A good, hard pat on the back is deserved for the guys over at The New York Times for the excellent and timely new string to their online bow, The New York Times: Cooking. It is a cosy nook in the World Wide Web that offers the public a wide variety of affordable, seasonal recipes suggested by an interesting but very well-curated selection of wise, up-and-coming chefs. Currently this is just a test site that The New York Times say “will be available to approximately 10,000 NYTimes.com users. The Times will use the beta to develop insights on how users interact with the product, and to learn from those insights as it approaches the launch of the full product later this year.”
The design of the site is easily navigable to the extent that it’s really rather more-ish, one minute you’re reading an article on the wonders of garlic, the next you’re learning about one of America’s most well-loved chefs, Julia Child. I mean sure, this is aimed at a very niche New Yorker – the kind who pickles their own beets in Mason jars and genuinely has enough spare time to make their own crème fraîche – but being half way between a pretty lifestyle supplement (commissioned illustrations included) and a handy tool, this is a stark reminder of how the joy of print is slowly being transferred to the online realm. When online cookbooks look this good it’s pretty hard to resist just keeping your iPhone of recipes by the hob and just hoping you don’t drop it in a jug of boiling hot stock by mistake (we’ve all been there).
A test run this may be, but let’s hope the 10,000 people who start using the service give it as good a review as I have. Let’s not see those delicious recipes and helpful design go to waste.