Food apps are a huge part of any app store. You can find restaurants with Yelp, share photos with Foodspotting, check the sustainability of your fish with Seafood Watch, read any of a million cookbooks–but we wondered what the experts do with their phones. So we asked six food experts–including chef Wylie Dufresne of wd~50 and the bar manager of the most exciting, cutting-edge cocktail bar in New York–what food-related apps grace their phones.
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Tristan Willey, Booker & Dax
Tristan Willey, bar manager at Booker & Dax, the innovative new cocktail bar attached to Momofuku Ssam Bar, uses Evernote to keep all of his (and his staff’s) ideas organized and easily accessed. “If I’m away from the bar,” he says, “I can upload a recipe and everyone at the bar can see it.” The chefs and bartenders all have access to particular notes, and they all have their phones on them all the time, so whenever inspiration hits, they can jot a quick note for everyone to see and comment upon. Evernote is
available for free on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone, as well as versions for both operating systems (Mac OS X, Windows) and browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari).
Wylie Dufresne, wd~50
Wylie Dufresne, chef and owner of wd~50 and basically a minor deity in the movement to bring scientific techniques and theories into the restaurant world, uses an iPhone app called Kitchen Calculator Pro, as do some of his chefs. “It is very useful in the kitchen,” he says. “We are always converting Fahrenheit to Celsius, or metric to standard. With something like this, everyone has access to the app on his or her phone, which makes it practical and convenient.” Kitchen Calculator Pro allows for quick conversions, calculations (including fractions), and easy scaling of recipes. It’s
available for $3.99 in the App Store.
Luis Bollo, Salinas
Luis Bollo, the chef at Salinas in New York City, uses an app/device that we’re actually pretty familiar with–the iGrill.
We had some issues with it last summer, but a lot of the problems seemed easily fixable, and Bollo really loves it. “It’s a thermometer probe that you use to check the temperature of your meat,” he says. “You enter the probe to your meat of choice, turn on the Wi-Fi and you can be anywhere in the restaurant and your phone will tell you the temp of your choice of meat.” The iGrill comes with one probe for $80, though you can add more probes after.
Matt Buchanan, Buzzfeed
Matt Buchanan, the editor at
Buzzfeed FWD and simultaneously the biggest food nerd and tech nerd I know (in the best way! Thanks Matt!), recommends Bartender’s Choice, which’ll run you $2.99 in the App Store. Says Matt: “It’s the cocktail app from the dudes behind Milk & Honey, namely Sasha Petraske. It has something like 450 classic and newfangled cocktails, and you can search by spirit, taste, or style. While every entry gives an origin for the drink, the downside is that none of them describe what the cocktail tastes like, so you have to know/guess based on the ingredients. On the upside, it’ll probably be delicious.”
Jenn Louis, Lincoln
Jenn Louis, chef of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern in Portland, OR (and a 2012
Food & Wine Best New Chef), uses some of the same apps the rest of us do–Instagram, Twitter, Hipstamatic. “I really like to document food throughout the seasons and how we change what we’re cooking,” she says. Instagram and Hipstamatic give her food a different look, which gives her a different perspective. So maybe you can feel less guilty about snapping photos while out to dinner–chefs do it too. Instagram is free for iOS and Android. Hipstamatic is $1.99 on iOS. Twitter is, um, you know what Twitter is.
Chris Ford, Wit & Wisdom
Chris Ford, executive pastry chef at the lengthily-titled Wit & Wisdom: A Tavern by Michael Mina (and the newly crowned “People’s Best New Pastry Chef 2012” by
Food & Wine Magazine), uses an iPhone app called Baker’s Toolbox. It’s sort of a baker-specific version of Kitchen Calculator Pro–“It can tell conditions, time, conversions, charts, and can house notes” says Ford–but bakers have some different needs and concerns from other kinds of cooks. Baker’s Toolbox also connects to the internet to find out the temperature, humidity, and elevation wherever you are–and those wildly change a recipe, especially for delicate baked goods. It’s available for iOS and will run you $0.99 in the App Store.