Do you have an adult child, niece or nephew, grandchild, or young friend just starting out in an independent life? Hopefully that young person has at least some foundation in cooking for her or himself, but who couldn’t use a great cookbook, a food bible to turn to? Think back, chefs. It’s probably something you had and cherished–and learned to cook with.

Now that college graduations are a recent memory and the grads are going to be on their own–not to mention the college students moving into their first apartments–wouldn’t the gift of a cookbook be a great thing to surprise them with?

Need some inspiration? I got suggestions from a number of chefs on our APPCA Facebook group:

  • How to Cook Without a Book by Pamela Anderson
  • The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (From Chef Anthony Caldwell: It teaches about developing flavors which is soooooo important!)
  • Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker
  • The Betty Crocker Cookbook in hardcover or the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (From Chef Lola Dee: For budding chefs, these are great go to’s to make just about any basic recipe. I’ve had them on my bookshelf all my life and still find myself looking there for certain recipes. They also have a whole section on cuts of meat, and what temperatures to prepare them at.)
  • The 1942 edition of Fanny Farmer Cookbook, the Betty Crocker Cookbook-2nd edition, and The Young Chef from the CIA (From James Haley: I am teaching my sons to cook. I started them off with The Young Chef by the CIA.)
  • The Whole30 Fast and Easy Cookbook by Melissa Hartwig (From Chef Suzy Dannette Hegglin-Brown: … because it is. And kids today do not like to cook.)

  • The New Best Recipe by Cook’s Illustrated
  • The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt (From Chef Cliff Chambers: Easy read. Focuses on Culinary Fundaments, which many forget as we progress in the field.)
  • How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
  • How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

Now to the naysayers who say that young people don’t cook, I say they need a better introduction to being self sufficient in the kitchen. Maybe it won’t take at age 21 or at all–and down the road they’ll be clients of yours. Of course, cooking isn’t for everybody. But maybe you will inspire them. Cooking’s a skill that represents independence, that can help economize when they’re just starting out, and could turn into a joyful endeavor that gives them respite in an increasingly crazy world. It’s worth a try and worth sharing your passion in the hopes that it will become theirs.

If you could inspire a young person with a cookbook, what would it be? What is your favorite cookbook?

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If you have an iPhone or iPad or some other breed of mobile phone or tablet that can download mobile applications you have the springboard for a robust portable reference library you can use on the fly. In the food category, the menu is extensive. Most celebrity chefs, from Alain Ducasse and Gordon Ramsey to Jamie Oliver and Catt Cora have their own apps. So do culinary schools like the CIAand Escoffier. And, if you have some bucks to spend you can even get the Modernist Cuisine at Home app for a robust $80.

But, if you’re just starting to build your app portfolio, we’ve got some terrific low-cost or free apps that are hugely useful—whether they’re geared toward recipes, shopping, or business/kitchen management. Some of you may have been introduced to these apps by Chef Carol Borchardt at her Personal Chef Summit in San Diego. She offered some ideas here, too.

Take a look and please leave your suggestions in the comments section so we can all fill up our devices with great resources! Note: The apps listed below are found on iTunes for iOS devices. Most, if not all, are also available for Android.

APP screen2

Find & Hire a Personal Chef:  Free. We’re starting with our own app first. The APPCA launched this app last year. We suggest you promote it within your own circles and make sure that you (members) are listed in the detail you want since this is geared toward promoting your services. The app is searchable based on geography and  includes videos that discuss who needs a personal chef, how to find and hire a personal chef, and features a day in the life of the Dinnermaker Personal Chef Service.

How to Cook Everything

How to Cook Everything: $9.99. From the bestselling cookbook by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, it features 2,000 recipes and 400 how-to illustrations. There’s also a separate app from Bittman called How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

Epicurious

Epicurious: Free. Thousands of recipes from Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and other sources, a recipe box, shopping list, voice commands—and newly updated for iOS 7.

Ratio

Ratio: $4.99, From Michael Ruhlman’s best-selling cookbook Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. It’s less about the recipes than the building blocks of creating them. So you’ll get 33 key proportions for fundamental  recipes and the app does the calculating and converting for you.

Specialty Produce

Specialty Produce: Free or $1.99 for Specialty Produce Pro. The product of a San Diego produce warehouse, the app has developed into a terrific database of produce history, cultivation, seasonal availability, and recipes.

Kitchen Calculator Pro

Kitchen Calculator Pro: $3.99. Perfect for scaling recipes.  recipe conversions for temperature, weight, volume, distance. Standard cooking fractions. And you can create a database with your favorite ingredients.

Seafood Watch

Seafood Watch: Free. From the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Helps you choose sustainable seafood and sushi with rankings of Best Choice, Good Alternative, and Avoid. Includes new project, FishMap.

Hello Vino

Hello Vino – Wine Assistant: Free. All-in-one app providing recommendations for meals and specific food pairings, for various occasions, by type and variety, and your own taste preferences.

iAnnotatePDF

iAnnotatePDF: $9.95. This isn’t specific to food but Borchardt swears by it for her business. Use it to read, mark up and share PDF, DOC, PPT, and image files. “With the assistance of Dropbox (yet another one!), you are able to make physical changes to PDF documents. When I meet with clients, I take my iPad with me and pull up my menu and the clients can ‘check off’ the ones that appeal to them with their fingertip. I’ve also used it to upload my shopping list, too,” she explains.

GroceryiQ

 

GroceryiQ: Free. Build a grocery shopping list with specific brands manually or by scanning barcodes or doing a voice search. Create a favorites list segmented by stores.

Asian Market Shopper

 Asian Market Shopper: $3.99. Demystifies Asian ingredients, focusing on the 100 most commonly used staples, along with how-to videos and recipes.

Pat LaFrieda's Big App for Meat

The Meat App: $4.99. Another app recommended by Borchardt, this is a butcher’s-eye view of cuts of meat and how to cook them, with butchering tutorials.

Carbs Control

 CarbsControl: $2.99. If you have diabetic clients, you can use this app to search specific foods and find out the carb count to build a recipe.

 Is That Gluten Free?

Is That Gluten Free?: $7.99. A great resource if you have gluten-free clients. More than 29,000 products and 1,077 brands listed.

Fooducate

 

Fooducate: Free. Useful for chefs who need to track product nutrition for clients, it features a product/brand scanner and nutrition trips.

4-in-1 Kitchen Timer

4-in-1 Kitchen Timer: Free. A practical app to use when you need to time multiple dishes. Has four timers that you can identify by dish and even continues to count  when the app is closed.

What are your favorite, most useful apps? Please leave a comment and let us know.

Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to personalchef.com to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.

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