The future is looking bright for Oran Huberman and Dudu Nimran, the Israel-based founders of Kinetic Art. Not only has their Look & Cook app been downloaded more than half a million times, it will also come preloaded on Amazon’s new streaming media device, Amazon Fire TV.
The app—with free iPad, Android and Kindle versions—features more than 50 recipes, most by Meir Adoni, one of Israel’s most accomplished chefs. And the design is clean and clever. Recipes are divided into eight categories ranging from Barbecue and Vegan Pleasures to Romantic and “With the Guys.” Each individual recipe is then subdivided into three segments: Look, Cook, and Shop. The Look component is food porn at its finest, with hi-res slideshows that explore what ingredients and tools are needed, and close-up photos of what the finished and plated dishes should look like for maximum mouth-watering effect.
The Cook segment spells out the recipes, providing step-by-step instructions, along with plenty of how-to photos and videos. The visuals are key in stressing the soft hands needed for dishes like giant ravioli with portobello mushroom—where a whole egg yolk is gently placed into a nest of spinach filling, before being encased in freshly rolled pasta—as well as the force needed for more brutal techniques like splitting a lobster tail lengthwise prior to grilling, or shelling a crab for Tom Yam soup with coconut cream, mussels, and crabs. Useful features integrated into each recipe include individual timers, and the ability to send an entire recipe to email with a single touch.
For those who enjoy shopping for kitchen gadgets as much as cooking, the Shop segment shows off nifty, high-end gadgets geared toward each individual dish, again shown in hard-to-resist layouts. Lamb osso bucco is surely nothing without the $275 Dutch oven by Le Creuset. Pancakes with raspberry jam must be even better when made in a $29 Nordic Ware pancake pan. A “Buy Now” button whisks shoppers to the corresponding product page on Amazon.com, while a “Surprise Me!” button picks an item at random to add to one’s cart (a $100 Philippe Starck juicer, anyone?). The shopping experience may become even more intense in the near future. The app designers hope to add Amazon’s nascent grocery service, Amazon Fresh, into the mix, meaning that with the swipe of a button on the recipe page, same-day delivery will bring all the necessary ingredients to one’s doorstep.