Chef Fabio Viviani gets an app, with help from Bertolli

Jul 25, 2011
Shine

“Top Chef” fan favorite Fabio Viviani has partnered with Bertolli Olive Oil to create the new iPad culinary app Let’s Cook! with Chef Fabio Viviani and Bertolli Olive Oil. Fabio fans will like that the Italian chef is truly the star of the app, popping up throughout the app to offer video tutorials, tips and […]

“Top Chef” fan favorite Fabio Viviani has partnered with Bertolli Olive Oil to create the new iPad culinary app Let’s Cook! with Chef Fabio Viviani and Bertolli Olive Oil. Fabio fans will like that the Italian chef is truly the star of the app, popping up throughout the app to offer video tutorials, tips and tricks.

Let’s Cook!’s biggest drawback is its size. This behemoth is a whopping 1.70 GB (yes, that’s gigabyte), which makes even installing this app a challenge. The app took a few hours to install on my iPad, so make sure you have a steady Wi-Fi connection and plenty of open space before attempting this. I assume the size of this app is caused by the five hours of HD video it includes, which is installed locally and doesn’t require an Internet connection to stream. This is a nice feature — but an app this size is sure to see some fast deletions simply for space reasons.

When it comes to the actual content, I was pleased with what Fabio and the Bertolli team put together. Let’s Cook! offers 16 video recipe tutorials of Fabio’s favorite recipes. The videos are well-produced, and Fabio injects his signature presence into each. There is also a library of more than 100 Italian recipes, many of which sounded tasty. It’s important to remember that this is a branded app, so the recipes are centered on Bertolli ingredients. That means if you’re looking for completely from-scratch recipes, you won’t find them in Let’s Cook! The olive oil suggestions would be easy swaps for whatever’s in your pantry, but the use of Bertolli marinara or cream-based sauces might not find favor with everyone. I take shortcuts whenever I can — and typically buy Bertolli anyway — so I’m actually a fan of these inclusions. In addition to recipes, users will find an olive oil primer and Fabio’s kitchen tips ad tricks.

Fabio’s app introduction is nice, but it became a bit annoying to stop his spiel when I went to the home screen (auto-play didn’t start every time, though). You can add recipes to a recipe box, but there’s not easy access for this on the home screen. The app also provides sharing functions, but when you email a recipe, the app only sends the ingredients — no instructions.

Because of its size, I’m unsure how long Let’s Cook! with Chef Fabio Viviani and Bertolli Olive Oil will stay on my iPad, but I’ll be testing some of the recipes this week for dinner.

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