Most everyone knows the timeless parlor game where guests are asked to name ten famous people they’d invite to a dinner party and the fun ensues with not only the profile choices but also the reasons why.
Well, in a recently-unveiled James Beard Foundation (JBF) Cooking App, users can “invite” 16 JBF Outstanding Chef Award-winners to their dinner party – and the reasons are soon perfectly perfectly clear.
It’s the vegetables.
See, with the launch of its first-ever app, James Beard Foundation Vegetables: Recipes by James Beard Award–Winning Chefs, JBF partnered with Kinetic Art Ltd. developer of the popular Look&Cook cooking app, to showcase its enviable collection of “ready-for-their-close-up” vegetable recipes, along with their celebrated lineup of famous chefs who created these dishes.
The app highlights an array of innovative vegetable recipes showcased in the 2012 cookbook: The James Beard Foundation’s Best of the Best: A 25th Anniversary Celebration of America’s Outstanding Chefs, translating them into approachable, step-by-step guides for home cooks.
The JBF Vegetables app features vegetable recipes and outtakes from The James Beard Foundation’s Best of the Best cookbook by Kit Wohl, in addition to original content, including step-by-step photographs and videos.
According to Yael Raviv, vice president of content partnerships, Kinetic Art, the JBF first-ever app focused on vegetables for two reasons. “First, utilizing recipes from the James Beard Best of the Best Cookbook, we wanted to start an apps series that amplified what has been the growing interest in making vegetables a bigger part of our meals.”
She added, “We thought it would be cool.” Indeed.
“And then there is the opportunity to offer exciting, creative, simple and sophisticated dishes that are normally overlooked and to present them in creative ways that showcase the simple, sophisticated recipes.”
Couldn’t agree more. Plus, this Examiner would add that vegetable recipes offered the Kinetic Art team, especially photographer Emilie Baltz, the chance to capture the artful world of vegetables and fruits and their unique kaleidoscope of colors, hues, textures, and shapes that are unlike other ingredients.
Whether a kitchen novice or a seasoned cook, JBF’s inaugural app’s hundreds of stunning high- definition images and brief instructional videos provide any food enthusiast with an iPhone the tools to transform even a simple carrot into an exciting, restaurant-worthy dish. From purchasing to plating, the interactive app seamlessly guides users through every step to create timeless dishes from some of the culinary industry’s most celebrated homegrown chefs.
Further, JBF Vegetables includes an array of interactive features, including: a favorites tool, built-in cooking timers, social media sharing capabilities, as well as a Shop “channel” that features direct links to purchase products and gadgets relevant to each recipe, carefully curated based on product performance, design, and user reviews. In addition to cooking basics, the app also provides users with background information on each of the featured JBF Award–winning chefs.
There is no doubt one chooses a recipe seduced by the stunning food “Look”; the high definition images and videos are breathtaking, enduring, food-art that can best be described as a classic, still-life Dutch Master to what has become an ever-more prevalent, radical “food porn.” The food presentations in JBF Vegetables visuals are mesmerizing.
One can also select recipes by chef, too. The world-class chefs are featured – one could say they are “nestled” amidst vivid, full-color food images as locket-sized black and white head shot icons. For those who may be more familiar with the chef than the recipes, this can be a good starting point.
Recipes from 16 JBF Outstanding Chef award-winners featured in the JBF Vegetables app include:
● Alfred Portale: Beet Salad with Mango, Feta, Orange, and Mint
● Alice Waters: Summer Garden Lettuce Salad and Turnip Soup
● Charlie Trotter: French Breakfast Radish Confit and Belgian White Asparagus
● Dan Barber: Greenhouse Salad with Yogurt and Summer Zucchini
● Daniel Boulud: Seared Fennel with Fennel Purée
● Daniel Humm: Beets with Horseradish and Wasabi
● Grant Achatz: Hot Potato, Cold Potato, Black Truffle, Parmesan
● Jeremiah Tower: Mixed Vegetable Ragoût
● Judy Rodgers: Frisée and Escarole Salad with Sunchokes and Zuni’s Vegetable & Bread Soup
● Larry Forgione: Jim’s Creamed Hash Potatoes
● Lidia Bastianich: Bietola e Patate (Swiss Chard and Potatoes)
● Mario Batali: Cavatelli with Pesto Enrico and Fregula with Grilled Corn
● Michel Richard: Onion Fettuccine with Parmesan Cheese
● Rick Bayless: Cucumber Margarita
● Thomas Keller: Swiss Chard Ribs and Glazed Turnips
- Jean-Georges Vongerichten: Green Asparagus with Morels and Asparagus Purée
Available at the Apple App Store, JBF Vegetables is a mix of free and premium content. Kinetic Art’s unique cloud-driven publishing platform will continue to instantly and automatically update the app as new features are added. Featured app sponsors include: Wüsthof, OXO, and SousVide Supreme.
