Great British Chefs HD for iPad runs like a glossy coffee table book that shape shifted into an iOS application. The app profiles 12 chefs, as well as including 180 recipes, plus menu and wine suggestions, and video tutorials.
The chefs drive the app’s content, so Great British Chefs is well turned out. All of the photos are as crisp and professional as a folded linen napkin. The UI takes the user from chef, to recipe, to grocery store with style.
The app begins with an introduction of its chefs. Peruse each chef’s profile and sample menu. Links to video clips take the viewer behind the scenes of all of the chef’s restaurants. There is also contact information for each restaurant as well as a link to its website. The app also provides links to specific cookbooks where more of each chef’s recipes can be found.
The only way to access the sample menus is through the chef’s profiles. Each chef offers several menus, most of which comprise a canapé, starter, main course, and dessert. A few include of the menus also include the petit four as one last delicious bite.
The recipe level displays thumbnail photos of all the dishes. Use the grid at the upper-right to narrow the selection of recipes by type. These aren’t run-of-the-mill categories, however. The app distinguishes between canapés and starters as well as between pastry and petit fours.
The recipes include optional voice control. When I attempted to activate this function the app crashed. The included timer and notes section both worked well. The application includes a shopping list function whose utility will be determined by whether ones supermarket includes the ingredients called for in the recipe.
When I tested the recipes for user-friendliness I found that even familiar foods like Gazpacho included more esoteric ingredients such as Chardonnay vinegar and fresh lemongrass. Certainly these ingredients help make a chef’s recipe taste distinctive, but users need to be realize that it will take extra effort to cook at this level.
The recipes emphasized also emphasized fresh ingredients, many of which are only available seasonally. Using seasonal ingredients improves food’s flavor and is environmentally conscious, yet it requires planning on the part of the user to realize that zucchini blossoms will not be available in the market at all times throughout the year.
Recipes can be added to favorites for easy recall. They can also be shared via Twitter, Facebook, or E-mail.
The video hints section is brief and full of uncommon tips to which home cooks do not normally have access. Anyone can show you how to chop garlic, but the Great British Chef videos include how to butcher a rabbit, clean a squid, and gut a fish. None of the clips run over two minutes.
The app’s measurements are all set to metric, but can be changed to US Imperial through the settings.
Great British Chefs HD is available for download in the App Store for $6.99.
What I liked: Great British Chefs was very easy to use. I appreciated the well-appointed UI, which was full of small touches, such as the way the background motif was formed from different utensils arranged to look like the letter C.
What I didn’t like: It would be helpful to sort the recipes by level of complexity.
To buy or not to buy: Great British Chefs promotes cooking as art. It was not designed to get dinner on the table. While experienced home cooks should be able to tackle its recipes, it isn’t suitable for beginners. Anyone with a love of food, however, will enjoy exploring everything this well-designed app has to offer.
- App Name: Great British Chefs HD
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Lifestyle
- Developer: Great British Chefs
- Price: $6.99