Wolfgang Puck – Live Love Eat!
Developer: Gourmet Pixel Ltd.
Runs on: iPhone
Wolfgang Puck – Live Love Eat! is a unique app in that it seamlessly merges all the avenues of his culinary map into this great mobile intersection. It’s a recipe guide, event planner, restaurant locator and much, much more. We’ve seen some great apps from celebrity chefs in the past from Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali, to Sara Moulton and Fabio Viviani, but none of them have ever blended their cross-medium properties the way Puck has done here.
The home screen offers two navigation rows, at the top and bottom. The top row includes: Cook, Eat, Events and Buy. The bottom row includes: Reserve, Favorites, Grocery List and Messages. In the middle of all this is a box of personalized rotating recipes that change based on the time and your location. For example when it passes noon, the recipe options change from breakfast to lunch. According to the developer, these recipes also change according to the season. Click on one of the recipes and you’re immediately taken to the recipe page.
If you wish to browse all the recipes, click the Cook button. Here you can view highlighted recipes, a list according to course, the shopping list, or a section of how-to videos including things like peeling tomatoes and how to chop garlic. Each recipe is organized into three pages: overview, ingredients and steps (with built-in, preset timers!). Every recipe includes an appealing photo and some select recipes also offer video demonstrations that are very well done (as expected).
Ingredient lists can be saved and recipes can be shared—well, sort of. When you share or e-mail a recipe it only sends the description with a link to download the app. Since the app is free this might be fine, except that it’s only for the iPhone so those outside the iOS sphere won’t be able to get the recipe. This app also doesn’t allow you to e-mail or share your shopping list either, unlike Must-Have Recipes from Better Homes and Gardens, for example. These two small things were really the only items I could find to criticize.
Moving into the Eat section makes it very simple to find and contact any of Puck’s numerous fine dining or casual restaurants. You can locate them on a map, view menus, check out photos, directly contact them view phone or e-mail, and you can even book a table with the integration of OpenTable, winner of our Best Food Locator App (National). I should mention that none of this feels like pushy promotion either, simply helpful tools. Likewise, the Buy button also presents Puck’s branded kitchenware in an easy, non-intrusive manner.
Perhaps the niftiest feature of this app is the events planner. You can create your own event, set the date, create a to-do list (with deadlines), associate recipes from within the app to the event(s), and even invite and confirm guests through your address book, although the addresses are sorted a bit awkwardly—alphabetically by first name and then alphabetically by last name. So John Smith would first appear under the letter “J” but before Jerry Tom and after Julius Caesar. (Since the developer is London-based, I wonder if this is how it’s done across the pond).
Overall, this is a very impressive app that truly takes advantage of the mobile device. You can rotate to landscape view for a better presentation of recipe steps, videos and images; the app will send push notifications; receive messages from Puck; and use the time and location of your device to customize what is being presented not just during different times of year, but throughout the day! Did I mention that this app is also beautifully designed?
If the celebrity-chef-of-the-moment feels like a game of thrones, Puck has just reminded everyone that his empire still rules… since he just conquered yet another kingdom that is called mobile.
Toque Rating: 4.75/5