“Interpreting these amazing recipes for a new medium was such an exciting challenge,” said Yael Raviv. In a telephone interview, Yael explained the partnership with James Beard Foundation came about as a consequence of a long-term relationship with her once-former NYU Food Studies doctoral student, Mitch Davis — now JBF’s executive vice president, cookbook author, food journalist, and chief creative officer for the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015: American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet
Talk about going to the head of the class…
In fact, Kinetic Art is very well connected in the food community and has worked with JBF on a number of sponsored food and art events and programs. So when JBF determined they were looking to amplify and revitalize their outreach and to “technology tribes” as they had with their JBF Kitchen Cam — their behind the kitchen door, live-streaming from the Beard House – the called Kinetic Art.
Besides the personal connection, Kinetic Art possesses a unique talent to render food and cooking preparations to high art. The team just seems to channel elevated culinary art: imagery married to an elegant yet easy to follow step-by-step.
Dedicated to the “Art of the App,” Kinetic Art recognizes the distinct, unique requirements of an app’s plethora of display delivery options, including mobile smart phones and iPad and other tablet devices. Not to be overlooked is the mobile device’s ability to morph and accommodate various screen sizes, and the horizontal or vertical viewing, as preferred by the user. This is no small undertaking…
Kinetic Art worked hand in glove with JBF and the chefs to marry their culinary art’s unsurpassed beauty with a home cook’s need to recreate the special vegetable dishes. The recipes for the James Beard app were chosen by the James Beard team, along with the profiles and the overall text . Kinetic Art helped the on-ramp to the cool text to factoids and cool ingredients were “cooked up” with Kinetic Art’s delicious perspective.
Yael heralded the Kinetic Art team whose coordinated aesthetic delivered a superior cooking app experience.
Photography: Emilie Baltz
Food and prop styling: Mariana Velasquez, who has worked First Lady, Michelle Obama and her cookbook, American Grown
Production chef: Joanne Kohlhepp
Production and editing: Yael Raviv
Editorial team at JBF:
Alison Tozzi Liu, Editorial Director
Elena North-Kelly, Senior Editor
Sous Vide Supreme
The Chef’s Garden
Cucina & Tavola
Collectively, the team’s ability to seamlessly align the technology and the delivery of a culinary art application is a Valhalla of app success. Kinetic Art nailed it.
In 2013, Look & Cook (with recipes by Israeli chef Meir Adoni), was featured in Apple’s global ad campaign for the iPad. Ultimately, the app became one of the most popular in its genre because of its unique features, including built-in timers imbedded into recipe steps, voice activation and flexible text size. Look & Cook inspires both experienced and beginner cooks. (Full disclosure: this Examiner was introduced to Kinetic Art’s Yael, at a food tech conference and was immediately impressed with the quality of their design work and the elegant way they incorporate a plethora of practical features, including step-by-step prep and cooking tutorials with text and video, ingredient lists, prep time needed, servings, a superior in-app shopping resource — all organized in a digital management xx that is fun and easy to use – and is working toward collaborating with Kinetic Art to produce a cooking an app for The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook)
Look & Cook could boast a sub-title of say, “Chop & Shop!” Its innovative Shop “channel” features live updates from the Cloud. This way, the user is delivered fresh content as it available and the app’s sponsors can update products and services with their fresh content. (Oh the food references are altogether too tempting…) Wordplay aside, the refreshed content offers the app user a continuously new and exciting cooking experience they can return to again and again. The value-added opportunity for the sponsor is they can readily connect with a core customer audience.
The Shop feature allows users to find the perfect tool for a variety of kitchen tasks. Every meticulous recipe is followed by a curated selection of kitchen tools and gadgets available for a seamless, in-app purchase right from the app environment. The products are hand-selected to not only complement the recipes, but also to reflect Look & Cook’s ideal of excellent performance and functionality combined with modern, beautiful design. Very cool.
Established in 2010, Kinetic Art launched its app publishing with its branded Look & Cook cooking app, noted for its vivid, artful images, as well as its intuitive and easy-to-navigate cooking guide. Like a good sherpa, Look & Cook helps lead the home cook through the food preparation and cooking to the plated presentation; and further – all the way to its clean, crisp link to Amazon where home cooks can fill the pantry, appliance gap, add to the cookbook library, and get the recipe’s cooking essentials without ever leaving the app.
In fact, Kinetic Art’s core technology and intellectual property revolves around in-app ecommerce optimization.
It’s connection to Amazon is rather unique. According to Yael, “Very few apps offer a seamless in-app purchase option. Most apps send you outside the app to make purchase.” She adds, “Here, the user can opt to buy without ever leaving the cooking experience!”