Every great chef knows that the proper tools can make tasks a whole lot easier. Sharp chef’s knife? Check. Pressed apron? Check. But what about culinary apps?
If you’re thinking that cooking apps only help you find new recipes, think again. There are apps for nearly every aspect of a chef’s job. Whether you’re looking to stay on top of trending ingredients, manage your inventory, or help keep your team organized, finding the right app can help.
1. Paprika: For Organizing Your Recipes
As a chef, consistency is key. While you may mix up your menu with specials that utilize seasonal ingredients, when customers order the same dish multiple times, they want it to taste the same. Therefore, you and your team must have easy access to recipes.
Paprika is one of those cooking apps our parents and grandparents wish they’d had. It allows users to easily store and organize your recipes so they never get lost. Additionally, it allows you to check off ingredients and steps, which helps your recipes stay consistent—even when different people on the kitchen staff are preparing the dishes.
This culinary app also lets you tweak and edit recipes. For example, if you notice that a sauce thickens quicker at cooler temperatures, you can make a note of this in the recipe so you remember in the future.
2. Feedly: For Keeping Up With Food Trends
As a chef, a restaurant owner, or anyone in charge of menu design, part of your job is continually learning and staying on top of culinary trends. Along with networking with other culinary professionals, it can also be beneficial to read a variety of food and cooking articles, news articles, and even tweets.
But between managing staff and ensuring your dishes come out as desired, you may have little time to read, let alone track down press releases and tweets from your favorite chefs. That’s where Feedly comes in. By setting your interests and keywords, this app curates a selection of the most relevant news articles, blog posts, tweets, and more.
Are you running a plant-based meal prep service? Feedly can help you stay on top of the releases of new plant-based proteins and trending recipes. Thinking about purchasing a new sous vide machine for your kitchen? The app can keep you informed of sales and help you find honest product reviews.
“Continue learning, and growing, and perfecting your craft. In a world where everyone wants to be a chef, but no one wants to learn, STAND OUT.”*
Tiffany Moore, Escoffier Culinary Arts Graduate
3. BlueCart: For Managing Inventory
Mismanaged inventory can mean wasted food and lower profits as well as missing ingredients and unhappy customers. Therefore, every chef should be able to properly inventory their cooler, freezer, and pantry, as well as stay on top of ordering ingredients that are in low supply.
BlueCart simplifies inventory management by allowing you to input your inventory, order from suppliers, and mark off ingredients once they arrive. The app includes thoughtful details such as the ability to alert you to a supplier’s cutoff times so you remember to place an order before it’s too late.
Of course, an app is only as useful as your baseline knowledge. Escoffier knows that the business of managing ingredients is just as important as the knowledge of how to prepare them. That’s why culinary arts students can explore the components of proper ingredient storage and inventory management.
4. Google Keep: For Creating and Sharing Tasks
As a chef, your job isn’t just to cook great food. Sure, you need to know how to stir together a creamy risotto and pan-sear a piece of fish so the skin is crispy and the flesh is tender. But you also may need to be confident and proficient in leading others.
While an app won’t replace the time and experience it takes to develop leadership skills, Google Keep can help you keep your team organized and on track. This app allows you to create to-do lists and easily share them with your team. For example, you can create a list of prep tasks and share it with team members. As your team completes the work, they can check off the tasks so you know what’s been completed and what still needs attention.
This app is also a great way to communicate and collaborate with your team on topics such as equipment that needs attention, special menu ideas, and talking points for your upcoming meetings.
5. KitchenCalculator: For Scaling Recipes and Converting Measurements
If you’re working as a chef or cooking recipes at home, Kitchen Calculator is one of your must-have cooking apps.
It helps you easily scale recipes so you can avoid the additional steps of multiplying measurements like ? teaspoon and ¾ cup—a time saver that’s invaluable when you need to feed a crowd or prepare for dinner service. And since it multiplies all ingredients by the chosen amount, you can rest assured the recipe’s ingredient ratios stay the same.
Along with scaling recipes, Kitchen Calculator can also help you convert between measurements. It’s adept at switching between cups and liters as well as grams and fluid ounces.
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No App Can Replace a Quality Education
While culinary apps can make a chef’s life easier, don’t be fooled by thinking that they can replace the time and dedication it can take to become a great chef.
If you’d like to practice culinary fundamentals and explore advanced cooking techniques, culinary school may be for you. Escoffier offers both degree and diploma programs in the culinary arts, and online culinary school means you can complete a program at home, plus a hands-on industry externship.
Enjoyed this article? Check these out next:
- 7 Apps Every Restaurant Manager Should Know About
- 5 Best Cooking Shows According to Professional Chefs
- French Cooking: How and Why French Cuisine Came to Rule the World
*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.
This article was originally published on May 9, 2016, and has since been updated.