Video: Chef, restaurateur and iVillage Food contributor Donatella Arpaia prepares her quick Sunday ragu at the launch party for iVillage.com/food
Last night at the Culinary Loft in SoHo, iVillage celebrated the launch of its newly revamped food destination, iVillage.com/food, with basil-limoncello cocktails, Web site demos, and a veritable Italian feast prepared by New York restaurant fixture and iVillage contributor Donatella Arpaia.
On the heels of September’s entertainment site relaunch, which Lauren Zalaznick, president of NBC Universal‘s Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, says spurred a spike in page views, membership, and message board activity, iVillage hopes to recreate that success with its latest makeover in the Food category.
“Almost three-fourths of all women who are on the Web rely on the Internet for meal planning and healthy eating,” said Zalaznick. “If we fill that gap… that’s how iVillage is going to win.”
Christina Bender, director of product development for iVillage, acknowledged, “We know competition’s stiff,” citing FoodNetwork.com, Delish.com, and MarthaStewartLiving.com as rivals. Bender said the new site’s secret weapon will be to “uncover what women are already saying” in the vibrant iVillage community of 20 million unique monthly visitors, bolstered by their unique access to NBC Universal’s “premier content,” which includes Bravo‘s explosively popular “Top Chef” brand.
“This is a community-centric site, not a user-generated site,” Zalaznick said. It’s “a big, rollicking portal that behaves like a series of niches.”
“You have to be able to adapt and keep up with the way women use media,” said chief content officer Angela Matusik, who says the revamp is meant to “modernize the message board” with new tools and ways to contribute to the conversation. Next up to go under the knife? The Astrology channel, followed by Health, Beauty and Family. And stay tuned, Matusik added, for a new iVillage social media community platform set to launch sometime in 2010.
Read on for a breakdown of the site’s features and fabulous food photos: