If you are a regular cook, you would probably have struggled to keep your laptop or tablet away from the food and liquids in the kitchen while trying to read a recipe or watch a cooking video.
The answer to this is the QOOQ tablet that is a rugged, waterproof tablet designed for to be used in the kitchen and comes filled with thousands of professional cooking videos and recipes.
What is the QOOQ Tablet?
The QOOQ Tablet is the first multi media culinary tablet designed for cooks. It comes preloaded with thousands of recipes and accompanying videos.
The QOOQ is the first 10 inch touch screen tablet on the market and was launched even before the iPad. This product was created by its French founder as he wanted to learn to cook his mum’s famous cous cous and was afraid that the skill and recipe would be lost. As it happens, his mum is one of the featured chefs and her cous cous recipe can be found on this app/ tablet.
It is quite a nice looking gadget and is soon to launch in a multitude of trendy colours from lime green to fuschia. It is a bit chunkier than an iPad but it has taken other considerations in mind as it was designed to be used in a kitchen. The QOOQ has robust construction, is waterproof and quite durable according to the manufacturers, though don’t drop it from a height. It comes with an inbuilt stand with non slip rubber feet, so no need to prop that cook book or tablet on the nearest can to be able to read it while cooking.
Here are the specs:
- It is linux based with it’s own operating system
- It has an built browser
- It has a high speed USB
- You can connect via the ethernet
- 8gb of memory and a SD memory card reader
- Can subsitute as a digital photo frame when not in use
- Has wifi
- Proprietary smart software which will learn what you like and your cooking ability levels
- 60% thicker glass than other tablets
What content comes in the QOOQ?
The QOOQ is basically a multi media cookbook and cooking coach. It currently has about 3700 English recipes written by about 100 chefs. Got 1000 recipes when you buy and you can buy upgrade packages for specific chefs. You can also add own recipes and share them with friends who also own QOOQ.
Each recipe has accompanying videos which teach you how to prepare the ingredients and takes you through each step of the recipe. The videos film the chefs hands in close up so you can see exactly what is happening which is quite helpful as most of the time, it is quite hard to decipher what a recipe means if you have never done it before.
You can also plan meals with the software and if you plan your meals a week in advance, the software can generate a shopping list for that week too which is quite a cool function.
They plan to keep filming new recipes in their purpose built kitchen studio in Paris. Currently, the videos available to the English speaking market are the original French ones voiced over in English. To expand into the English speaking market, they are going to be working with some British chefs, filming in English and will be adding more recipes in 2013.
How the QOOQ software works
- You can browse by new recipes or by chefs
The list of ingredients willl automatically be rewritten according to the number of people you want to cook for
- You can watch the recipe videos as you go or even follow the links to generic technique videos too which is a nice touch
The software gnerates a shopping list and it can send it to your smartphone
Roadtesting the recipes on a QOOQ tablet
A group of us were invited to the QOOQ HQ in Paris to test out the tablet. They set up up a little cooking competition for us where we had to make 2 recipes by the delightful Farida the Foodista, who is a TV personality in France. She is a lawyer by day and as a TV chef she says that she wanted to share her love of cooking simple delicious food with her recipes.
We got to meet another of the featured chefs in Paris that day, Chloewho also has her own TV shows on Cuisine TV. She is an ex fashion photographer, is a judge on the French version of the Great British Bakeoff and opened her first cupcake shop in an old strip joint in Pigalle.
Here we get to find our way around the interface to find the chef and then to find the recipe. It all very intuitive so far with obvious menus and navigation tabs.
The first recipe we make is a Beetroot soup with goats cheese and the second one we make is a mango crumble.
When we find the recipe, it has a tab for ingredients and this is where you can change the number of portions and the recipe will automatically adjust to the new amount of ingredients needed.
The recipe is laid out in steps and as we go down through the steps we can watch an accompanying video for that step. The videos are filmed in close up, so you see the hands of the chef and follow exactly what they are doing.
At the moment, the recipes have been translated from French into American English, so the measures and terms will not work well with a British audience. The original French recipes have been voiced over in American English but they are working on a British version in the new year and the addition of new English recipes.
Alongside each step of the recipe, there are links to specific techniques like how to peel a mango in our second recipe. You can touch on the link and it opens up a pop up video with the technique video. When you finish watching this, you get taken back to the main recipe.
I think the content on the QOOQ is great and the interactive recipes and technique videos will be great for a beginner to an intermediate cook. You can learn about ingredients and how to prep them. But it will be even better when they have more recipes that are relevant to the British market and audience.
You can also learn how to cook a variety of recipes that range from easy to cheffy. This would be a great gift for students and beginners to learn basic cooking skills on their own.
You can search for recipes by ingredients or by chefs. It has a built in glossary of ingredients. There is also a vast amount of information about wines too. On top of the recipes, there are a lot of chef interviews and a food magazine with lots of foodie features.
If you already own a tablet, you might not be tempted to buy another one just for the kitchen but if you are a real foodie, this is a great toy.
If you don’t buy the tablet, you can access their content via their website (currently only in French). They are working on a web version in English which will run on a subscription basis and this is expected in Q1 2013. The proposed subscriptions costs are at a monthly rate of £7.90 or £79 for 1 year.
Our day in Paris was not complete without some touristy pics of the beautiful city.