10 Best iPad Food Apps

With the launch of the iPad 2 it's time to take a look at some of the best iPad food apps.

The Photo Cookbook

The iPad 2 is nearing its launch and an estimated 27 million iPads will be sold in 2011. With more than 60,000 available apps (six times the amount last summer), you may wonder which food apps to download. So, we’ve narrowed down ten of the best. How? Apple representative Ted Miller said the company doesn't do interviews about specific apps or app categories, but noted "food and drink apps held many of the top spots” in the Lifestyle category for overall iPad app downloads in 2010.

The selection included here, chosen with the help of Apple data, user reviews, and hands-on testing of each app, showcases the unique advantages and capabilities of the iPad format. The majority of the top-downloaded apps Miller noted above were cooking apps, which reveals that more and more people are turning to iPads for guidance in the kitchen. As Culinate co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Mark Douglas explained, mobile apps are “a key part of the future” of food media and cookbook development.

“Although print should continue on as the resource for many, new cooks only get introduced to cookbooks via digital delivery,” said Douglas, whose company published Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.

The iPad’s size sets it apart from the iPhone as an ideal resource for consulting recipes. Many cooking apps for the iPad are designed with added perks such as videos and interactive elements, but as Douglas pointed out, “you need practical, easy to use, and informative design… it is clear that the mobile user is much more unforgiving with sloppy work.”

Things are changing fast in the food world, and we’ve already lamented the loss of media stalwarts like Gourmet. But iPad apps offer a glimpse of the future. Not only can old favorites like Gourmet be resurrected, but the best new iPad apps offer a deeper, more personal way to eat, make, and think about food.

“I think we’re going to see a proliferation of opportunities for brands to reimagine their content, “ predicted Dana Cowin, Food & Wine's editor-in-chief. “How companies find a way to differentiate [the content] between devices will determine real success.”

Developers across the board seem to agree that we’re going to see a lot of experimentation in the still relatively new field of iPad apps. As evidenced recently by Alain Ducasse, more celebrity chefs are jumping on the app bandwagon, and companies like Urbanspoon are creating tools for food industry professionals.

“There’s a big opportunity to create apps that help [restaurant workers] in their daily functions,” said Amy Le, social media and public relations manager for GrubHub, the restaurant delivery information site.

So which food apps should you turn to for advice, entertainment, and more? We’ve got the roundup right here.

Click for 10 Best iPad Food Apps Slideshow.