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Cook it all, anywhere

(article, Kim Carlson)

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Years ago when we started Culinate, we were four upstarts with an idea. 

Actually, that's not quite right. 

We were four longtime friends with backgrounds in software, books, food, and marketing — and we had a lot of ideas. 

Foremost, we wanted to join the conversation about food that was happening everywhere in this country, from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine, in cities and towns all across the United States.

We had begun to take a hard look at what we were eating — not just how it tasted, but where it came from and who produced it — and we knew others were doing the same. We wanted to learn more by asking questions about food, online, every day, and publishing the work of farmers, academics, journalists, and cooks who are trying to make sense of how we eat today.

[%image reference-image float=right width=400 caption="All of the book's contents are in the app."]But honestly, we were wary of building a business based on online advertising alone. So while we plowed ahead with the publishing side of Culinate — the member pages, stories, columns, recipes, and book features that make it an engaging and fun place to work every day — behind the scenes we were building other relationships and working on other efforts to create a sustainable business.

From the start, we knew that in addition to publishing good food content, we wanted to help cookbooks go digital in a way that allowed readers to be able to access their favorite cookbook recipes whenever they wanted. 

We love cookbooks, and we knew this made sense. Plenty of people want to cook, but they need help fitting it in — which might mean checking a recipe on the train after work, and swinging by the market on the way home. Cookbooks are beautiful and engaging — but not always as portable as we might like. 

Over the years, our vision has adapted to new technology, but basically it remains the same: We want to help people plan, shop for, and cook good food. And we want to help publishers take cookbook content beyond the book.

Now, we're pleased to announce an iPhone app that accomplishes all of that. Culinate has partnered with John Wiley and Sons to bring one of our favorite cookbooks, Mark Bittman's best-selling, award-winning, incredibly useful How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition), to the iPhone and iPod Touch. 

The How to Cook Everything app contains all the book's content — including 2,000 recipes and recipe variations — plus easy-to-use search and shopping-list capabilities that don't require wi-fi. This app is truly useful anywhere, anytime; online or offline, it's all there.

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And here's something really nice: We're able to make it available for the introductory price of only $1.99 — less than the cost of your morning cappuccino. 

To celebrate, for the first couple of weeks we'll be hosting giveaways. Follow us on Twitter; we'll be announcing ways to win a copy of the app — and also an iPad.

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Finally, this is only the beginning of a whole string of awesome cookbook titles — old and new — that we hope to bring to the digital world. Tell us, what would you like to see make the move to the iPhone, iPad or other digital devices? Help us assemble a virtual bookshelf of your favorites.

And, honestly, if you love the book and you use an iPhone or iPad, buy the HTCE app. I doubt you'll be sorry.


reference-image, l