I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.

I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.

Summary: "A $50 iPad app!? Are you on the crack rock, Stephen!?" Nope! I'm not on the crack rock. What I am, however, is thrilled by my purchase! Here's why.

TOPICS: iPad, Mobility

Well, I finally did it: I purchased an app for an amount that would have typically bought me anywhere from 35-45 apps. How in the world can I possibly proclaim this with any sense pride or accomplishment?

Put simply, it's a purchase I made as an initial investment into my new hobby: culinary arts. Yes, I'm going to be the next freakin' Gordon Ramsay by the time it's all said an done with -- or so I keep telling myself, at least. *cough, cough*

So, what on earth makes this app so special that it's worth $50? To start, it's called The Professional Chef and it's what I think every future educational book/app should consist of! Yes, it's the 9th edition of the book put out by the Culinary Institute of America, but converted into an interactive app that's chock-full of recipes, high-resolution images, videos, community-driven features like shared notes, and far more.

It's all best explained by the app's promo video, but where, oh, where can you view such a video, I wonder? Why, right here, of course:

I seriously can't say enough about this app so far. I'm not even that far into the chapters, but its usability, functionality, and wealth of information are near-dreamy. Now, I know this post sounds like a paid advertisement, but it's not. I really am just THIS excited that I actually got what I paid for in a $50 app. And, really, the price tag is but a mere drop in the bucket when I consider the immense value I know I'm going to get from the app as I progress through the chapters and reference them for, I imagine, years to come.

If you're interested but $50 is a bit too steep for you, then you can purchase individual chapters from the app here. There's also a free chapter there, so definitely check it out. Now, unless you really are Gordon Ramsay, then I would say there's something for everyone here, where everyone == those of you who enjoy cooking (or know someone who enjoys cooking); but I'm just a technology writer, so what the heck do I know?

Now, I can finally do this:

Bucket list:

- Purchase a $50 iPad app - Make an awesome souffle that wouldn't make Gordon Ramsay yell at me - Sneeze 5 times in a row and have every single one feel as good as the first - Etc.

One more down, too many more to go!

-Stephen Chapman

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Topics: iPad, Mobility

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  • RE: I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.

    Humm, the only apps I've seen that are this expensive are the GPS apps.

    The price does seem a bit steep for this app, though.
    • There are definately more expensive app out there


      They tend to be geared towards a smaller audience of professionals who want an "advertisement free" experience and can claim the expense as a business write off. For instance, I pay to get advertisement free Diigo $20/yr even though I really get nothing other than the advertisements removed. Why you may ask? Because I was tired of being greeted with advertisements of my across town competitor every time I opened it. Don't laugh, true story.

      Well I guess that wasn't a great "for instance" maybe for example. I purchase a very useful app for my professional work, it's $69/yr. Which sounds like a lot but it is very useful with iOS and desktop versions and one subscription gives me access to all, I move around a lot so I need mobile references, a dead tree book just doesn't cut it here.
    • RE: I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.


      The list price for the hardback version (9th edition) is $75 and doesn't include the interactive content or the social aspect (notes sharing--brilliant, by the way. I think it'd be great to be able to annotate a recipe and have my friends see my annotations instantly in their copies.).

      To recap: $25 less for the same edition but with more functionality. (And an online backup in case your house burns down because you forgot abbot the souffle in the oven.) If you're a chef, or an aspiring one, this is a fair price.
  • RE: I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.

    I imagine this should be the way that most, if not all, textbooks go. When you look at it from the perspective of purchasing college textbooks, how much value are you getting over the standard run of the mill textbook and how much $$ are you actually saving?
  • Maybe not crack ...

    ... I suspect a variety of mushroom ;-)
  • RE: I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.

    Stephen...it's practice, not all the fancy tools that make you a good cook. Beyond simple things like how to hold a knife so you don't cut your fingers off, it won't really teach you much. The problem with aspiring cooks is that they usually give up after burning a few things and say I can't do it.

    I'm here to say even the best chef in the world messes up the first few times he tries something new. So go out. Burn (or leave raw) a couple of dishes until you finally have something edible.

    Oh, and throw the souffle idea out the window. They're too much work for too little reward.
    • Souffl?

      @Aerowind Our first dinner at Chez Panisse many years ago featured a green garlic souffle. Looked kinda low-rent for this high-priced place, at the time rated as the #1 US restaurant by several publications. I was skeptical, to say the least.<br><br>It was heavenly. A perfect way to bring out the tastes of all the ingredients (not that sulfur-y garlic taste at all).<br><br>Dunno if Stephen will get the skill to recreate that experience from the book -- along your lines, I'd say it takes talent, training and LOTS of practice -- but I'd certainly consider $50 as a great price if he could.
  • RE: I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.

