Cook. Taste. Smile.
by Molly Fowler
Innovation is a big word that carries with it big expectations – especially when it comes to us impatient, tech-savvy, easily unimpressed students. Luckily, Alex Yandell’s new cooking app ‘Cook.Taste.Summer.Smile’ more than delivers. Phew.
Creating, developing and marketing a best-selling cooking app good enough to impress the likes of Apple (so much so that they brought it to the market in under 48 hours) may seem nigh on impossible for a middle aged chef-de-cuisine with good connections and a ton of experience to boot, so imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered that second year Durham student Alex Yandell had managed it – and all within a week. Some people are just born that way I guess.
This app really is beautiful to look at, as well as easy to use and, most importantly, contains deliciously inspiring recipes. The first completely interactive cooking app designed for the iPad, you can see why Apple jumped at the chance to include it in iBooks. Marketed to people with an interest in cooking and a basic knowledge of food, Yandell’s app doesn’t condescend or bore buyers with patronising ‘How to boil an egg’-style recipes. His ‘Summer’ selection includes three seasonal three-course meals intended for dinner parties (a lot of the components can be made ahead, thus relieving the stress of on-the-night cooking) along with chapters like ‘picnic perfection’ and ‘ten key ingredients’, containing mouthwatering treats like an impressive sounding but easily accomplishable balsamic glaze. Furthermore, the app includes useful extras for recipes with a mere swipe of the screen, such as wine recommendations (which Yandell paired himself, naturally) as well as the option to make it cheaper or healthier.
Aside from his obvious knowledge of what makes good food, I cannot help but be blown over by the app’s interactive elements. Hailed by one reviewer as being more ingenious than all Jamie Oliver’s cooking apps put together (ouch), Yandell’s design really is something to write home about. Pinch and zoom to fullscreen recipes, portrait and landscape modes, and a completely interactive contents page means that this app really takes the cooking experience to the next level. Features like choosing whether you want step by step instructions (landscape orientation) or an overview of the entire recipe (portrait orientation) make this app a joy to use – you can even edit the ingredients list if you dare to disagree with one of the recipes. Intended to appeal to everyone, from the tech-noobie to the seasoned computer scientist, this interactiveness is something that will really speak to the geek in all of us.
I’ve chosen to round off the singing of this app’s praises with a nod to the first-rate photography, which really is worth a mention for giving the app a look of overall professionalism and out-and-out yumminess – grilling Yandell on who he paid to take the photos, he abashedly admitted that he and a friend borrowed a camera from a professional photographer and took them all themselves… in a week. Trying not to spit out a mouthful of coffee, I hastily make a note of this whilst staring suspiciously over the top of my computer and wondering if he is some kind of cyborg sent from another planet to make us all feel inferior. Surely one twenty-something year old cannot possibly achieve all of this?
With ‘Autumn’, ‘Winter’, ‘Spring’, and ‘Healthy Cooking’ apps on the way, this Durhamite really is on the road to success. Cook.Taste.Summer.Smile is available to buy now on the iPad for a mere £4.99, and with such luscious recipes, ingenious features, and dazzling appearance, this purchase is a real no-brainer.
For more information visit http://www.cooktastesmile.co.uk/