For those that like to get their inner chef on, there is nothing like finding a new recipe or a book of recipes to inspire you to create that next memorable meal. When I first heard about the Italian Video Recipes Vol. 1 iPhone app by Andrea Vettori, I was ready to start sharpening my chef’s knife and reach for my bamboo cutting board.
Italian Video Recipes Vol. 1 offers nine recipes: four starters, four first courses, one second course and one dessert. Each recipe is designated with a preparation level of difficulty. Six are categorized as easy, the others as medium. Each recipe also lists a preparation time.
The app is very easy to use. Scroll to any recipe and tap on the ingredient tab. Each ingredient is listed along with the amount needed and a colorful photograph. Only two ingredients are listed per page so you’ll have to scroll through pages to see all of the required ingredients.
After you’ve got your list, return to the start page to select the Steps tab and read the instructions — one step per page then scroll to the next. While in the Steps section you can also click the show video tab and watch step-by-step video of the narrator completing each step.
Some of these video sections are very short, as little as 12 seconds to show you the ingredients needed for the recipe or to watch the instructor crack eggs into a bowl. After each step, you must tap again to get to the next step and then again to the next step. Step by step instructions are a good idea, but Italian Video Recipes just seems to have more “steps” than necessary.
Italian Video Recipes Vol. 1 is a good concept. The ability to watch a step-by-step video prep of a recipe is a good idea — especially for beginners. Another nice feature is that all the information is stored locally on your device, so you don't need an Internet connection to get cooking. (This also means that you shouldn't try to install the app over WiFi because it's a 440MB download.)
Although, I’m sure some folks will find the slow pace and super simple instructions are a benefit when learning to cook a new recipe, I found that navigating through Italian Video Recipes seemed to take longer than necessary. And, I really would like to have the choice to watch the steps straight through so I can have an overview of the cooking process.
The photos look good enough to eat and, according to the developer, all the recipes are for traditional Italian meals handed down “through generations.” She’s actually from Italy, so we can be pretty sure the recipes are authentic.