Innovation That Matters

Customized cookbooks stir in online recipes

Publishing & Media

Anyone with more than a passing familiarity with the kitchen probably has one: an unsightly, disorganized collection of index cards, labels and scraps of paper bearing some of their favourite recipes. Now TasteBook, which just launched, offers a way for consumers to take control and turn those messy scraps into beautiful, hard-cover cookbooks, printed on demand. TasteBook aims to help foodies and recreational chefs transform their recipe collections into personal, yet expertly organized, cookbooks. While other online self-publishing ventures—like Blurb, which we’ve covered in the past—let consumers create and print their own, professional-looking cookbooks, TasteBook has added a very smart feature: not only can personal files be tapped, but users can also search more than 25,000 recipes from Gourmet and Bon Appétit magazines on, as well as premixed TasteBooks created by top cookbook authors and editors. (Epicurious is owned by CondéNet, which has also made a financial investment in TasteBook.) A simple drag-and-drop interface makes assembling the list of recipes much like creating a playlist for music, and users can add tips and suggestions on each recipe’s page. The final product is a tabbed, notebook-style cookbook with customized cover that can be opened at any time to add, remove or share recipe pages. Users can create cookbooks for each season, for example, or preserve passed-down favourites. Using the TasteBook service is free, and each personal cookbook costs USD 34.95 for up to 100 recipes. “The recipes we collect are expressions of our individual tastes and cultures,” explains Kamran Mohsenin, CEO and founder of California-based TasteBook. “That’s what TasteBook is all about—creating personal cookbooks that celebrate, savor, and honor those traditions.” TasteBook is a great example of how the web is facilitating virtual and real-world mashups. It also lines up with the gravanity trend—it’s a personalized world out there, folks, and people want to leave their mark! If only TasteBooks came with a personalized chef as well…. Spotted by: Bjarke Svendsen



Download PDF