Feel like chicken tonight? Ask app
The average New Zealander cooks between five and seven regular dishes.
Two food-loving women have decided to try to expand that repertoire.
Fast, Fresh and Tasty is New Zealand’s first iphone and ipad recipe application.
Karin Grice came up with the idea of a recipe station a few years ago.
‘‘I had two small children, so with juggling work and kids it was pretty busy,’’ she said. ‘‘I’d go to the supermarket every day and I wanted some nice, new ideas for dinner.’’
Mrs Grice attended an Activate course run by Grow Wellington in 2009 and started putting the idea into action.
Her concept was to install recipe kiosks in supermarkets but the rollout and things such as maintenance meant the idea never gained traction.
Then she met Click Suite creative director Emily Loughnan, who became excited about the idea and suggested an app.
‘‘It wasn’t something I’d considered until Emily mentioned it but it made sense,’’ Mrs Grice said.
Ms Loughnan said it was part of her job to decide what a good medium for a product would be.
‘‘[Apps] are so much more convenient.’’
The women conducted market research to identify how people went about preparing their evening meals, Ms Loughnan said.
‘‘Typically they either go ‘ I feel like chicken tonight’ or they decide by style and go ‘ Tonight I feel like a salad’.’’
To accommodate that, the recipes are accessible through both options.
For each recipe there is advice about how long it will take to cook and how many it will serve. There’s also information about how many people have tagged it as a favourite.
‘‘You’re able to see what dishes might go with it and what wine might go with it,’’ Ms Loughnan said.
When viewing the list of ingredients, users are able to touch the shopping cart icon to add the item to a shopping list.
The shopping list feature is one of Mrs Grice’s favourite parts of the app.
‘‘I can be sitting on the bus on the way home and can start planning dinner and adding things to my list.’’
The shopping list was then able to be sent, by text message or email, to others.
‘‘I said to my husband [early on], ‘ Oh, I can text you my shopping list’. ‘‘He just turned white.’’ Mrs Grice said she also loved being able to share recipes online, to show her friends on social networking sites what she was preparing for dinner.
For Ms Loughnan, the fact the app was all about seasonal products was fantastic.
‘‘You can go a bit stale on a cookbook. The seasonal stuff gives you a really fresh view.’’
Recipes were updated every season and the In Season section provided a quick look at what ingredients would be best at certain times of year.
‘‘It’s a seasonal carousel; it’s a really popular feature. Summer is about barbecues and salads and eating outside. For winter, we’ll be adding a curries section.’’
Although there were many good cooking apps available, they were overseas-based and done by professionals, Mrs Grice said.
‘‘We’re not professional chefs but we enjoy making good food for our families.’’
During the first few months, the women cooked from a different recipe every night.
‘‘It was challenging,’’ Ms Loughnan said. ‘‘Most New Zealanders have five to seven regular dishes. You can go into robot mode but as we were doing it we had to read and follow a new recipe every night.
‘‘After a couple of months you go, ‘ Actually, I’d really like takeaways’.’’
Ms Loughnan said the response since they released the app late last year had been amazing.
A huge number of people had bought the app and used it regularly. Many even emailed the women to say how wonderful it was, she said.
‘‘I download lots of apps. I have every cooking app available, some that I love but I have never, ever emailed the maker to say thank you. For people to actually do that, it’s wonderful.’’
The next step for Fast, Fresh and Tasty was the Australian market. They would take the same structure and localise the recipes for Sydney and Melbourne, hopefully this year, Ms Loughnan said.
The app costs $6.49 which she said was good when you took into account it was an entire cookbook with seasonal updates.
Mrs Grice said she never imagined her idea could have come so far so quickly.
It was almost a year to the day from when the two women started working together to when it was in the itunes store.
‘‘I knew my partnership with Emily was going to get me where I needed to be but I don’t think I ever imagined this.’’ Karin Grice, left, and Emily Loughnan have created New Zealand’s first recipe app.