FOOD APPS AND BLOGS
The other day I looked at my iPhone and the screen was dull, almost frosty. As I went to adjust the brightness settings, I realised the screen was covered in a light dusting of flour. Flour! My phone is never far away from me while I’m cooking or baking, and sometimes it bears the scars of a busy kitchen. On meat-free Mondays, The
Green Kitchen (¤4.99) is one of my favourite recipe apps, and not just because of its stunning photography. Created by Scandinavian duo David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl, these Stockholm-based vegetarians created a website ( reenkitchenstories.com) and app with more than 100 recipes, including shakshuka, saffron and sesame roasted vegetables and spiced parsnip cake. In terms of content, usability and appearance, it’s way ahead of other recipe apps on the market.
When I’m looking for recipes online, I often head to American blogs such as 101 Cookbooks and Smitten Kitchen. Cookvert
er is a free conversion app that helps me figure out how many grams are in a cup, so that I can have a helping hand with the mathematics of conversion.
A piece of technology I’ve coveted since its initial release in 2012 is from Drop, a kitchen tech company founded in Dublin and based in San Francisco. What makes Drop (getdrop.com) special is its Kitchen Scale, a weighing scale connected to a recipe app that helps you bake in a more visual way. It removes the barrier of numbers and conversion that can trip up a lot of budding bakers. The Kitchen Scale retails at $99.95 but the accompanying recipe app is free. It’s full of recipes, mostly for baking but not entirely, that work even without the scales.
When I don’t feel like cooking, my guilty pleasure is to open the
Deliveroo website app (deliveroo.ie), the delivery service that helps you eat from the restaurants you love in your own home. Just last week, I had Sister Sadie’s honey and lemon roasted chicken wings delivered to my door, and stuffed my face full of their roasted carrot, feta and pomegranate salad. Sure, it cost more than a takeaway pizza but I felt a lot better about eating it.
The trend of taking photos of one’s dinner continues to gain momentum, despite the backlash from people of sound minds who are baffled by our collective need to share what we’re putting into our tummies. Serious articles have been written about how to style your iPhone food photographs. I have read them all. Free photography collage apps such as Moldiv and Posterlabs help food lovers cram multiple angles or dishes into one update. Earlier this year, Israeli restaurant Catit announced the use of plates with built-in backdrops, to maximise the Instagram potential of the restaurant’s dishes.
Instagram may not be a food app per se, but it is one of the most popular apps for sharing photographs of food. As our phones get even smarter, it feels like the potential for short recipe videos could be further explored.
Bart Von Olphen (@BartsFishTales) explains rudimentary seafood cooking skills such as how to fillet a fish or how to prepare mussels in frantic 15-second videos. At the moment, these clips act more as a tool to send followers to Van Olphen’s YouTube channel, but they are a good example of what could be done on the platform.
There is creativity to be found in a stop-motion phone videos such as on I Am A Food Blog (@iamafoodblog) who celebrat- ed a Totoro week on her blog last week, creating cakes, pancakes and snacks that looked like the Miyazaki character. As part of that, she created a five-second stop-motion video of how to make a Totoro avocado on toast. Cute overload.
An interesting development in food phone photography is the launch last month of DSCO, the standalone platform for filter app VSCOCam. The VSCO Cam app became associated with a more discerning photographer, one searching for a community that wasn’t competing with each other for likes. The DSCO platform is a direct competitor to Instagram’s Boomerang (which allows users to upload GIFs as opposed to just photos and videos) and DSCO is also putting its GIF capacities to the forefront. This could be the place where we’ll start to see more creativity in capturing what we eat for supper. Aoife McElwain
Stephanie Le, creator of I Am a Food Blog