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The Professional Chef: The App


thayes1c
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I finally succumbed to my desires yesterday and purchased an ipad, and one of the first apps I bought was the CIA's Professional Chef. It's amazing. I imagine this is what cookbooks are like on Star Trek. The whole textbook is at your fingertips. There are videos to show techniques, pop up tips and even quizzes at the ends of chapters. You can highlight passages and add notes, and share those notes with an online community. I've barely scratched the surfaces of what's in the book, but already it seems like an indication of where cookbook apps are going to be headed in the future. Has anybody else got this? Planning on asking your loved ones to buy it for Christmas?

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I read about The Professional Chef app in the NYT article, "Are Apps Making Cookbooks Obsolete?" and the slideshow "The New Generation of Cooking Apps" and put it on my list, along with Dorie Greenspan's app.

I bought an iPad but gave it to my Mom (got to give an 88-yr old credit for learning e-mail :biggrin: ) and am dying to get one of my own!

And for the record, I've gotten more and more use from my cookbooks since signing up on eatyourbooks.com than I've done in years. I don't think my cookbooks will become obsolete while I'm still around but I can see their days may be numbered!

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It's expensive by app standards, but it doesn't seem expensive for what it actually is: a $50 (list price $75) textbook in electronic form, with all the bells and whistles that app technology brings to the party. That means linking, inline definitions, calculators, video, photo enlargements, and a bunch of other stuff. Creating a book in this form is much more work than the already immense task of publishing in paper format. With the exception of actual printing, the sort of app The Professional Chef represents entails everything required to create a traditional book -- to which you add programming, videography and sound. I'm wrapping up an ebook project now, and though it's much less ambitious than The Professional Chef, it's nevertheless turned out to be far more work than anyone expected. In the end, I'm surprised that the CIA can sell it so cheap.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I didn't say it wasn't worth it, (in fact, I bought it) and I do know something about what goes into an electronic version, but I was still surprised at the price. The article does say it is the most expensive app in the store. I used to lug my hard copy to the cottage with me, and now I won't have to!

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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  • 1 month later...

I got this app as a Christmas gift. It's very impressive and just as Dave said, it's basically an electronic textbook. Now the only problem will be finding the time to really get into it.

I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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It's expensive by app standards, but it doesn't seem expensive for what it actually is: a $50 (list price $75) textbook in electronic form, with all the bells and whistles that app technology brings to the party.

On the other hand, that $50 cookbook will still be usable in 10 years. Whether the app will be is a serious question.

--

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It's expensive by app standards, but it doesn't seem expensive for what it actually is: a $50 (list price $75) textbook in electronic form, with all the bells and whistles that app technology brings to the party.

On the other hand, that $50 cookbook will still be usable in 10 years. Whether the app will be is a serious question.

Good point. I've had my print (acid free paper, 2002) edition for five or six years and it's holding up fine even though it's been much used - and has more slips of paper sticking out of the pages for reference than any other book that I own.

But, from the descriptions, I have to admit that if I could afford it, it would be nice to have the electronic version. At least if it works on a regular computer and not just iPads, iPhones, etc. None of which I own and never will.

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It's expensive by app standards, but it doesn't seem expensive for what it actually is: a $50 (list price $75) textbook in electronic form, with all the bells and whistles that app technology brings to the party.

On the other hand, that $50 cookbook will still be usable in 10 years. Whether the app will be is a serious question.

Actually, I would venture to guess that the app will still be in the market in 10 years unless the CIA closes. If they have their students use tablets and their textbook apps, they will continue to update/refresh the app constantly. The update might not be free, but I would guess it would be cheaper to buy than a new brand book.

I like books, but I believe the publishing world in the Education/Learning niche is going to change completely.

If your angle is directed to a specific hardware (iPad) that might not be around in 10 years, that is another story, I do not have an opinion on that. Obviosly, if the app is not developed for other types of hardware and Apple goes down, I could see the validity of the comment.

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Bought about $300 worth of specialty chocolate books (Wybauw) last year.

Don't know about this I-pad/kindle thing. I've got a funny feeling that in the next 5 years or so the big boys (Mac, and who ever else is still around) will duke it out.

On a competely different subject, my Dad sitll has his beta vcr and a couple hundred of his beta cssettes.

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It's expensive by app standards, but it doesn't seem expensive for what it actually is: a $50 (list price $75) textbook in electronic form, with all the bells and whistles that app technology brings to the party.

On the other hand, that $50 cookbook will still be usable in 10 years. Whether the app will be is a serious question.

Actually, I would venture to guess that the app will still be in the market in 10 years unless the CIA closes. If they have their students use tablets and their textbook apps, they will continue to update/refresh the app constantly. The update might not be free, but I would guess it would be cheaper to buy than a new brand book.

It is quite common for applications written ten years ago to not work properly on modern hardware under modern system software. Apple does tend to be better about this than most, but it's worth pointing out that there is no Macintosh application more than ten years old that will run on a modern-day Macintosh. So it doesn't strike me as going out on a limb to suggest that the CIA's app is unlikely to run on modern hardware in 2021. Rather, it seems closer to a statement of fact.

You are correct that it seems likely the CIA will continue to update the app and hopefully will eventually port the app to other devices and systems. Whether they charge for these updates, and how much, is a serious question, however. Again: if you buy the paper book, you pay for it one time and it's technology that will never be obsolete.

--

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Those are all very interesting questions. In 5 years when the iPad 8 is out, will their be a way to load apps from your older devices onto your new ones? I'm sure there will with the whole iCloud thing and everything, but that's way OT.

So has anyone used this app for any actual cooking yet?

Edited by Tim Dolan (log)

I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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...

Again: if you buy the paper book, you pay for it one time and it's technology that will never be obsolete.

Agree with all your points Sam but I'm running out of space for cookbooks so the option of carrying them around on one small device is incredibly appealing, not to mention the advantages of portability or putting them on the Cloud and accessing them from anywhere.

The problem you point out with apps, which contain programming features that are typically not portable, is unlikely to apply as much to e-books because as the next great thing comes along there will always be third party programs written that will port the (relatively flat and simple) e-book content across.

I like the app and I suppose that the question that should be asked is whether in ten years time the content is going to be the same. We are at the ninth edition. By the time my iPad bites the dust, I'll probably be ready to buy the twelth edition anyway.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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They give recipe yields and weights, including metric, so yes everything is scalable up or down.

Edited to add: but they don't have an inbuilt calculator, you still need to do it by hand.

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I coulnd't resist...so now I have both the book and this wonderful new app! As Nickrey pointed out, a built in calculator for scaling would be useful. Perhaps, this will be something that can be added to the app later and included in one of the regular updates.

Hopefully, we can see some of the CIA's other books also put into apps (I am certain they are way ahead of me on this idea). My vote would be Migoya's Frozen Desserts and Modern Cafe. Actually, I would enjoy the Home series as apps.

"A cloud o' dust! Could be most anything. Even a whirling dervish.

That, gentlemen, is the whirlingest dervish of them all." - The Professionals by Richard Brooks

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It has multimedia embedded Mark. You not only read the words but also have the benefit of accessing videos of techniques,

In the early sections, such as on food safety; meat, poultry, and game identification; etc it also has quizzes so you can test your knowledge.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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First there was Beta, then VHS, then DVD, then Blue Ray, not to mention a few other formats such as Laser Disks. Each required the expenditure of new funds, a constant stream of revenue for the studios, a drain for the consumers.

As correctly already Posted, systems change, updates cost money for the software companies and in many cases the original programmer is gone or has no interest in updating the software.

Having references available electronically is certainly worthwhile but unless you have an economic need and can afford new versions and platforms, hard copy is still the best value.

Of course if you just want it, then I understand that!-Dick

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