SousChef

Version: 1.5.4 || Release Date: 2011-11-03 || License: Commercial with demo ($30) Developer: Acacia Tree Software | App Owner: acaciatree

Helps you cook, start to finish

Most cooking software stops at organizing recipes. SousChef helps you cook, start to finish. Find a recipe, cook it, modify it and share it with friends & family -- all in one application. Unlike other cooking software, SousChef accesses an online cloud database made up of all other users recipes allowing users to quickly find new and delicious recipes. No more trips to the store to get that one missing ingredient either -- SousChef ranks recipe results based on what's in your pantry, or offers suggestions for substitutes. Whether you're throwing dinner together at the last minute, or want to experiment with a favorite family recipe, SousChef handles the details so you can simply cook!

SousChef offers a grocery list function, so you can create shopping lists from your favorite recipes!

Update: The recipe cloud now contains 140,000+ recipes and metric units are supported natively.

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19 Opinions

@pinkskittles : With SousChef we've focused on the speed of the UI. We don't want simple tasks like entering recipes to be cumbersome so we've tried to make importing, cooking and modifying recipes quick and easy. In addition we have over 50,000 recipes in the cloud that you can search all from within SousChef, something no other Mac cooking program can offer!

I love this app

Cannot paste a list of ingredients into SousChef like you can in Yum. SousChef has an import feature, but I could not get it to work. This is a deal killer for me already, but to top it all off I ran into a bug in the first 5 minutes of use where only one recipe would show regardless of what collection I clicked.

I was hoping for so much more.

I got this app in the Macheist bundle and I think it's the best app of them all. It fits right in with the Mac for ease of use.I'm a house kept husband and this program makes life a little easier when it comes time to cook up a feast for the main bread winner.
Looking forward to ageing gracefully with this program.

macgourmet is more functional. it has smart folders, which are very useful. souschef's recipe page looks a bit nicer though, but i'd sacrifice the good looks for better functionality.

10.4.9 and an internet connection. iChat Theater support is only available in 10.5.x

Just as a note: Due to several changes in Apple's CoreData technology searching is much quicker on Leopard. I highly recommend Leopard in any case though.

What are the system requirements for this app?

Hi. I'm the developer for SousChef. Thanks for the criticism (and compliments!). SousChef is a new product and we are working hard to smooth out some of the rough edges, many of which you identify correctly.

In regards to features, grocery lists among other things is something we're working on for a future point release. We'd also like to add Tag searching which we agree is a very important search method. It's also somewhat difficult, although we think we have some ways of working it into our current search algorithm/database.

Lastly, I wanted to address the UI layout issue. If you look at SousChef, user interaction is designed to flow from top left to bottom right; you select a source, then search and select a recipe, edit/view that recipe and finally cook or share it. This is the reason we use a utility bar at the bottom of the recipe viewer instead of having a toolbar. I feel this is a much more natural usage pattern when compared to competitors' UI layouts.

Thanks again for the criticism, we're trying to make SousChef the best of breed cooking software for the Mac.

This app has promise, but as of right now it feels very unpolished. I have used several "recipe library" apps, including Connoisseur, MacGourmet, and YummySoup!

The importer is more intuitive to use and quicker to adjust than any of the aforementioned apps (excepting YummySoup! which I'd say it ties with). That said, it is peculiar that you can only adjust the size from the lower right corner of any field (as in an OS X window) rather than the 8-handle approach of an image editor. Allowing size adjustment from any side or corner would make the importer a lot more painless - as it stands, you have to move the field and then resize rather than simply resizing in whichever direction you need to. Every time I go to adjust the fields, this feels clumsy and poorly thought out.

The full-screen view definitely has a nicer layout than that of YummySoup! but it seems buggy. When resizing the ingredients pane, if it's shrunken "too small," the list becomes weird, ending (for example) with simply a number 2, when there is no quantity/measure of 2 for any of the ingredients. It also gives no indication (ellipsis, for example) that you have shrunken it "too small." Overall, it is still the best full-screen mode I have seen, and the speech/voice recognition integration is welcome.

Printing is okay, although it is clearly an oversight that printing a recipe with no associated image prints out the "Add an image" placeholder. This is ugly, and a waste of space. Because of this, I'd say that YummySoup! has an edge over Sous Chef, and MacGourmet comes out even further on top because of its cookbook plugin.

Editing yield is seriously broken! At least it has the feature, but the way it works makes it feel like beta software. The problem is this: suppose your recipe is 2 cups of milk, and your yield is 2. You can have SousChef automatically halve the recipe so that the yield is 1... It properly halves 2 cups milk into 1 cup milk. But it leaves the yield field at 2! And it remembers... So next time you go to make the recipe, you only use 1 cup milk, and expect it to serve 2... which it doesn't.

The online feature is alright, although the community is (understandably) small so far. You can't just do a keyword search, you have to search based on ingredients (which works well), recipe name, cuisine, or category. Cuisine and category are very arbitrary ways of defining food - searching "vegetarian" gets me 9 hits for category, and 4 hits for cuisine, with no overlap. YummySoup! suffers similarly, as neither app seems to allow for tagging/searching by tag. YummySoup!'s recipes are organized by category, but this fails too, as there isn't enough overlap (only 7 recipes come up under Main Dish -> Vegetarian, and this is the only vegetarian category... many other veggie dishes exist in other categories, but you have to weed them out). Publishing recipes through SousChef is automatic, rather than the somewhat clumsy email process of YummySoup!

A nice glass of wine goes well with any dinner, and MacGourmet and YummySoup! both offer some form of interface to include wine tasting notes inside the program. SousChef does not. I'd personally rather use Cork'd anyway, but it's still worth noting.

Price - $5 more than MacGourmet, which is $5 more than YummySoup! MacGourmet does have some tempting plugins (nutrition & cookbook) which will jack the price up quickly, but that's just to add functionality that neither of the other programs offers anyway.

SousChef does have some nice features - the pantry system sounds great, although I don't really see how to access what I have/don't have. YummySoup!'s grocery list feature is similar in nature, although it has its clumsy moments. The substitution feature is also nice in theory, but it always seems to be greyed out. I also wonder if this gets updated - having this as part of the "cloud" would be handy.

Aesthetics are anybody's call, but I personally hate the 3-panes-next-to-each-other layout. I don't see how people think that's a better layout for widescreen displays. YummySoup! is more palatable to me in this regard, and MacGourmet allows the user to choose. Other than that, it's easy on the eyes, definitely better looking than MacGourmet. I think (aside from the "widescreen layout") it ties with YummySoup! except that I hate, hate, hate YummySoup!'s icon and can barely bear to see in in my dock next to all the... well, professional-looking icons. It's adorable and all, but it doesn't look the least bit right in the dock.

Overall, I'm going to stick with YummySoup! for now. It's $10 cheaper, and it feels less like a beta product. If I had to choose between SousChef and MacGourmet, I'd probably pick SousChef, even though it could stand to gain some of MacGourmet's functionality (mainly the functionality that is only in MacGourmet through additionally purchased plugins, however). I'm definitely going to keep watching SousChef, in hopes that it matures into something... well, mature.

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