I’ve seen the future of cookbooks, and paper is not involved. Well, all right, maybe it’s just one version of the future, but it’s intriguing. There are two of these on-line books out so far, from the Keeper Collection. One of them was done for the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas, in Austin. The other is for chef David Bull, named Bull’s Eye on Food. (You remember Bull: he cooked at the Driskill Grill in Austin, won a slot on Food & Wine’s “ten best new chefs” list, competed on Iron Chef America, and is now chef at Bolla, the fancy Italian restaurant in the Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas.) I clicked my way through his book today and pretty much liked the features: You can change the number of servings automatically (the book recalculates the amounts of ingredients for you). You can use it to print out a shopping list (or send the list to your PDA)–and the list will be arranged the way a supermarket is. (For instance, all the dairy products will be grouped together; all the condiments will be together.) You can even create a menu of several dishes from the book and the list feature will combine all the ingredients and let you print out one shopping list for all of them. There’s a glossary, too, for pesky terms like “farina 00 flour” (no kidding). Oh, I almost forgot, there are recipes–80 on Bull’s site. You get them if you spring for the book, which is $34.95. Check it out; there’s a video on the site. Pretty neat.
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