SousChef is a sleek, easy-to-use cooking tool for collecting, organizing, searching, modifying, and sharing--and even blogging about and cooking from--your recipes. SousChef provides a very straightforward interface for navigating your recipe collection, but its stand-out features are its import tools and full-screen Cook mode. If you paste in recipes as text, SousChef prompts you to drag boxes over the different parts of the recipe, so it can automatically organize ingredients, instructions, notes, and so on. If you want to cook from a recipe, SousChef has an easy-to-read, full-screen "10-foot mode" that lets you keep your computer at a safe distance while controlling it with an Apple Remote or voice recognition.
SousChef can also help you track your available ingredients and suggest recipes based on what you have on hand, while also helping you do substitutions on the fly. International users will particularly like the app's automatic metric conversion. There's plenty of room for better support files and more features here--for example, iPhone integration with a shopping list would be an obvious extra--but SousChef provides a strong feature set at a good price.
Most cooking software stops at organizing recipes. SousChef helps you cook, start to finish. Find a recipe, cook it, modify it and share it with friends & family -- all in one application. Unlike other cooking software, SousChef accesses an online cloud database made up of all other users recipes allowing users to quickly find new and delicious recipes. No more trips to the store to get that one missing ingredient either -- SousChef ranks recipe results based on what's in your pantry, or offers suggestions for substitutes. Whether you're throwing dinner together at the last minute, or want to experiment with a favorite family recipe, SousChef handles the details so you can simply cook!
Relatively nice interface, easy to use and has an iPad version.
Import has limited functionality, is cumbersome and doesn't work all that well.
I bought this application because they had a version for both Mac and the iPad. I then discovered that I could only sync my recipes by putting them in the cloud. The second disappointment -- and probably more disappointing -- was the fact that I got no response from the developer when I requested information about the DB format in order to write my own Connoisseur import. I even offered to give them the code for nothing if I could get it to work.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. This application looks great, and it has very good organizational features, but it is impossible to enter and edit recipes, because the editor is so buggy. If you hit tab to advance to the next item, you're as likely as not to lose the ingredient line, which will sometimes corrupt all previous input. If you start with another recipe and input it, you'll struggle endlessly trying to clean it up. Sometimes, it deletes fractions and numbers, so that you enter "1 1/2 onions, chopped" and when you advance to the next line, it changes to "onions, chopped" and you have to just try and try to edit it until it magically sticks, and you finally get "1 1/2 onions, chopped." In fact there are so many bugs relating to inputing recipes that it is impossible to list them all.
Restarting the program doesn't help. Deleting the recipe can cause the corruption of the preceding recipe. I really wanted to like this program, but after months of struggling with these issues, I've decided to give up and move on. A poorly-functional or buggy recipe editor is a non-starter in a recipe management program.
By The Cockroach of Del Mont
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. There is a plenty to want to like about SousChef, but it gets all the basics wrong.
Entering recipes is not easy. Word autocompletion aggressively kicks in inappropriately and frequently injects unintended words, and there is no way to turn it off. Pressing the return/enter key when typing up ingredients often won't register if the autocompletion is stuck on the last word you typed, or it behaves erratically, forcing you mouse click the "add another" button to go to the next ingredient, which has it's own problems. In fact, entering recipes is so rife with issues that I emailed the developer, suggesting that it is easier to enter the recipe in a text editor and then import it, which the developer agreed was the best strategy until an update is available. Well, we're still waiting for the update.
There is an somewhat smart means of importing recipes that allows you to wrangle sections of the import (title, ingredients, directions) into their appropriate areas. Unfortunately the import process has issues as well. I often find when performing multiple consecutive imports that the application hangs and has to be quit and relaunched.
There is a generate shopping lists feature, but after trying a couple of times to use it, I find it completely unusable. The basic problem is that there is no meaningful distinction between "quantity" and "type" of ingredient. Frequently you have a recipe that lists "1 cup minced ITEM" which ends up making a mess of a shopping list.
What is good about this application? Well search sort of works, but it's funky. There is an option to "play" the recipe through like a slideshow as a sort of cooking assistant, if you the ability to place a computer in your kitchen. You can also search a number of recipes from online sources, although the formatting of these recipes is often horrid.
I realize this is not a comprehensive review of the product, but the first thing a recipe program should do well is allow you to enter in or import your recipes, and this is a miserable struggle of a process and a hinderance to a proper review. To be fair, it is somewhat useable, and after paying for this and entering all my recipes, I feel locked in, which I why I continue to use it.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. Three years ago, I might have given this app five stars. It is very nicely done, and has some "cook friendly" features, such as the recipe/instruction display. In some ways, it is much nicer than the other cooking/recipe apps I have paid for. But this is almost 2009; I shop with my iPhone now. I want a recipe manager that integrates with IQGrocer or Shopping List, or has its own iPhone app to drive/integrate the shopping list. I'd rather have its features on my iPhone, so that in my kitchen, I could listen on speakerphone, over my headset, or in my iHome clock radio. If all you want is a good recipe manager, and this has the features you want [especially the blogging, sharing, and display features], it is nicely done, and its price is on a par with the market. Still, I do like its recipe/instruction display.