Q&A With SMORGASBOARD Creators Maggie Leonard & Richard Kelly

Do you love food so much that you want to play it as a game? Well, you’re in luck: Maggie Leonard and Richard Kelly created the board game SMORGASBOARD so you can. The game was a huge success Ireland, where the game was completely sold out — and now, the foodie game is looking to expand to the United States! Maggie and Richard are currently raising funds for SMORGASBOARD on Kickstarter, seeking $41,737 to fund their second print run. This is awesome news for foodies and board game enthusiasts alike (such as myself).

Created by the husband and wife duo Richard and Maggie, players take on the guise of aspiring chefs as they work their way around the figure of eight board, competing in a variety of food related challenges including guessing missing ingredients, solving culinary anagrams, gastronomic trivia and even a splash of drawing.  The object of the game is to be the first team of chefs to graduate from Rick’s Culinary Academy. “The losers… do the dishes!” the game declares.

“Whether for birthdays, wedding gifts, the holiday season, or home entertaining, SMORGASBOARD® is the perfect gift for that food lover in your life,” the couple said. “Born from a passion for food and a love of design, the game appeals to the growing audience of television shows such as Top Chef and Chopped and the would-be chef in us all. So if you like fun and food with friends, please back our Kickstarter!”

Maggie and Richard were kind enough to answer a few questions about the SMORGASBOARD and their current Kickstarter. 

What was the inspiration for SMORGASBOARD?

Richard’s a fanatical foodie and I’m a passionate board game lover. We both love entertaining and having our friends round for dinner.

The game was conceived when Richard had started another year on the daily commute to work. He had always dreamed of running his own creative business and after spending the holiday season eating and playing board games he had an idea.

From there, SMORGASBOARD® was born. Months of sketches and brainstorming ensued until finally we had devised the mechanics of the game and our four key categories, namely 4BIDDEN-FRUIT™, KITCHEN-KAOS™, NUÜDLE-DOODLE™ and TASTO-QUEST™. I carefully researched and selected the questions to ensure we had the perfect mix of knowledge and fun, and then we set about prototyping the game.

The game has done well in Ireland and the UK. What are your goals for expansion to the US and beyond?

The game’s been extremely successful here in Ireland and we have been blown away by the feedback from our fellow foodies who absolutely love the game.

We regularly receive emails from people that want to know when the game will be back in print and when we’ll be releasing a booster pack.

We would love to reach as many American Foodies as possible through our Kickstarter project and to one day see SMORGASBOARD® on the shelves of stores in the US.

The early bird reward tier at $44 will get US foodies a copy of SMORGASBOARD®, the booster pack app and FREE shipping, not to mention delivery in time for the holiday season!

What has the journey been like for you leading up to launching the Kickstarter?

We previously ran a successful crowdfunding campaign here in Ireland and we loved the feedback and support that we received from our backers. We’ve been planning and organizing for over a month now and are hoping that Americans love our game as much as their European friends. Crowdfunding is a fantastic platform to get our game in the hands of people that really want it and we’re hoping that Kickstarter will be a similar success.

What will the Kickstarter funds go toward?

Kickstarter funds will go towards the production of our second print run of SMORGASBOARD® and the development of our booster pack app.  Apart from seeing the game back in print, we’re super excited about the thoughts of launching the app, which will contain hundreds of new cards and hours of more foodie fun.

What are some of your favorite foods to eat and cook?

We love to try new foods whenever we get the chance and we are always trying out new recipes in the kitchen. One of our favorites is Spanish tapas including patatas bravas, gambas, calamari, choizo and olives. We think this is a great way of getting friends and family around a table to share a bite to eat, a glass of wine and a game of SMORGASBOARD®!

You’ll also find us tucking into a tasty Thai curry or a delicious bowl of seafood pasta!

Be sure to check out the SMORGASBOARD Kickstarter and follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

Photos Courtesy of SMORGASBOARD

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