Cookbooks, websites, T.V. shows. There’s lots of help out there for any aspiring chefs. But where’s the innovation? It’s all the same – throw together some ingredients, cook it for a certain amount of time, and you’re done. It’s amazing to me that an industry this big and profitable is so incredibly void of innovation.
Today’s idea is a completely different take on the concept of the “virtual cookbook”. I’ve thought of several different problems that I personally encounter, and a few ways to solve them.
Problem: Finding the right set of recipes is too time consuming.
Solution: Woot-cipes! Each day the site would have one featured set of 4-5 recipes that work together to create a complete meal.
Problem: Cookbooks are full of recipes that have ingredients people are allergic to or just don’t like
Solution: Users would create a profile indicating where they live, the types of foods they don’t want to eat and other basic preferences (vegetarian, fast vs gourmet, heathy vs greasy). The daily recipe would be customized to the specific users. Also, based on the location and time of year, the recipes would offer fresh vegetables and regionally-specific foods.
Problem: Many recipes call for ingredients that you don’t currently have.
Solution: A full shopping list that pulls ingredients for all 4-5 recipes that can easily be printed and brought to a store. The ingredients would be separated into catagories such as “Probably have on hand”, “Probably need to buy fresh”. For example, “flour” would be in the “on hand” catagory, while “artichokes” would be in the “buy fresh” catagory. This could also be tied into a grocery delivery service to automatically get the ingredients delivered to your door.
Problem: It’s difficult to time the preparation of several dishes so they are all ready at the same time
Solution: Provide a breakdown of the meal preparation not by individual recipe steps, but by time. Here’s how it would work:
45 minutes before meal – Chop onions, carrots, and peppers for stir fry. Pre-heat oven to 350 for cornbread.
30 mins before meal – Brown beef for stir fry. Mix cornbread ingredients. Start water boiling for green beans.
And so on and so on…
What do you guys think? Am I way off base here and there are lots of innovative cooking sites out there I just don’t know about? Let me know in the comments below!