Delia Smith

Before I decided who would be the perfect face for my app, I had to first pinpoint my target audience. When considering where the idea of my app came from it was a young parent, so I feel families would be the best target audience. Parents are always conscious on serving up healthy dinners for their children and are less likely to grab a sandwich or a light snack for dinner than youngsters or those without a family to feed.

Now I had my target audience I began to list some famous chefs that could work. Initially I considered Jamie Oliver as he is renowned for being concerned about the welfare of children’s dinners. However after researching the idea I found he already had a food app available, ‘Jamie’s recipes’,

I also considered Gordon Ramsay however after researching his recipes, they seemed to be more luxury and speciality dishes rather than family friendly.

I then considered Delia Smith. After being the face of Waitrose she certainly represents healthy tasty foods. Her recipes are renowned for being simple so it wouldn’t put off parents who are looking  to cook quick and simple dinners. Her recipes are certainly family friendly and her approachable personality and like ability sees her as being the perfect representative. She is also the UK’s leading cookery author so her high profile would be sure to attract the attention of app users.

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My app idea

The idea for my app actually came to me when I was getting my hair done. My hairdresser was complaining about not knowing what to cook for dinner. She was a young mum and had a toddler and her partner to cook for every night. She complained about cooking the same dishes all the time and said she was bored of doing the same foods all the time. This got me thinking about when I was child. I was one of three so sometimes my mum would have five people to cook for each night. She typically did a specific dish every night of the week so we always knew what we’d be eating. Even for a young child that gets pretty boring and repetitive!

So i’ve decided to design an app which will help you come up with a variety of new meals to rescue dinner time from becoming tedious! Obviously people know what foods they like to eat so my app will have different food categories like chicken, fish, pasta etc to help the user decide what to cook.

To make my app more appealing I want to find a famous chef to be the face of my app so its recipes will be trustworthy. Time to get thinking…..

Link to my blog

Here is the direct link taking you to my food blog

www.t1cklemytastebuds.wordpress.com

Overall I am very pleased with the outcome of my blog. I feel its layout looks smart and professional as well as being easy to read and follow. I feel it has taken the reader on a journey of cooking rather than just listing pages of recipes like many cooking blogs. For me personally it has inspired me to get cooking more often and has shown me how simple our favourite foods can actually be to cook.

My only issue with my blog is the imagery of my own food. Unfortunately my digital camera had broken so I was only reliant on my iphone. Although I’d to capture the dishes as best as I could, if this blog were to look more professional the image quality of my final dishes would have needed to be a lot higher.

I debated whether to change the format of my blog to ascending order as it makes the most sense when being read from the bottom to the top, however ideally my blog followers would have read my blog daily or at least every few days so they would have been taken directly on the journey of my posts.

Must reads

When researching the concept of my blog I stumbled across two very influential articles online.

The first – The cooking crisis

This article agreed with the concept of my blog. It stated that in today’s society more and more people are reaching for the takeaway menus instead of cooking their own meals. It also gave me confidence in my blog when it stated people don’t know how to cook, so I hope by following the simple recipes I have found and adapted, it will inspire people to have more confidence in themselves when cooking. It was also interesting when the article revealed how purposely addictive ready made foods are due to their vast amounts of salt and sugar. It spoke of white bread being more addictive than brown bread due to its small amounts of fibre, fibre being the key ingredient needed to fill you up.

Another very helpful article I read online was Britain’s national takeaway dish

This was a very influential read as it is referred to chinese, indian and pizza being the top three takeaway foods in the UK. Therefore I thought it would be important to make a dish from each one of these categories in blog. It was also interesting to learn that chinese was the most popular takeaway cuisine followed by indian then pizza.

Social media

To try and attract more attention for my cooking blog i’ve started to use social networking sites to promote my posts. The main social networking site I use is twitter so I’ve begun posting direct links to each of my posts written on my blog. When analysing my stats on wordpress I observed that most of my traffic came from twitter so this has proved to be a fairly effective tool in promoting my blog.

