The food community mourned the closing of Gourmet, but the magazine made a comeback as an iPad app last summer. Though the app has faced technical issues and criticism from the beginning, the company has responded to user feedback and developed the app accordingly.
“Gourmet Live has found a whole new audience that is passionate about [food and food culture],” said Gourmet Live General Manager Juliana Stock. “Most people think of technology and invention as a means of revealing 'the new.' With Gourmet Live, we were also able to use invention as a means of preserving a legacy and culture for new generations to enjoy.”
We’re looking forward to the new platforms and features promised for the future, but in the meantime, Gourmet is still delivering with great content, recipes, and food photos worth drooling over.
Mark Bittman’s acclaimed cookbook was the first full cookbook adapted for an app, and as the #3 downloaded Lifestyle app for the iPad in 2010, it’s clear that the app’s practicality and breadth have made it a kitchen authority for a new generation of mobile users.
All of the recipes and how-to guides of the printed book are available with the iPad version, and its $9.99 price makes it a steal compared to the book’s $20 cost. iPad-specific features include the ability to notate and bookmark recipes, and a constant-on option, making it well suited for placing on the kitchen counter.
The Epicurious iPad app is an example of how traditional food media can be integrated with a new mobile platform. As Epicurious’ Editor-in-Chief Tanya Steel explained, “Our website is very much about context, authority, and timeliness, while our apps strive to give the user as much service and ease as possible.”
Urbanspoon is known for its “Shake” feature — “a Magic 8 ball experience for restaurants” — that has helped the indecisive across America choose a restaurant. As the “first truly native restaurant app launched on the iPad,” the hungry and indecisive can spin their way to a delicious meal, and restaurant data is saved even when offline. Reviews dig deeper to cover specific menu items. Urbanspoon’s launch of RezBook for restaurants makes landing a perfect table a cinch.
The iPad is uniquely suited for reading, and catching up on your favorite food blogs is even easier with the Food Blogroll app. The world’s top food blogs are bookmarked into one easy-to-navigate interface, allowing for optimal browsing. The app gives users a “headstart” with a curated list of 25 top food blogs, but readers can customize their list by deleting and adding other favorites.
Fans of Edible’s coverage of the New York City food scene clamored for an app, and they got one. Currently, the app is a digital version of the printed magazine, but plans are in the works for added video footage, photo outtakes, event and business listings, and a roll of Edible’s latest blog posts. Look out for more Edible apps in Marin County, the Hawaiian Islands, and Santa Fe, plus a national guide for finding local, sustainable food.
The simple, beautiful design of The Photo Cookbook app garnered comments that the app “could be from Apple itself.” Every recipe is presented in step-by-step detail with high-resolution photos “which are shown to their best advantage especially on the iPad,” said developer Michael Ditter.
The recipes are organized in four “chapters,” which the user can scroll through while simultaneously staying within the overview screen. The Photo Cookbook — Quick & Easy doesn’t contain as expansive an amount of recipes as other cooking apps, but the curated selection in Photo Cookbook-Baking is just the right amount to add to one’s baking repertoire.
“With the iPad app we can take a topic of interest deeper, but we can hold your hand and offer a curated experience,” said Food & Wine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin.
The Food & Wine app is not simply a page for page replica of the magazine; it’s a perfect example of how digital media and print can amplify each other. For example, the health issue will feature videos of top chefs performing their favorite exercise routines (one chef allegedly practices Korean sword fighting), and daily menus for four weeks of healthy eating.
Released February 17, 2011, the Everyday Food app is a digital version of the print magazine, with bonus components such as video cooking demos, extra editorial content, and slideshows.
As editor-in-chief Anna Last explained, “The tone of our magazine is conversational and our recipes are easy to make using familiar ingredients. Our iPad features take that even further — we literally invite readers into our kitchens with behind-the-scenes footage.”
Food delivery website Grubhub’s ordering app is perfect for those who can’t pull themselves away from their iPad. Grubhub’s presence in 13 major American cities, with plans to expand to 26 cities by the end of this year, makes it the must-have delivery tool for iPad users.
“Considering the iPad has been on the market less than a year, iPad orders comprised two-percent of Grubhub’s food orders in January 2011,” said Social Media and Public Relations Manager Amy Le. “This indicates huge growth potential for us to drive more orders through tablet apps.”