Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Cooking with recipes found online can be a hassle when it comes to printing or writing recipes down. How does British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s Recipes app for iOS and Windows 8 help?
Jamie Oliver… Who?
But who is this Jamie Oliver?
If you’re not based in the UK, then there is a good chance that you haven’t heard of Jamie Oliver, a TV chef who shot to fame in the late 1990s with his show The Naked Chef. In that time, he has expanded his activities into a brand, with supermarket endorsements, annual books and televised tie-ins (ranging from themed regional cooking to road trips and saving money in the kitchen) and campaigning.
Oliver isn’t just another “chef with a brand” – he’s also lobbied the British government and several US states to improve the quality of food served to schoolchildren and to remove sweets and soda drinks from vending machines. The purpose of this was to promote healthy eating and link it to academic success – who can argue with that?
Using Jamie Oliver’s Recipes
As you should expect from a Windows 8 app, Jamie Oliver’s Recipes is a finger-driven experience, albeit one that also works with a mouse. This free app comes with 10 recipes pre-installed, although you can purchase recipe packs (see below) complete with full steps and video clips. In total, 312 recipes are available.
When you open the app, you’ll see a featured recipe and the option to play a welcome message from the man himself. Your recipes packs are listed, along with any that are currently available to buy, while scrolling further to the right will display single recipes and instructional videos from Jamie Oliver.
Like Jamie’s TV shows, the app’s presentation is a smart combination of attractive photography and typography, which along with easy steps and ingredients, that you can actually buy in a supermarket, are part of the whole “Jamie Oliver” brand. Speaking of supermarkets, recipes display ingredients in a separate screen that you can use to create a shopping list, with the items sorted by aisle, making them easier to find.
It’s fair to say that this app has been optimised for use in the kitchen from the design stage. The act of working through a recipe has been broken down into a series of screens, heralded with a list of ingredients that are then introduced and used, one screen at a time.
Better still, the action of moving through the screens – each accompanied by a detailed photo – is as simple as turning the pages of a book. Tablet users need only swipe in from the right to proceed, or swipe from the left to check back to an earlier stage of the recipe.
This app is extremely well presented – just like the meals you can make with it!
Expanding The Recipes With New Packs
Many apps offer expansion options – where you can unlock additional content – and Jamie Oliver’s Recipes is no different. For a small fee you can unlock a variety of interesting recipe packs, collection of dishes with a similar theme or ingredient.
As an example, the Street Food pack includes things you might grab from a takeaway, or eat “on the go”, without scrimping on flavour or quality. Similarly, the Pimp Your Veg collection includes a great collection of vegetable for vegetarian diets.
The great thing about these packs is that the app runs perfectly well without them; they are optional extras that you can buy if you want.
What Jamie Oliver’s Recipes Brings to Your Kitchen
As long as you have a computer, laptop or tablet in your kitchen, this app is a great way to get to grips with both recipes and concepts, covering everything from desserts and starters to using a knife safely and securing your chopping board.
Perhaps the best way to enjoy this app is with a Windows 8 laptop or tablet, one that can be easily mounted in a practical position to achieve fast access and interaction. I’m thinking of a Microsoft Surface or Acer Iconia W7, for instance.
There are many cookery apps for Windows 8: this is definitely one of the most useful. As such it can be found in our list of the Best Windows 8 Modern Apps.