As we move to more and more things becoming digital, it’s not surprising that we can now have cookbooks as eBooks and even as apps on our Macs. And thanks to integrated technologies cooking apps don’t have to simply hold a recipe, but can include detailed photos of ingredients and step-by-step tutorials.
The Photo Cookbook makes it deliciously easy, to fix any kind of dish and it does so with beautiful images and easy to follow instructions. Learn after the break how this app can bring you on your way to be the chef in your kitchen.
Choosing is the Hardest Part
As the headline implies, selecting a dish to prepare will probably be the hardest part in the entire cooking process. There are oodles of recipes and they are presented in an easy-to-grasp grid.
First you should notice the four buttons on top, which will let you select a certain cooking style. Each style in turn holds four categories of dishes with about 15 recipes each (which will equal out to 240 recipes in total – that will keep you busy for some time).
Leveraging the features of OSX Lion, there is no scrollbar at the side, but simply move your cursor over a column and make the scrolling gesture and even more recipes will be revealed to you. If you prefer to see them all at once, you can make a sidebar viewable which holds all available recipes of a given category.
Getting to Know Your Ingredients
When you’ve chosen a recipe and click on it, you’re presented with a gorgeous overview of all the ingredients, beautifully arranged and in the state you’d use them for your dish. Everything is also listed, ready for your shopping list (I’ll come back to that in a minute).
If you’re unsure as to what image is what exactly or how to prepare an ingredient properly for the dish, simply hover of the image and click on the tiny icon that appears on it. You’ll get a beautiful explanation.
Now, you have all the ingredients within the app, but if you don’t happen to own the mobile version of The Photo Cookbook (for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch), it would be quite cumbersome to write down everything.
Of course, the developers being my German countrymen, they have been meticulous and thought of a very easy way to have everything at your fingertips: simply hit that email button on the upper right and the entire list of ingredients can be mailed and taken with you (or printed, if you prefer that).
Cooking Like a Chef
Once you’ve got everything ready to roll, simply start. First of all, you prepare each ingredient as needed – chopping veggies, slicing meat, or mixing spices. As mentioned above, everything is explained in pop up boxes if you hover over an ingredient.
After that it is as simple as following the steps in the numbered images included in each recipe. The instructions are to the point and the accompanying image shows you how your food should look like by now. And that’s pretty much everything
Areas of Improvement & Verdict
The Photo Cookbook is a joy to use and look at. The high quality photographs of the dishes, ingredients and cooking instructions just instill the urge to pick up a cooking spoon and start – it doesn’t even matter what dish you pick.
Due to the way the recipes are presented, it is understandable that you cannot add any recipes of your own, so if you’re looking for an app to do that, The Photo Cookbook isn’t the way to go. Even though, I hope that down the line the developers will offer some sort up updates or enhancements with extra sets of recipes (being German, I really hope for some traditional dishes from my home country).
Another thing to remember is that The Photo Cookbook for Mac does require you to have a Mac in the vicinity of your kitchen. Unfortunately, you can’t print out an entire recipe (except using screenshots), so you need your Mac around to follow the steps.
This is, in my eyes, a small disadvantage if looked at the overall picture. The Photo Cookbook is exactly what it promises to be – a wealth of recipes for the ones who love to cook or who want to learn how and it presents its content beautifully. So if you’re aspiring to be the adored chef in your dorm or your house or if you want to impress someone – look no further. Happy cooking!