day to help support the launch of Rival (they love great food, too!)  "Mango Mint" ran a close second to "Fresh Strawberry" lemonade.  After paying operating costs, they gave most of their profits, six dollars, to the cause.  We let them keep the majority, of course!

Kickstarter backers get priority rights to show dates ahead of the general public when we announce them later this year for the highly anticipated 2015 season.  Tickets include all service/gratuity and fees.  

We also have flexible rules.  Tickets have no expiration date, so there's no rush if you won't be in San Francisco anytime soon...though we would love to see you during our first season.  We will honor tickets at our San Francisco location or one of our future planned locations.  Tickets may be transferred into another person's name when you provide prior authorization.  

If you really splurge and go for our VVIP reward level, we will contact you directly to arrange your experience.

For our $100 reward level, you will receive a custom-designed Rival apron.  Here is our preliminary design:

Please see the right side of the page for full descriptions of our rewards.

Risks and challenges

It is our goal after almost two years developing Rival to see it live as soon as possible. We consider this a momentous endeavor in our careers and have put it all on the line. We also have a team with experience building restaurants and live TV studio spaces.

It must be said that the nature of doing something no one has ever done before means there could be unanticipated costs and circumstances (e.g., city permitting delays) that hinder our opening of location(s), but we are already well ahead of most start-up entertainment venues and restaurants with our tremendous planning, research and lining up of vendors and talent. Even better, the industry from all sides is welcoming us.

--> A big thanks to all our financial supporters to date and the immense encouragement by our friends, family and so many seasoned pros in the f+b and entertainment fields. We look forward to hosting you all!

Copyright © 2014 New Food Ventures LLC. Rival and New Food Ventures are service marks and trademarks of New Food Ventures LLC. All rights reserved. All others marks are the property of their respective owners.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    GO RIVAL! -- Even $5 will help the cause, and you'll have our eternal gratitude. You'll receive a personal thank you note from the founders and exclusive backer updates by email as we move towards open. We'll also notify you when tickets become available to the general public (at the regular, non-Kickstarter prices).

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SNEAK PEEK & NAME IN LIGHTS -- Wish you could buy a ticket now, but just can't? You can still get a sneak peek at the chef roster and schedule before it's made publicly available so you can plan your ticket purchases (at the regular, non-Kickstarter prices). You'll be included on our backer plaque that we'll prominently display, and your name will appear in the live screen credits at the end of the Rival show. If you're an aspiring chef or just love to cook, we'll also share a photo of you and your signature dish alongside our famous chefs on our Facebook page at facebook.com/RivalRestaurant. Plus: all the benefits in the $5 pledge above. (This reward's benefits are included with all higher reward levels.)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    CHEF DE PARTIE -- Don the official, custom-designed Rival apron to look great at your station in your home kitchen and impress dinner guests (see image at bottom left). If you purchase tickets to the show, please bring your apron to be signed by our featured chefs. Plus: all the benefits in the $25 reward level. (U.S. domestic shipping included; international shipping costs apply.)

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    RIVAL TICKET (w/o beverage pairing) -- You will receive 1 ticket to the Rival experience that includes admission and the multi-course dinner (NOTE: bonus beverage pairing and service/gratuity are not included at this reward level). You have first choice of Rival show dates when we publish our schedule (estimated late 2014) ahead of the general public. Tickets can be used at our flagship San Francisco location or any other future location. PLEASE pledge the number of tickets you want MULTIPLIED by $149/ea (so... 2 tix = $298, 3 tix = $447, 4 tix = $596).

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    RIVAL TICKET -- You will receive 1 ticket to the incredible Rival experience that includes admission, a multi-course dinner, full beverage pairing, and service/gratuity. This reward is a great value at $75 lower than the retail price. You have first choice of Rival show dates when we publish our schedule (estimated late 2014) ahead of the general public. Tickets can be used at our flagship San Francisco location or any other future location. PLEASE pledge the number of tickets you want MULTIPLIED by $199/ea (so... 2 tix = $398, 3 tix = $597, 4 tix = $796). Feel free to buy additional as gifts (birthday, holiday, etc.) -- we will help you split them between personal tickets and any gifts after the Kickstarter campaign ends.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $299 or more About $299

    VIP RIVAL TICKET -- You'll be sitting center stage with the closest view of the action and will feel like royalty. Get a behind-the-scenes tour and meet the chefs privately. You will receive 1 ticket to the incredible Rival experience that includes admission, a multi-course dinner, our SPECIAL VIP BEVERAGE PAIRING, and service/gratuity. This reward is a great value at $100 lower than the retail price. You have very first choice of Rival show dates when we publish our schedule (estimated late 2014) ahead of the general public. Tickets can be used at our flagship San Francisco location or any other future location. PLEASE pledge the number of tickets you want MULTIPLIED by $299/ea (so... 2 tix = $598, 3 tix = $897, 4 tix = $1,196). Feel free to buy additional as gifts (birthday, holiday, etc.) -- we will help you split them between personal tickets and any gifts after the Kickstarter campaign ends.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    2 VIP RIVAL TICKETS & GRAND REVEAL & CHEFS LUNCH -- The entire VIP experience as described above plus 2 invitations to our invite only Grand Reveal Opening Event where you will rub elbows with celebrities and top chefs. Also enjoy a lunch with our Rival chefs. Autographs, recipe keepsakes, and more! If for some reason you can't attend the Grand Reveal once we fix the date, you will have a choice of another celebrity or special event.

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    Pledge $2,750 or more About $2,750

    10 VIP RIVAL TICKETS -- Plan a big outing with friends, family or colleagues...or just make it a monthly outing. You'll be sitting center stage with the closest view of the action, get a behind-the-scenes tour and meet the chefs privately. You will receive 10 tickets to the incredible Rival experience that includes admission, a multi-course dinner, our special signature beverage pairings, service and tax. This reward is the best value at almost $250 lower than ten individual VIP tickets and almost $1,250 lower than the retail price. You have first choice of Rival show dates when we publish our schedule (estimated late 2014) ahead of the general public. Tickets can be used at our flagship San Francisco location or any other future location. Tickets may also be split across multiple show dates or given as gifts.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE CELEBRITY EXTERNSHIP VVIP ("Very VIP") -- 4 VIP tickets to Rival (as detailed in the $299 reward level) plus a one-of-a-kind, hands-on culinary experience...you and a guest spend two days with our chefs working on an evening's menu and learning cutting edge cooking techniques. Also includes lunch for 2 with the Rival chefs and 4 invites to our Grand Reveal Opening Event; if for some reason you can't attend this event once we fix the date, you will have a choice of another celebrity or special event. This reward would make an amazing gift, even if it's for just to yourself!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    SUPREME COURT JUDGE -- 10 VIP tickets + 10 invites to the Grand Reveal + 2 guests for our Celebrity Externship experience + 2 for lunch with the Rival chefs, PLUS you and a guest will participate in one of our internal "evaluation days." You will help us select prospective chefs to appear at Rival and taste early versions of dishes. And our enormous gratitude!

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Funding period

- (60 days)