Developer: Shine Limited
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Master Chef Academy, as of today, is my favorite cooking app in the App Store.

I’ll start this by saying that I don’t regularly watch Master Chef. I love watching cooking shows, and especially cooking challenges, but long seasons of cooking competitions grind on me. I think the real issue that I have is with reality cooking judges.

I understand that there is a ton of pressure on chefs in a restaurant setting, but Gordon Ramsey is a bit ridiculous. If you haven’t seen a Gordon Ramsey show on TV, he is like a permanently enraged Simon Cowell. Every day is the worst day of his life, and I think that’s how he likes it. Ramsey was once quoted as saying, “My biggest nightmare would be if the kids ever came up to me and said ‘Dad, I’m a vegetarian.’ Then I would sit them on the fence and electrocute them.” Just imagine that seething rage on a TV show and you’ve got any show with Ramsey.

Regardless of my inability to watch Gordon Ramsey on a weekly basis (I do watch the show, just not regularly), I think that the Master Chef Academy app is fantastic.

Instead of being a simple recipe app, MCA puts you through the chef education ringer, showing you how to do everything from blanching veggies to making salmon cakes with hollandaise. The app is divided up into a class section and a recipe section, in case you don’t need any training.

The classes are then further divided into nine categories, with the first being “Basic Skills” and then the rest being different food categories (ie. Meat, Stocks and Sauces, Dessert). Each class has multiple pages of information, as well as a video presented by one of the past Master Chef competitors. The videos are extremely well made, with everything going at a pace that can easily be followed.

Once you finish the course, you move on to the testing phase, so you can see if you retained any knowledge. If you find yourself disappointed that Gordon Ramsey isn’t yelling at you while you are trying to answer the questions, find a friend or significant other to do the task for you.

Once done with classes, the rest of the app is recipe based, with 50 original recipes from the show. The recipes are all organized with a summary, an ingredient/equipment list, a step by step instruction guide, and a video. The content is all very well written/organized, and the video on the sharp retina display almost looks 3D.

If you are at all inclined to try out a cooking app for the iPhone, don’t think twice about picking up Master Chef Academy. MCA is an extremely well made and high quality app that could probably turn even the most basic chefs into…better ones.

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