Innovation That Matters

Personalized cooking: recipes match cravings

Publishing & Media

Faced with the daily challenge of deciding what to cook for a meal, many consumers fall back on the same, familiar recipes again and again. Cookthink aims to reinvigorate that process with a site that recommends recipes based on what you crave and what ingredients you have on hand. The heart of Washington, D.C.-based Cookthink, which just launched in beta this past August, is the Recipe Mapping Project, an ambitious effort to index recipes on dozens of characteristics such as what they taste, smell and feel like, and how it makes you feel to eat them. Users of Cookthink can then search by ingredient (pork chop, zucchini), dish type (salad, burrito), cuisine (Italian, Thai) and mood (exuberant, summery), combining up to eight tags to find the perfect meal. Every recipe on the site has been crafted and tested in Cookthink’s own kitchens, and the site offers cooking tips and suggestions as well. The Cookthink blog features recipes and daily posts on seasonal ingredients, kitchen tools, techniques and food news, while its Root Source newsletter focuses on a single ingredient each week, examining the best way to buy it, store it, prep it and cook with it. Membership on the ad-supported site is free, and it sounds like the benefits will be increasing as the site ramps up its personalization features to reflect individual tastes and preferences. Cookthink’s founders explain: “We’re building Cookthink to get smarter over time, recognizing recipes you save and recipes you pass over, ingredients you prefer, and cuisine types you’re interested in learning more about.” Take high-quality content, add a dash of searchability and a dollop of personalization, and what do you get? A culinary version of the music discovery engine Pandora, with the potential to be just as much of a success among foodies around the world. Time to get, er, cooking on this one…? Spotted by: Jacqueline Zenn



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