Nigella’s Quick Collection is a recipe app on steroids. It has a beautiful interface, plenty of features and 70 great recipes. Whether you’re a novice baker or a serious chef, this app has something for you.
Does all this hype make up for the hefty price tag? Read on to find out!
Who is Nigella?
For those who don’t know, Nigella Lawson is a well-known British chef and author of How to Eat, How to Be a Domestic Goddess, Nigella Bites, Forever Summer, Nigella Express, and Feast. Her new iPhone app has been causing quite a stir in the culinary world and claims to be the #1 lifestyle app in UK, Australia, and New Zealand. The application is a “quick collection” of recipes from the books Nigella has written.
The theme of the recipes on the app seems to be great food that you can cook quickly after a long day of work. Many of the recipes are meant to serve only 1-2 people so they’re perfect if you live alone or with a spouse.
Using the App
When you first open the application you are greeted with an introduction video from Nigella herself. After the brief introduction, you are taken to the main menu. Here you can choose from a number of options for browsing and viewing the recipes.
The interface features a really nice looking recipe card theme that utilizes realistic textures and a perfect color scheme. As you move through the app the animations are nice and smooth and everything works exactly like you’d expect.
The multiple browsing modes aren’t just feature fluff, they’re actually really useful ways to quickly find the type of recipe you want for any occasion.
Under the Quick Collection heading, the recipes are broken up into seven categories: children, snack attack, easy entertaining, speedy suppers, soups/salads/sides, instant goddess (easy baking), and chocolate. Tapping on a category will bring you into the recipe view (which we’ll look at later) with a limited selection meeting that criteria.
“What’s in your fridge?” is a handy feature that lets you browse recipes based on primary ingredients. There’s even a Vegetarian section for you herbivores out there.
The Food Moods section lets you browse recipes based on your current mood. Your options are Comfort, Indulgent, Fun, Sociable, Romantic, Nibbly, and Sweet-toothed.
Finally, the Browse By Book section allows you to browse the recipes based on which of Nigella’s cookbooks they’re from. There’s also a section where you can store your favorite recipes, and quick access to a random recipe or the last viewed recipe.
Once you decide on a category or browsing mode you are taken into a recipe card view. This view features a nice dark wooden background and rounded corner recipe cards aligned horizontally. Just swipe back and forth to view all the recipes.
Each recipe card has an excellent photograph and a title on the front and when you tap the card it flips over to reveal a brief description on the back. Here you can tap the heart to favorite the recipe or select “Go To Recipe” to see the instructions and ingredients.
Viewing a Recipe
Each recipe has multiple screens, again accessible by swiping left and right. It starts with a description and a note from Nigella (if there is one) and then goes on to a nice and organized ingredient view. Finally, each step of the recipe is conveniently broken down into separate screens, making it easy to keep track of where you are as you are cooking a recipe.
To complement the text recipes, the app comes loaded with videos of Nigella. Many of these pop up automatically when you’re exploring a section but you can view the entire library under the videos tab on the main menu. There are different types of videos that either a introduce section, discuss a recipe or instruct you on various tasks such as how to properly slice a mango. The videos are high quality, brief and fun to watch.
These videos bring the app to life and add a lot of value to the experience. It really makes you feel like you’re getting a truly Nigella-centric experience rather than a half rate recipe app with her name on slapped on it.
One of my favorite features in this app is the ability to quickly make shopping lists for the recipes you want to make. When you’re viewing a recipe, simply tap the plus button to add the necessary ingredients to a new shopping list.
You can check off items as you grab them and even add your own custom ingredients, making this a decent shopping list app even if you’re not making one of the recipes!
I was skeptical about being impressed by a recipe app, but Nigella’s Quick Collection blew away my expectations. It’s really quite fun to use, has some really great and easy to make recipes and looks simply excellent.
Features like recipe shuffle and the ability to view recipes by ingredients on top of the great video clips really make this app feel polished and top-notch.
However, at $7.99 this is officially the most expensive app I own. Honestly, even loving the app as much as I do, I would’ve never purchased it if not for this review. My wife and I love to cook, but we’re not cookbook people. There are tons of free high quality recipes online if you know where to look so we tend to stick to our favorite blogs and recipe sites.
If you are into cookbooks, getting a super nice interactive one for $7.99 is probably a smoking deal. A lot of time and effort was put into both the recipes and the app itself so it’s definitely not unfair to ask users to fork out this much money, just uncommon considering most recipe apps are either free or under $5.00.
It is worth noting however that Jamie Oliver’s app has the exact same price point and includes many of the same features such as shopping lists and video content.
If you appreciate the quality and care that goes into a professional cookbook, this app is definitely for you. The 70 recipes can be browsed in just about any way you can think of, the interface is nearly perfect, and the food photography is stellar.
As long as you don’t mind spending the $7.99, I daresay you’ll be hard pressed to find a single thing to complain about with Nigella’s Quick Collection.
An extremely well-designed recipe app with 70 recipes, plenty of video content and a shopping list creator. The app is nearly flawless and performs well without a single hitch. The single drawback is the $7.99 price tag, which may or may not be more than you're willing to pay for a recipe app.9