May 9, 2016

The 7 Best Smartphone Apps for Chefs to Download

According to the Pew Research Center, 10 percent of Americans in 2015 owned a smartphone. These devices have redefined much of everyday life, giving people a vital source of information and a never-ending connection to the rest of the world. They can be especially helpful for culinary students and full-time chefs as well. Certain smartphone apps can streamline a busy chef’s efforts, be it with recipe ideas, scheduling and organization, or anything else needed to make the best meal possible. Here are seven apps all chefs should download, as suggested by many culinary greats:

1. Gojee
Sometimes it’s hard to think of new ideas or recipes to tackle. That’s where an app like Gojee comes in handy. Simply punch in whatever ingredients you have on hand, no matter how random or mismatched, and Gojee will find a recipe for you to whip up. For professional chefs, this can be a great way to hone your skills in the face of limited options. It’s this kind of exercise that can teach you the importance of creativity and to think outside the culinary box.

2. Escoffier’s Cook Companion
There are a wide array of tools that chefs rely on. For those digitally savvy kitchen gurus, you may want to consider adding Escoffier’s Cook Companion to to your box of tools. This neat little app features, a series of unit converters (great if you’re not adept at math), a built-in timer and a glossary of cooking-related terms. The app also feature a unique database for kitchen equipment, complete with the different ways you can utilize each item.

3. Locavore
Want to know how popular this app is? It’s one of a handful suggested by the famed James Beard Foundation. It works  pretty straightforward: Using your phone’s GPS system, the Locavore app will give you a list of all the closest farmer’s markets. It also tells you which of 230 different varieties of fruits and vegetables are currently in season. And if you need it, Locavore can even suggest recipes for each of the fruits and veggies.

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4. Knowledge Book: Cooking
Plenty of smartphone apps can convert units. But perhaps none are quite as effective and well-rounded as Knowledge Book: Cooking. The app can help convert several more obscure units of measurement, like the drachma. And unlike some similar apps, the KBC app can also provide plenty of substitutions for almost any kind of ingredient. This app is a great way to update some family recipes.

5. BigOven
As a chef, you’re bound to create dozens of your own recipes. While it’s important to write these down for future use or even subsequent generations, paper isn’t always the most reliable medium. Luckily, there is the BigOven app. With this, you can scan and store hundreds of recipes, and then access them at any time or send them to friends and fellow chefs. You can even make the recipes available to other app users if you’re so inclined.

6. Cuts of Beef
Buying quality cuts of meat takes years of practice. If you need a little help to become a master, then download the Cuts of Beef app. With it, you’ll have access to standardized guidelines for meat set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Think of it as a cheat sheet for meat, giving insight into what constitutes certain cuts of beef, chicken, lamb or goat and how to get the best deal for your dollar.

7. Finesse
As a chef, it;’s important to stay up to date with all the latest food trends and happenings from other chefs in the world. To do that, you can download and read the various editions of Finesse magazine. Launched in 2010 by chef Thomas Keller, Finesse focuses on many themes important to chefs and restaurants, including preservation, design and fostering a sense of community. It’s a great read for those who love all things cooking and food.

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