Multimedia start-up Vook is expanding into cookbooks, releasing products that are much more than cookbooks with vampire accents. The new Emeryville, Calif., company that blends text and video last week announced the arrival of its first cookvook, The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen by Eric Gower, which Kodansha first published in 2003. The vook features recipes and professionally-shot videos showing Gower preparing contemporary Japanese dishes such as roasted hamachi with miso-apricot glaze and udon with herby pesto. For $5.99, viewers can stream the vook from the Web via the Vook Reader, or download it to their iPhone or iPod touch from the iTunes App store.
Vook founder and CEO Brad Inman said Gower, who lives in the Bay Area, where Vook is located, approached the company early on with the idea. Inman said Gower’s approach to cooking made his book ideal to be adapted into a Vook. “Vook is open to all types of cookvooks,” Inman said, “but is particularly interested in those that offer something new.” With its combination of Japanese ingredients and Western cooking ideas, The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen fit. “Great authors help, but Vook also looks for authentic cooking experiences that come alive for the reader through the vook videos.”
The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen vook features more than 12 videos of Gower, a cooking instructor and private chef who lived in Japan for 15 years, demonstrating how to prepare dishes and shop for ingredients. He called the combination of recipes and stories with videos “a no-brainer way to connect with home cooks everywhere.”
Vook is also partnering with Harper Studio for a vook for wine expert Gary Vaynerchuk’s new Crush It! But The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen is Vook’s first partnership directly with an author.
Inman said the company has other cookbook projects planned but did not give details.
This story originally appeared in Cooking the Books, PW's e-newsletter for cookbooks.