For all the complaining about poorly created apps the Accidental Locavore has done recently, finally a good one about food! Maybe it’s because Jamie Oliver is a celebrity chef, so there’s lots of development money behind him, but Jamie Oliver’s Recipes has all the bells and whistles so many others are lacking. And happily, the Locavore picked up a great idea from the Sausage and Zucchini Carbonara recipe; take the Italian sausage out of its casing and make it into mini-meatballs (who doesn’t prefer a meatball?). There are a couple of recipes in the tasting pack that you might have to be British to want to make, but most of them seem interesting and accessible. I’m definitely taking the lamb shank and fish stew recipes out for a test run. Then my first purchase might be the tray baked collection, a mix of one-dish dinners.
Another great feature (for many of the recipes) is that by touching the screen, you can easily change the quantity of the recipe to feed 2, 4 or 6 — super convenient for those of us whose math skills can occasionally be challenged.
When you’ve picked a recipe, Jamie gives you the option of sending all the ingredients to a shopping list. Then you can go to the list and cross out the ingredients you already have, or add other items, and email the completed list to yourself or whoever you can con into grocery shopping. It’s grouped into aisles, so you’re not doing laps around the store, another great idea!
My only complaint, the video download on knife skills seemed to take a long time, but that may have just been my connection. Once downloaded, it’s a very useful video on basic cutting techniques, with an emphasis on not cutting anything attached to your body…always a good idea!
The photography is good, the food looks appetizing and accessible, not too fussy and Jamie always has you set the table. If you can’t find a dish by the well-organized categories, there’s a search engine. All in all this is the best food/cooking/recipe app I’ve seen so far.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (for the slow download and occasional fussy ingredient…rope grown mussels?)
Jamie Oliver’s Recipes
Cost: Taster Pack: free, additional packs $1.99 each
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch