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Food-Related Software


Matthew Grant
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Does anyone have any thoughts on the StarChef site, www.starchef.net?

I have been playing it and while it seems a little heavy for our purposes, it might work.

Before I commit to anything, I'm wondering if there is a better solution. Is the software better? I toyed with the idea of creating a database of our own but it was rapidly getting out of control.

Ideally, we want to:

* create a recipe book for all our stores

* allow employees to access the recipe book from all our stores (probably via web interface)

* control employee access to the recipe book (some can edit, some can only read, some can't do either)

* search for recipes by ingredient, technique, etc.

* link recipes to images of the recipes

Any advice or insight would be much appreciated.

Before you give up on doing your own database, check out Filemaker Pro7. Its a fairly simple to set up database and you can do all the things you describe, and obviously you can tailor it to exactly what you need.

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  • 1 year later...

I used AccuChef (http://www.accuchef.com) and liked it very much for an 'old school' recipe manager.

I then tried Living Cookbook (http://www.livingcookbook.com) but found it to be unreliable, overly complex, and somewhat difficult to use.

Lately, I found BigOven (http://www.bigoven.com) and really, really like it. It's Windows only, but it also has a Windows Mobile viewer which is very handy. It's my current recommendation.

-drew

www.drewvogel.com

"Now I'll tell you what, there's never been a baby born, at least never one come into the Firehouse, who won't stop fussing if you stick a cherry in its face." -- Jack McDavid, Jack's Firehouse restaurant

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This is the one I was thinking about getting because it is geared towards cookbook writing. I ultimately decided to put my old graphic design skills to work and settled for Adobe Indesign and did it myself. I now have one beautiful cake everything recipe book with all my favorite recipes.

Here is the link for the software;

http://www.cookspalate.com/

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  • 4 months later...

Bumping this up... I've just started trying MasterCook 9, and while it seems to do everything it says (well, except the web import 'feature', which I can't get to work at all), it's simply painful to use. I want to spank whoever came up with this user interface. Everything takes several steps more than it should, and nothing is intuitive. This program is headed for the garbage before it sucks up too much more of my time. I'm looking at BigOven next.

Has anyone tried Resort? http://www.resortsoftware.com/

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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  • 5 months later...
Bumping this up... I've just started trying MasterCook 9, and while it seems to do everything it says (well, except the web import 'feature', which I can't get to work at all), it's simply painful to use. I want to spank whoever came up with this user interface. Everything takes several steps more than it should, and nothing is intuitive. This program is headed for the garbage before it sucks up too much more of my time. I'm looking at BigOven next.

Has anyone tried Resort? http://www.resortsoftware.com/

I've had better luck with Mastercook 9 than Dave, but it does have its quirks (not unlike me :wink: ). Import can be tedious, but it works. Often recipes are overly verbose for folks with culinary training, so a lot of times I'll just import the ingredients and type in whatever instructions I need. It has weird rules for converting between metric and imperial measures and will sometimes crash entirely when performing some conversions. MC's support is useless, but offsetting this is a huge installed based and many cookbooks that are available in their entirety for import into MC.

If this sounds like a conflicted endorsement... it is.

Chef Marco at our alma mater has used Resort Chef for quite a while. He swears by it. Resort Chef's approach is to offer a suite of products for everybody from Dishwasher to Owner-of-suite-of-hotels-and-all-their-real-estate-and-employees -- with prices commensurate the the salaries of these people.

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What about CIA's piece of software i-COOK Pro? Anyone tried it? It's the first program I try and it's pretty good...

A litte bit expensive i think for a recipe software (80 bucks) but pretty neat in the overall.

Anyone know if The Professional Chef book by the CIA brings this software?

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  • 4 months later...

Bumping this back up. I've been storing my recipes in my gmail account lately, using labels. It occurs to me that this could be problematic if Gmail crashes, or my internet connection goes south when I need a recipe.

I'd like a recipe software where I can just cut and paste the recipes in Gmail without having to retype every ingredient in again. The DVO software I used to use won't let me do that.

Anything out there that will?

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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To the jury:  What is the best software to use? I want to be able to price what my costs are, I also want to be able to have the info for nutrient value per my goodies. Labeling laws require I show nutrient content on my confections.

I have been using a Microsoft OneNote to keep track of my recipes. It's one of these virtual notebook applications and is pretty easy to use and manage, but I recently tried mastercook 9 to test the added functionality. I am looking for a better way to track recipes in my cookbook library. The scaling and shopping list features are helpful, but I definitely feel that this software is strongly directed towards the professional kitchen.

To answer some of your questions PG, MasterCook can automatically calculate nutritional value based on ingredients, but I have no idea how accurate it is. MC simply assesses the nutritional value of the ingredients, combines them, and divides by number of servings. It seems to be a decent estimation. Also, if you input the cost of ingredients, you are able to calculate the cost per serving for recipes.

I am wondering how does everyone else keep track of recipes in their libraries?

"In a perfect world, cooks who abuse fine cutlery would be locked in a pillory and pelted with McNuggets."

- Anthony Bourdain

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  • 2 months later...
What about CIA's piece of software i-COOK Pro? Anyone tried it? It's the first program I try and it's pretty good...

A litte bit expensive i think for a recipe software (80 bucks) but pretty neat in the overall.

Anyone know if The Professional Chef book by the CIA brings this software?

I've been usin gthis software since the CIA dropped support for the previous program (Pro chef). All I can say is that it is the single most frustrating software I have ever used. Entering five recipes caused it to crash about four times. It has the most limiting way of entering ingredients of anything I have ever used. Even then it does almost no checking of the imputs (you can't scale anything if you haven't entered either a yield or number servings (there doesn't seem to be a way to say this makes 1 loaf then scale it to 2 loaves).

Forget about importing. It knows nothing about mealmaster, pro chef or even simple text files.

I haven't found where it stores the recipes and suspect it is on some server in Florida somplace).

In the past I have used mealmaster, and pro chef and one or two others. I am probably going to stick with my last update to pro chef unless this program gets updated in a big way.

Dan

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Bumping this back up.  I've been storing my recipes in my gmail account lately, using labels.  It occurs to me that this could be problematic if Gmail crashes, or my internet connection goes south when I need a recipe.

I'd like a recipe software where I can just cut and paste the recipes in Gmail without having to retype every ingredient in again.  The DVO software I used to use won't let me do that.

Anything out there that will?

I just noticed your question today.

I use Now You're Cooking. It has an import function, where you just paste in a recipe. You then have to go through the recipe and highlight different areas, but fast and easy (ex. highlight the title, then click on the "Title" tab, highlight the ingredients and click on the "Ingredients" tab, etc.--each component will be highlighted in a different colour, so when the recipe is imported into the database, it will automatically be separated into the different areas. The recipe should be written in standard recipe form, though--Title, ingredient list, method, though it doesn't necessarily have to be in that order, as once you do the highlighting, the program automatically detects which is which.

One problem I noticed is when I paste in recipes written by someone else is that sometimes people add a lot of notes next to individual ingredients. Those notes, if highlighted, will be added to recipe, but since the number of characters for each ingredient is limited, they sometimes get cut. But once the recipe has been imported, you can go through and edit as you wish, so you can add or delete lines, so it's just a hassle, not really a problem.

It's a bit confusing to explain, but if you go to the Screen Shots page of their website and click on "screen import (any recipe text format)", you can see a screen shot of the import function. It might make my explanation a bit clearer---or not. :unsure:

If you do go with Now You're Cooking, get the option with lifetime upgrades. It's only $5 more, and it's worth it. I lost my registration code and forgot about the program, but after 8 or more years, I wrote to them asking if I could get my code. They gave it to me, and I got the newest version (which is much much better than the first version).

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Bumping this back up.  I've been storing my recipes in my gmail account lately, using labels.  It occurs to me that this could be problematic if Gmail crashes, or my internet connection goes south when I need a recipe.

I'd like a recipe software where I can just cut and paste the recipes in Gmail without having to retype every ingredient in again.  The DVO software I used to use won't let me do that.

Anything out there that will?

Marlene, what do you save them as in Gmail? Just a regular doc.?

Mastercook lets you 'copy recipe' and paste it in to a gmail doc. . . I usually copy the recipe and then paste in a word document - I'm not sure if I set it up this way or if it's standard, but it automatically includes ingredient list, directions, any notes I've added and nutritional data.

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I use labels in Gmail, and file the recipes accordingly. So I have "appetizers" "beef" "desserts" etc. I usually just paste them into an email and send it to myself. It only became a problem this summer, when Internet access was spotty for a while, and would go down, right when I needed a recipe from Gmail.

I recently purchased the Living Cookbook software, and so far, I've been very very pleased with it.

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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  • 9 months later...

Has anyone had any success with recipe management software for a mac? Most of what has been discussed are windows specific. I have a mac, and I am thinking about getting "The Recipe Manager 3." Does anyone have any experience with this software?

I am a home cook, and I am particularly interested in software that will provide nutritional info for my recipes. What I have read online suggests that The Recipe Manager 3 provides this, but there is not much in the way of user reviews online.

I know this is an old thread, but thought it might be worth it to ask. Thanks in advance!

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  • 1 year later...

Has anyone had any success with recipe management software for a mac? Most of what has been discussed are windows specific. I have a mac, and I am thinking about getting "The Recipe Manager 3." Does anyone have any experience with this software?

I am a home cook, and I am particularly interested in software that will provide nutritional info for my recipes. What I have read online suggests that The Recipe Manager 3 provides this, but there is not much in the way of user reviews online.

I know this is an old thread, but thought it might be worth it to ask. Thanks in advance!

One of my best friends has a Mac and uses Mac Gourmet. I like the software enough that I considered getting a mac just so I could use it!

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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Oh, and my advice is to stay away from Master Cook. It is not really that great at doing what I want - organize my own recipes. And my Mom has it too, and simply gets lost every time using it. It's really designed very poorly. Granted I have version 6, buy looking at the newer versions and they don't seem to have changed the problematic things (like 'My Cookbook' being buried below all sort of other stuff, 'Home' not really working, inability to open more than one recipe, Horrible import/output dialog, Type ahead hell, Hard to search your own recipes, etc. etc.).

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For my Mac, I've used both MacGourmet and YummySoup. I started with MacGourmet and then tried YummySoup. The one I've stuck with is YummySoup. Their recipe importer is far easier. So if you get a lot of your recipes from Epicurious or FoodTV it does it nearly automatically. If it is a web site that YummySoup doesn't specifically support, it is still more straightforward than with MacGourmet. And as far as adding a recipe from scratch, it's a toss-up. The biggest problem is that it does have a very good Import function, but not an Export to other formats.

The other thing is that YummySoup doesn't have an iPhone app yet (in the works apparently) and MacGourmet does. So if that's important to you it's something to consider.

You can download I'm sure both for a trial period and see which you like best. Here's the link for YummySoup: http://hungryseacow.com/

And here is MacGourmet: http://macgourmet.com/

It's a real help to use something! For example, I have a Group set up for Thanksgiving that pulls together all the recipes I use. Very simple. And it makes it super simple to email recipes to others.

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Granted I have version 6, buy looking at the newer versions and they don't seem to have changed the problematic things (like 'My Cookbook' being buried below all sort of other stuff, 'Home' not really working, inability to open more than one recipe, Horrible import/output dialog, Type ahead hell, Hard to search your own recipes, etc. etc.).

I don't use any of the recipes that came with MC, so I deleted all of them. Once you delete all the superfluous folders, all you're left with is your own recipes (I have several of my own folders set up "apps" "salads" "desserts" ect.) -- making it easy to find recipes and search.

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Oh, and my advice is to stay away from Master Cook. It is not really that great at doing what I want - organize my own recipes. And my Mom has it too, and simply gets lost every time using it. It's really designed very poorly. Granted I have version 6, buy looking at the newer versions and they don't seem to have changed the problematic things (like 'My Cookbook' being buried below all sort of other stuff, 'Home' not really working, inability to open more than one recipe, Horrible import/output dialog, Type ahead hell, Hard to search your own recipes, etc. etc.).

I don't have any of those problems with Mastercook. I ignore 'My Cookbook,' and have made separate cookbooks for 'Salads,' 'Puds,' 'Main Dishes,' etc. If I want to look at more than onme recipe, I open more windows and can have as many as I like going simultaneously. Searching works well and easily....

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For my Mac, I've used both MacGourmet and YummySoup. I started with MacGourmet and then tried YummySoup. The one I've stuck with is YummySoup. Their recipe importer is far easier. So if you get a lot of your recipes from Epicurious or FoodTV it does it nearly automatically. If it is a web site that YummySoup doesn't specifically support, it is still more straightforward than with MacGourmet. And as far as adding a recipe from scratch, it's a toss-up. The biggest problem is that it does have a very good Import function, but not an Export to other formats.

The other thing is that YummySoup doesn't have an iPhone app yet (in the works apparently) and MacGourmet does. So if that's important to you it's something to consider.

You can download I'm sure both for a trial period and see which you like best. Here's the link for YummySoup: http://hungryseacow.com/

And here is MacGourmet: http://macgourmet.com/

It's a real help to use something! For example, I have a Group set up for Thanksgiving that pulls together all the recipes I use. Very simple. And it makes it super simple to email recipes to others.

I like the above reviews.

MacGourmet is good. Great for the home. Many features.

If you want flexibility in layout/design Filemaker is also good. Not many features beyond that.

I have finally settled with iWork pages for layout/sharing and DEVONthink for search/classification. I don't want features besides a good layout, search, and share features under my design and control.

Hope this helps.

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  • 2 months later...

I am a professional and I am looking for software that allows ingredients to be measured in different formats. The recipes that I have been compiling of late I have scaled in cups and also in grams. Is there any software that allows for both in an organized fashion? Is there any software that helps make the conversions from volume measures like cups to weight? I appreciate any suggestions. I am a mac and iphone type. Thank you.

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