Cooklet, a Poland-based cooking site founded by Grzegorz Trubiłowicz, features a lot of what you’d expect – lots of recipes, a few pictures of happy-looking skinny people who you know don’t eat much food, and some international flare. However, the rise of sites like Cooklet point to a change in the way people find recipes and make food. It’s a transition from the standard cookbook-based economy of yesterday’s kitchen to a more plugged-in experience we are now embracing.
The site’s main draw are its many well-made tablet apps including versions for Android, a version for the Sony P, and a version for the Kindle Fire. The content, as it stands, is a bit of a mixed bag. Many recipes are in Polish but there are a nice selection of recipes for non-Slavs including something that looks like death on a plate, Gingerbread Carp.
In this season of holiday feasts, I think it’s time to recognize that there are now many great places where home cooks can find recipes and that cookbooks should watch their backs. My own favorite site, Epicurious, collates recipes from Gourmet and Bon Appetite in an app that is simple to use and promises a good meal every time. Other sites like AllRecipes do the same and now upstarts like Cooklet aim to further disrupt the scene.
Where does this leave Rachel Ray and that one lady who likes butter? While I would not call cookbook writers culturally relevant, I think sites like these push their relevance even further into the niche. Why buy Anthony Bourdain’s Post-One-Week-Bender Cookbook for $40 when you can make truffled scrambled eggs, miso soup, and Watermelon Drink from recipes gathered online. Sure you don’t get all of Bourdain’s wit and wisdom, but who reads cookbooks for the prologue anyway?
This is also not to say that the veneration of great cooks isn’t important. However, I wonder how long it will be before the next great cooking personality comes from the web rather than the kitchens of WD50.
Cooklet needs a lot of work. The UI is quite fresh and other cooking sites could do well to emulate it but the content, because it is user generated, could use an editor and translator to reach an international audience. However, that a young man in Wroclaw can take on Julia Child at her own game is not only impressive, it’s downright scary if my business is dependent on printing cookbooks.