There's something about cookbooks that has always amazed me ever since I was a child. Cookbooks have a story-telling quality where the pictures hold as much influence as their complementary textual directions. Have you ever caught yourself staring at a photogenic plate, struggling to imagine what it might taste like or if it was something in your realm of cooking skills? Like a great children's story, visual cookbooks capture the imagination of taste and encourages us recreate what the cook/artist shares before us, without information overload.
Gojee is a Web app that sets out to accomplish two objectives: to make us drool and to personalize the recipe experience to your cravings.
Gojee manages to strike an attractive balance in presentation, direction, and interaction with the user. Its latest design leaves us hungry, curiously motivated to try something new, and feeds us just the right amount of information to make cooking within reach. Gojee's layout is best showcased on large screens; it's the plate of food that takes the spotlight and all aspects of Gojee's interface make sure that you never lose sight of what you're about to prepare.
The main toolbar resides on the top and allows users to add or remove information on the fly, including what ingredients they have on hand, what types of foods they like/dislike, and bookmarks of their favorite recipes. Based on the user's profile, Gojee will present a cuisine from its database of handpicked recipes. In addition to the gorgeous background images, each recipe features a text box that slides out with basic info about the plate. Many of the recipes provide a balance of exotic appeal and approachability so that anyone can make them. Rather than shoving every bit of information at the user like most functional cooking Web sites, Gojee actually withholds information, but in a tasteful way.
Each recipe features a small blog entry or blurb that describes the food item and separates the ingredients between those you have at hand and items you need. Gojee doesn't try to overload the user by providing complete directions, but instead provides a link to the original source or creator to credit the origin. It's a restrained decision that not only gives due credit to each author, but also maintains the minimalistic appeal of Gojee's site.
We recommend Gojee to those who have a desire to cook but may not necessarily have a specific dish in mind. Although culminating recipes into one site is not a new concept on the Web, Gojee's approach is one that encourages exploration in a visually classic way that makes it stand out among foodie Web ware. By bringing the focus back to not just the purest ingredients at hand, but also tailoring to the main recipient (the user), Gojee's carefully aggregated approach to cooking and the Web is one that we'd welcome in any of our kitchens.
So take your tablet or laptop to the kitchen and give it a shot to let us know how your cooking turns out.