Without doubt, the iPad is an excellent resource for the curious home cook. Stories about the digitalization of cooking tell us what foodies already know: some of the most interesting and beautiful cookbooks available aren’t at the book store, they are on the App Store.
The open-ended nature of app creation also leaves room for newcomers, such as Israeli chef Meir Adoni, to find a greater audience. Adoni curated the recipes for Look & Cook, a visually stunning compilation of inventive recipes.
Look & Cook lives up to its title. This iPad-only app breaks down recipes like a master chef julienning vegetables. The app groups the recipes the way people actually cook. There are sections entitled Everyday, Romantic, and With the Guys, for example. Each subject also comes with an Overview, which resembles a visual menue of what one might prepare for a Barbecue or for Breakfast.
Users can scroll through the filmstrip of recipe thumbnails or tap on a recipe, then swipe through full screen images of the recipe.
Once the user chooses a recipe, she is greeted with a photograph of all the ingredients needed, right down to the number of tomatoes or cloves of garlic. The app also includes a graphic that breaks down the number of servings, cook time and prep time.
Tapping the cook tab brings up a step-by-step directions for cooking the dish. The user may choose to activate voice activation, which allows one to speak “next” or “back” aloud, and thus advance through the recipes steps without touching the iPad with sticky fingers.
Each step of the recipe includes a beautiful photo. The app even breaks some steps into substeps, so if you happen to be making Black Cod with Miso-Mirin Sauce, you really get a sense if your Miso-Mirin marinade looks the way it should before adding the black cod.
Users can share recipes via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
Download Look & Cook for iPad from the App Store for $4.99.
Note: Look & Cook is not compatible with the original iPad. It runs on the iPad 2 and the new iPad using iOS 5.1 or later.
What I liked: Though there are only 44 recipes in this app, they are very well-chosen. As a group Look & Cook’s recipes are both innovative and delicious. Though Chef Adoni isn’t a household name in the US, his recipes translate well to an American audience (and presumably those of other countries as well).
What I didn’t like: The UI felt labyrinthine at times. The user must wade through several screens to get to the actual recipes. There is no search function, nor is there a way to view all fish recipes, all vegetarian recipes, or all the desserts included in the app.
To buy or not to buy: Curious foodies as well as anyone who aspires to bring restaurant-style cooking in to their own kitchen will adore Look & Cook. Notably, while Adoni hails from Israel, Look & Cook is not Kosher, as it includes recipes for pork chops and roasted lobster.
- App Name: Look & Cook – Israeli Star Chef Meir Adoni – Full Edition
- Version Reviewed: 1.1
- Category: Lifestyle
- Developer: Dudu Mimran
- Price: $4.99