    While others rant at Apple prices and the growing digital divide, Apple sold 350,000 textbooks last week. What that shows is that at $15, an iPad owner can afford to buy an interactive iTextBook whether OR NOT it is the "official" textbook for the course.

    The pundits prognosticating an Apple branded television are missing the boat. THIS is the "Next Big Thing" from Apple. The Mac Book Air and the iPhone helped create the BYOD (bring your own device) work place. The iTextBook equipped iPad is going to shift the BYOD classroom into high gear. If your official textbook is boring and out of date, you can now get a fresh one for $15. You probably would not even consider that option at $75.

    If it turns out that students feel about iTextbooks the way you feel about "The Professional Chef" ....
    Steve Webb
  • RE: I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.

    Curious what the price of Microsoft Office for iPad will be<br><br>more than $50, it will not sell<br> less than $50, Microsoft - you have been ripping Windows/Mac users off for years.<br><br>Irreconcilable, unless the functionality designed to blow as badly as Office Apps on Windows Mobile/WP7.
  • RE: I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.

    I just don't get spending this much money on an book that only works on a single device. The concept of buying books, even interactive books, online is fantastic - but I should be able to enjoy the book on a variety of platforms with reasonable limitations.
    • RE: I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.


      Ummm... if you bought the actual book, how many devices will that run on? :)
      • RE: I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.


        Ummmm... NONE! Because you don't need a device to use the ultimate interactive experience: a BOOK.
      • RE: I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.

        @Biotechguy An actual book can potentially run on billions of devices depending on the language setting.
      • wrong

        @biotechguy - how is static ink on paper more interactive than a device which has movies in it? If I have to pick between 4-10 pictures that try to capture movement or a movie, the text included being the same, I would say the ipad version is more interactive.

        @athynz - any platform a book works on, the ipad does as well. If you can read a book, you can read an ipad.

        Also, this one app can run on any number of ipads, anywhere in the world at the same time, a book can be in only one place and while it supports more than one concurrent User, they all have to be at the same point in the book and the experience diminishes as people crowd to get a better look.
    • RE: I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.

      @davidsmi Most of us only have a single device that we want to bring into the kitchen. I certainly don't want my 17" laptop next to the stove; my wife isn't bringing her iMac in and trying to read this on some 7" or smaller screen would be a load of hurt.

      I think Stephen was focussed on learning about fine cuisine, and you're talking about low-rent hardware. Not incompatible, but a total miss.
      • RE: I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.

        @WaltFrench@... Yes, but I can buy a book on a Kindle and have it available on my iPad and, if I later get a Windows tablet, there as well. That said, the Kindle has a ways to go in making its format more richly interactive. While I buy most of my literature and many of my professional references via Kindle, I usually buy children's picture books in iOS format and even paid around the same amount of money Stephen paid for his cookbook for a legal dictionary in iOS format, so I can agree with you to a point. Still, I prefer multi-platform interoperability, unless the end-user experience is far superior in the single-format app.
        Paul Easton
  • Thanks for sharing

    This app looks really interesting. Thanks for making me aware of it.
  • RE: I purchased a $50 iPad app. Seriously.

    I'm really enjoying my subscriptions in iOS5 a couple of magazines for $2 a month, seems pretty cheap IMO. A good quality book with interactive features is a no brainer if the subject matter is of interest to you.

    That said, I spend hundreds on manuals every year, and lately I have been buying the PDF versions with "updates included" so I get a fresh copy whenever I want, sure beats my shelves and shelves of (becoming obsolete) paper books. Being able to use these files on any device is comforting. Locking to a device if you don't have to seems dumb.
  • $50 is reasonable...

    ... for niche apps. I mean, look at textbooks for college and the electronic versions: Some books are over $75, and they also charge you $40 or more for the electronic version. Most of the cost isn't the physical media, it's the content.

    Where I work we have speech therapists that started to use a few choice apps with their clients. I believe the software is in the $500 range. Still a bargain, considering it replaces a hardware/software combo that used to be in the $5k - $8k range. Slap it on an ipad and you save yourself a few thousand bucks, even if you have to buy an IPAD first! This is especially important to state-funded healthcare, where every penny counts - both for the individual, the agency in question, and the state budget. Also, keep in mind that this technology gets replaced/superseded every few years, i.e. that IPAD isn't gonna run for the next 30 years in someone's life. So the cost savings are cummulative over time ... a few grand every couple of years. A thousand bucks here, a thousand bucks there.... pretty soon you're talking real money!!
  • Thanks for the tip!

    The 8th edition hardcover version is my favorite cookbook, so a good interactive updated version is easily worth the price to me.