Another social media platform I used was instagram. Seeing as its believed we eat with our eyes I’ve posted photographs of my finished dishes on this site which also contains a direct link to my blog. Several of these photographs have received ‘likes’ from other users so I can observe my meals getting direct recognition.

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Cooking online

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Seeing as the project is based on using online media I thought it best to find all my recipes online. To make sure all my recipes are reliable I’ve opted to use recipes taken from more mainstream sites like BBC Food and the Good Food Channel. Most well-known chefs also have their own websites publishing recipes so I will probably find recipes from here too.

The online advances of today have certainly impacted our attitude to cooking. By simply logging online a person’s whole cooking experience can be changed. Long gone are the days of sifting through recipe books for that perfect dish. By merely searching a desired recipe on google you will be spoilt for choice on a huge variety of dishes and various adaptions.  Youtube has a great range of cook along recipes ranging from a short video showing you how to prepare a specific vegetable to a video showing you how to cook a full blown Sunday roast. In my blog I will be sure to take advantage of youtube and its videos allowing them to aid in the cooking of my recipes.

When buying all my ingredients I also went online. If you’re buying a specific list of ingredients it’s far easier to quick search your foods online than frantically walking up and down the aisles of the supermarkets. An article in the Telegraph proved how more and more people are doing their food shop online and its believed this figures will double within the next five years. Click here to view the article.

Similar to my blog idea there is also a great variety of websites helping to aid inexperienced cooks. When browsing online I came across a website called Smart Kitchen. This websites offers cooking tutorials for beginners, intermediates and experienced cooks. Although this site requires a membership fee it offers cooking lessons on a variety of skills and a large database of recipes. When describing what their online site has to offer they wrote:

“We’ve put all this proprietary education online because our goal is to spread culinary knowledge as far as possible. We want people to improve their gastronomic experiences, build their palettes, save money on eating out (by cooking in), and create more healthful meals for themselves and their families.”

Clearly this enhances the idea that cooking has now taken to its new form online. Although i’m sure some people still turn to old recipe books for certain traditional dishes, it is clear that more and more people are turning to blogs and websites to find recipes and aid in cooking technique.

Competitors

Cooking is a hugely popular topic amongst bloggers today. Many love posting their favourite recipes or reviews on tried and tested foods. I believe my blog will differ to traditional cooking blogs as it will take the reader on a journey before simply presenting a recipe or photo of the final product. My blog will look at the origins of my dishes, a wide variety of recipes and different reviews. My blog will also incorporate the use of various other media platforms like images and video.

However to maximise the professionalism and success of my blog, it was vital for me to look at a variety of competitors. Here are some of the most interesting cooking blogs I found…

A popular cooking blog is Lottie + Doof  This blog is not only impressive for its creative photography (it makes all foods look mouth wateringly delicious) but the fact there is a slight story behind each recipe presented, instead of just saying ‘you must cook this!’ There is also a wide variety of foods presented ranging between sweet treats and luxurious dinners.

Another influential cooking blog was cookingwithamy Similar to some of the dishes in my blog she has taken to cooking international cuisine that may be seen as intimidating to new cookers. She has also included posts surrounding the culture of dishes and where they have stemmed from. This is certainly an aspect I want to include in my blog.

A final cooking blog I really enjoyed reading was gastrofotonomia Although this blog does not include step by step recipes like my blog, it uses fantastic photography when revealing dishes. The pictures also include photographs of the whereabouts of the dish which make it even more interesting.

There is clearly a lot of competition out there when creating a cooking blog. Yet I believe by researching other blogs it has helped me to define key aspects that I will use in my blog as well as noting differentiations between my blog idea against competitors. As previously mentioned my blog will take the reader on a journey of several posts before presenting my dish which contradicts typical cooking blogs that use a single post for each dish. From researching other blogs, I have realised the importance of visual images when presenting each post as many people are drawn to the way a dish looks before even tasting it! Recipes need to be short and revealed in an easy to read format and to create more depth to my blog I will research various cooking skills and techniques.