Get Schooled in the Kitchen: Gordon Ramsay Cook With Me

Gordon Ramsay: either you love him or you hate him. I’m a fan, and so downloading the app Gordon Ramsay Cook With Me was a no brainer. The description offers a collection of recipes and video demos and Gordon’s promise to “show you how to cook yourself into a better cook.” At a cost of $7.99 for the app with additional costs for recipe bundles, my first thought was, “This guy’s pretty proud of his app, we’ll see if it’s that good.”

If you’re like me, you’re interested to find out what this Michelin worthy chef’s favorite recipes are and excited to learn a new trick or two from the master. Maybe you’re looking to up your game in the kitchen this fall? Cooking with Gordon Ramsay is sure to make you a better, more disciplined cook.

Are you ready to get schooled by the chef from Hell’s Kitchen? Keep reading.

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Getting Started

The app begins with a short, energetic video introduction from the chef himself to get you pumped up and ready to sharpen your knives. It’s good Gordon: encouraging, friendly and positive. He promises users a collection of his favorite recipes, each with video demonstrations and clear step-by-step instructions “to make sure you get it right.” After the video ends, you land on the home screen, with a photo of the chef and floating icons advertising what the app has to offer: Recipes, Restaurants, Books and Videos. It’s a bit strange and in your face, like a flashing neon sign.

The home screen is a bit dizzying, with floating icons constantly moving, but it’s easy to see exactly what the app offers.

The home screen is a bit dizzying, with floating icons constantly moving, but it’s easy to see exactly what the app offers.

The unusual design does encourage users to explore, though, tapping on random places to see what happens. Try tapping Gordon’s photo and you’ll he spouts off some fantastic Gordon-isms like, “Oh come on, you can do better than that you muppet!” True Gordon Ramsay fans will be disappointed that there is no cursing in the app, but it’s still got his colorful personality.

Navigation is free flowing (rather than like turning a page), which is also unusual for cooking apps. Swipe the screen to float from Recipes to Videos to Books and Restaurants. It’s like zooming in on one large page and you can move in a circular or up and down motion. The effect is a bit dizzying, and every movement sounds like the sharpening of a knife on a steel blade, but luckily you can turn the sound effects off in settings.

Cooking with Gordon

This app costs $7.99 and comes with 56 recipes (almost every one has a demo video) and 10 cooking tip videos. The videos are perfect for mobile — quick and dirty demos of recipes. Instead of your typical boring demo video, the guys at One Potato Two Potato production company keep up with Gordon’s fast paced energy by going close-up in your face on the action while Ramsay’s voice announces recipe steps in a style that can only be described as a sexy cross between U2’s Bono and a drill sergeant.

Almost every recipe in the app comes with a video demonstration, and you can access all the videos (including 10 cooking tip videos) in the Videos section.

Almost every recipe in the app comes with a video demonstration, and you can access all the videos (including 10 cooking tip videos) in the Videos section.

Cooking tips range from the basic how to zest citrus to the more intimidating tasks like working with pastry and making caramel. You’ll find some real gems of information in here. The only complaint is that videos aren’t labeled, so you have no idea what it is until you watch. On the positive side the videos are fun, original and perfectly capture the chef’s personality. The energy is contagious — you’ll have an irresistible urge to get in the kitchen and cook, which is more than many apps out there can do. Ramsay makes the techniques look effortless and totally achievable. It may take you a few tries to get there, but the beauty is that with practice, you will.

The Recipes

Just like the videos, recipes are displayed in a screen of tile photos with no labels, which is unfortunate. Maybe they’re going for a sense of discovery or maybe they feel like the photo says it all, but it would be nice to be able to see a short recipe title. The recipe search is nicely done, though, allowing you to filter dishes by category (fast, healthy, classics, weekend meals, etc.), difficulty, season, ingredient or time.

Filter recipes using multiple categories according to time, difficulty, season or ingredient.

Filter recipes using multiple categories according to time, difficulty, season or ingredient.

You can see the attention to design in the cute selection of icons for filtering recipes by ingredient. A commitment to good functionality the user experience is evidenced by the app’s snappy performance. Tap on a filter and watch as tiles instantly rearrange, displaying your results. It’s handy to be able to select more than one filter, like Easy, Summer and Fast.

Tap on a recipe to enlarge the image and view a description of the dish.

Tap on a recipe to enlarge the image and view a description of the dish.

The app includes a wide variety of recipes, from savory to sweet. It’s good to see multiple recipes for each cut of meat (for example, lamb rump, leg, rack, kebab). You’ll find soups, stews, roasts, savory pies and salads as well as tarts and puddings. Classic techniques like savory beef wellington and sweet profiteroles will push you to grow as a cook.

The main recipe page includes a short description, a list of the equipment needed, ingredients and associated demo videos.

The main recipe page includes a short description, a list of the equipment needed, ingredients and associated demo videos.

When you tap a recipe, it enlarges the photo and displays the title with a short description, which looks sleek and professional. Select View Recipe and you’ll find a comprehensive page listing the necessary equipment (so useful!), ingredients and associated videos. Tap Continue Cooking for a swipe-able page-by-page guide of each step.

Once inside a recipe you can truly “cook with Gordon Ramsay” by working through each step and following the photos or watching video technique demos.

Once inside a recipe you can truly “cook with Gordon Ramsay” by working through each step and following the photos or watching video technique demos.

It’s nice to see a new photo display as you go through each step to guide you through the process. It would be even better to see an update with hands-free navigation technology, like the Look & Cook apps.

Additional Features

In app purchases offer the opportunity to download extra bundles of recipes from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course, increasing the total number of recipes to 104. It’s too bad that none of these extra recipes come with video demos or step-by-step photography. Hopefully they will add videos from the TV show in the future.

Organize your shopping list by Recipe or Aisle.

Organize your shopping list by Recipe or Aisle.

The Shopping List feature allows users to organize ingredients by Recipe or Aisle. It’s helpful to have the opportunity to cross off ingredients before adding them to the list, but one complaint: when ingredients are grouped by aisle like items are not added up, or even kept together on the list. This means superfine sugar will appear at the top of the Store Cupboard section, and if it’s used in multiple recipes on your list, you may see it again towards the bottom. A little attention to user experience would benefit this area of the app.

Conclusion

Gordon Ramsay Cook With Me is a good, solid cooking app. It makes learning to cook fun and entertaining while still providing tons of useful techniques and delicious recipes. The 56 recipes and accompanying videos are worth $7.99, but additional recipe bundles at a cost of $2.99 that don’t come with any videos or step-by-step photos will leave users feeling disappointed. On a more positive note: if you’re learning to cook, this app is a great resource. Even seasoned home cooks will find a few inspirational recipes to push their technique to a new level.


Summary

Gordon Ramsay Cook With Me is a collection of the chef's favorite recipes with instructional videos and tons of great technique tips.

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