If Jersey Shore’s “The Situation” can have an iPhone app, then so can the celebrity chefs of the world. In fact, “The Situation” is pretty late to the iPhone app party. There are hundreds if not thousands of food and recipe related apps out there, almost making cookbooks a thing of the past. But don’t throw out those cook books just yet, we take a look at some of the features our beloved celebrity chefs have in their apps.
Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything – $4.99
With over 2,000 recipes this is certainly one of the more comprehensive collections from any of the apps. “Bittman’s Picks” provides some of his more notable dishes with must try recipes. The recipes contain built in cook timers: hit the link and a nifty countdown will appear, perfect for those of us who can’t cook an egg. Another great feature is his suggestions for alternative dishes, search for Chicken Pot Pie and there is also a recipe for a mashed potato crust. However, for such a streamlined app the one thing it is sorely missing are pictures, perhaps on the next update. Thanks Mark.
Tyler Florence Fast – $4.99
If like me, when cooking, you tend to curse out the author of the cookbook, then this is the app for you. Tyler has included an “Ask the Chef” feature. Just click on the button and you’ll be directed to your email– to chat with Tyler himself. But do we really think he reads those things. The app updates seasonally, adding to the 500 plus signature recipes already featured. Another interesting feature is linking the kitchen timer to your iTunes. Listen to your favorite Lady Gaga as you wait for that prime rib to cook.
Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals – $7.99
Don’t let the price of this app fool you, it’s packed full of step-by-step instructions with photos, videos, recipes, techniques and buying guides. The app doesn’t have a great deal of recipes, a few over 60 was the last count, but the technique guides are an awesome tool. Watch Jamie as he prepares an avocado or preps a vanilla pod — you’ll be swooning at his accent in no time.
Mario Batali Cooks! – $4.99
Thankfully the Mario Batali home screen doesn’t last for more than a few seconds, which is about the amount of time I can look at him. Soon an old school iPod-esque wheel appears with a myriad of options. Searching for recipes can be carried out by region, course, season and even “things that kids love.”
The regional search is an excellent way to learn the Italian way of cooking — all 62 of them. Mario’s videos are in a similar vein to that of Jamie Oliver’s, perhaps a little stuffier but nonetheless educational.
Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food – $0.99
Perhaps the most basic of the apps, simple dishes with elegant photos in true Martha fashion. Of the more notable features, users are able to sync with your ZipList grocery account, should you have one, and with a grocery aisle organizer too. Another feature to this app is Martha recommending what to eat for dinner, daily, hence the baked eggs you see above.
Rachael Ray’s Tasty Bites – $1.99
Let’s pause for a moment and just absorb the beauty of Rachael. OK, enough of that. Not only does Rachael have such search categories as “Yum-O! Family-Friendly” (barf) but she also provides drink recommendations with each dish. Now that’s a feature I can get used to. Did you know a good BLT Creamy Mac n Cheese goes well with a Negroni? Well now you do… Oh, and she also has a whole section dedicated to mac n cheese. Thank you Rachael, thank you.