First Look: SousChef stores your recipes, allows Mac to cook

There are plenty of recipe applications for the Mac, and at first glance SousChef is like most of the others. However, it does have some fine-tuning and refinement that sets it apart from the pack. The thing I like most about SousChef is the ability to use your Mac to view recipes while cooking, without ever having to waste paper printing each individual recipe. This is accomplished through a Front Row-esque interface that lists your ingredients, and the cooking instructions -- It will even read your instructions to you while you are cooking. You can control the speech through a heads-up display that appears when you mouse over the bottom portion of your screen. You can also control this "10-foot mode" with your Apple or Keyspan remote.

SousChef interacts with an optional online database of other SC users to allow you to share your culinary creations. Each time you enter a new recipe, it can be sent to the database where others can look it up and create the same dishes you do. If you have a collection of secret family recipes, you can turn off sharing. It would be nice if this were available for each recipe, instead of affecting your entire library.

You can search through your recipes by ingredient; this allows you to find only the recipes that you can execute using the items you have on hand, without a trip to the store. You can search using multiple ingredients, and if you find an ingredient that you don't have, you don't need to make another shopping run -- just use SousChef's built-in substitutions. The application ships with several substitution suggestions, but you can also add your own in the preferences.


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If sharing recipes is your thing, then you will probably love the built-in sharing options (besides the community database feature). SousChef allows you to email or blog your recipe. You can blog your recipe using the applications built-in Blogger feature, or you can export your post to MarsEdit, or as an HTML snippet. Importing recipes is a breeze with the applications ability to import from almost anywhere you can copy text. SousChef will automatically import in the correctly marked spaces.

Overall, SousChef is an amazing bit of software. Many of the features are well thought out, and just plain work like you'd expect. If you want to take your recipes to the next level, then I would have to recommend SousChef. You can purchase the application from the developer's website for $30. A free trial is also available.

Be sure to check out our gallery of screenshots for SousChef.