Smartphones are transforming almost everything we do, from the way we travel to how we play games. And they are also having a huge impact in the kitchen.
It’s a revolution that Seattle chef Johnathan Sundstrom said he couldn’t have imagined 20 years ago when he first got interested in cooking. But the co-owner of the popular Lark restaurant on Capitol Hill said he couldn’t get by without his trusty phones these days. (Yes, he has more than one, both an iPhone 4 and a Lumia 900).
“My smartphone is sort of like my favorite knife at this point,” said Sundstrom, speaking at a recent holiday open house earlier this month hosted by AT&T. In addition to keeping on top of social media efforts, Sundstrom said that he uses the app to find recipes and keep up with the latest cooking trends.
“When I started cooking 20 some years ago, I never would have thought that I would have such great tools at my disposal,” said Sundstrom, who is working on releasing his own mobile app, one which he funded in part through a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Given the way mobile technologies are transforming what folks make in the kitchen and how they find restaurants, I asked Sundstrom for some of his favorite culinary apps.
Here’s what he had to say:
Foodspotting (Free): “Foodspotting is great for when I am going out. Say I am traveling and I want to take photos and document my road trip, I use Foodspotting for recipes. There is a whole community around that.”
Epicurious (Free): “In the summer and nicer times of the year, I will try and do a farmer’s market walk through, every other week, if I can. And a lot of times, it is like: ‘OK, here’s this really weird vegetable, like salsify or some kind of lettuce that I’ve never heard of. Epicurious is fantastic for that.”
Cocktail Flow (99 cents): “Cocktail Flow was the source of the drink we made tonight. It is an app for Windows Phone…. It is a really good one…. You are always looking for new ideas. We change our menu weekly, so I am always looking for new stuff.”
Star Chefs (Free): “There whole thing is all of the latest technology as it applies to the kitchen, so new cooking tools or techniques from chefs around the world…. I work 10 to 12 hours per day, and I have very few moments to just have pure research. So, it is always: ‘I need it now.’”
Not For Tourist Guides ($7.99 for all cities): ”I love the Not For Tourist Guides, which I think are available across all of the platforms, especially when I go to San Francisco or LA, just download whatever city’s version. Those are awesome.”
Ubanspoon Rezbook: ”It is great for the restaurant. For a long time, we were a walk-in place only. When we were new … we got away with that for a couple years. But now we are middle-aged restaurant — we are going on nine years — and so Rezbook has been great. We used that whole last year, and people responded well.”