Skift Take

There may be too many (celebrity) cooks in the kitchen, and how that evolves from here on out could signal a similar editing of voices in the world of travel and hospitality.

Overture Holdings CEO Marc Blazer knows the business of food. He is the former chairs the company overseeing Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant ranked as the best restaurant in the world four times.

His kitchen outlook says a lot about future travel expectations.

“I think this idea of the celebrity chef is so diluted. If you have one appearance on Master Chef you’re a ‘celebrity chef,’” Blazer said Friday on The Long View livestream with Skift CEO Rafat Ali. “There are fewer voices in this industry who will be the go-to voices post-Covid that will carry weight and authority. It goes to the same theme of trust and information. We want messengers we trust.”

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Blazer has spent a bulk of his career launching and investing in food and hospitality ventures like Le Pain Quotidien, Noma, and Prior, a high-end travel club where he is a co-founder and serves as executive chairman. But he exited most of his restaurant investments before the coronavirus crisis, saying he sees the food world gravitating away from the array of celebrity chefs out there to a select group of voices. That could translate to a travel world marked more by curation over crowdsourcing.

As the food world potentially pivots away from celebrity chefs to home cooks in a quest for authentic, attainable experiences, Blazer said he sees a similar pivot in the travel world. Crowdsourced travel recommendations on a site like TripAdvisor, where top-ranked attractions or restaurants in a city may not always correlate with quality, garnered huge followings by travelers and the travel industry in recent years.

But one of Prior’s carefully edited experiences — say, a tour of the Sistine Chapel before the Vatican opens to the public — could fall more in favor by discerning travelers, especially during the coronavirus recovery, Blazer said.

“There is something missing about crowdsourcing, and that is an editor’s view,” he added. “Here, we’re saying you trust our world view. By heart and by nature, we’re editors.”

Watch the entire interview below:

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Tags: coronavirus, coronavirus recovery, The Long View

Photo credit: Overture Holdings CEO Marc Blazer, who chairs the company overseeing Noma (pictured), sees kitchen trends impacting travel. City Foodsters / Wikimedia