Waitr App Delivers: Twisted Cooks
By Calvin Tyler
Driving up to Bourbonz Bar on Ryan St. at 9 a.m., I find Priest Magby outside, focused and in motion. Today is the start of a new chapter for the restaurant that resides behind Bourbonz. Today is the day the Waitr team will photograph Twisted Cooks’ entire menu, and within a few weeks all of the delicious food they have to offer will be available for delivery via the Waitr app. It wasn’t that long ago that if you lived in Lake Charles your options for food delivery were nil to none. The exceptions were pizza, wings, and maybe Chinese food if the restaurant’s policy on delivery hadn’t changed to “we don’t do delivery anymore” status. Now, with the advent of the almighty Waitr: you can discover, order, eat. Giving smaller towns such as ours the ability to eat our favorite food whenever and wherever we want is so interesting to someone such as myself who grew up in the local area my entire life. The Exposure team has been using the app since before there were any restaurants on the app to order from. Since those humble days of starvation, the Waitr app now has 73 individual menus you can order from, thus giving you and the business owners who get on the app the power to do business virtually anywhere. This is what Twisted Cooks plans to do; bring their delicious entrees directly to wherever you are, by way of polite and attentive Waitr delivery drivers who have never run over my dog.
Inside of Bourbonz I meet Daniel Edwards, Lead Photographer of Waitr, setting up his equipment to capture the salivating glory that is the Twisted Cooks menu. While carefully fine-tuning his white balance and correcting his lighting I leave Daniel to check in on the boys in the kitchen. Slaving away, both Priest, Gary Underwood, and Greg Macintosh are cooking the entire menu for today’s photo shoot. I giggle as I see the amount of food being prepared and Gary let’s out a roar of laughter and says, “Hope you brought your appetite!” These men are in the zone, nothing standing between them and their dream of feeding people their food. I get the feeling that this date with the Waitr photographer has given Gary and Priest a reason to do what they are passionate about already, but I ask, “Why make the entire menu?,” to which Priest responds, “We want everyone to see everything we have to offer.” They know that the cost of cooking the menu is worth it because it puts no limit on the items new customers will potentially choose.
Back at the front of house Daniel is ready. All of his tests have been conducted, every caliber is calibrated, and all the photography stuffs is set for photoing. When the first item hits the table, nothing's standing in the way of Daniel and the Grilled Shrimp Tacos. He attacks with such fury, snapping photos while screaming motivations and endearments. Reminds me of my days chronicling New York’s runway season. He hits pause on the Russian techno music playing in the background and tells me, “An an overwhelming majority of the items purchased on the app have a picture next to it, or have been photographed by us for the app. And if the item doesn’t have a picture next to it, or if the item hasn’t been photographed by us for the app, the chance it will be purchased is very low. That won’t happen today, Calvin. Every item will be treated as though it were the Cindy Crawfordinherprime of food.”
More and more food hits the table. Daniel takes care to keep the actual look of the food natural as to maintain its original presentation from the kitchen. There’s nothing any of us hate more than stepping on Legos, but a very close second is ordering from the picture of a delicious burger then being handed a sorry, miserable, squashed thing. The cinematic classic Falling Down as Michael Douglas explaining this disdain perfectly. Luckily for Lake Charles, Daniel, and all of the photographers at Waitr, take pride in showing us exactly what we’ll be getting. Twisted Cooks already does a great job presenting their menu, so the marriage between Priest and Gary’s taste and Waitr’s platform will be one that I personally can’t wait to see.
A few of the Twisted Cooks regulars stopped in around 10 a.m. to indulge in the free food taking this onceinalifetime opportunity to mix and match different available options into individual baskets. I found myself snacking on catfish bites, shrimp, and poutine covered french fries throughout the shoot. I casually mentioned to everyone that this was almost a brunch, and that all we needed were mimosas. Gary said, “we don’t have the ingredient (champagne) needed,” to which Priest pointed out that we did have access to Bayou Rum Satsuma and orange juice. We did not drink that morning, but did think about it.
I went to the gang for final words...
GARY: It’s been interesting!
PRIEST: Our food already looks good, but, from what I’ve seen: if the quality of Waitr’s photos and platform don’t radically increase our business, I’d be surprised.
DANIEL: I love my job. Tasting incredible dishes, meeting amazing chefs and getting to know their history. Just living the dream over here.
Just as a side note before I let you, the reader, go. Daniel does not play Russian techno music and yell while photographing. He oozes passion for his work, and this is how I interpret such passionate work ethic through the eye of my odd imagination. Everything else in this article is true. Look forward to the convenience of having your favorite Twisted Cooks dishes delivered to wherever you are sometime during the first two weeks of April. Enjoy!
A Note from the Publisher
This article was published weeks ago
So... Twisted Cooks might be live on Waitr by now and ready to be delivered directly to your door. Give it a try. You might get lucky.
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