For those as passionate about cooking and technology as I am, the tablet test was just a matter of time. Curious about the number of apps dedicated to fine dining, cuisine and cooking, I decided to try using them for a special dinner party, featuring dishes all from my iPad. And the fact that my invited guests were already sceptical about it made the whole idea even more exciting.
I decided to invite the most “foodie” of my friends and acquaintances, and the first thing I set was not the table, but the tablet. And after all the second and third helpings that my guests indulged in, I can surely tell you what should never be missing from the iPad tablet on these occasions.
First of all, it’s good to learn to set the table as it’s done in classy restaurants, which is why Etiquette Books was there for my rescue: the chapter “Manners at the table” from the e-book Lessons on Manners shows the step-by-step, utensil-by-utensil process for creating place settings that will leave even your most detail-oriented friends amazed and impressed.
And then, of course, it’s time for the hors d'oeuvres, which serve as the business card for any successful dinner party.
And mine earned a round of applause for their presentation – with details like fresh flowers and leaves decorating my Basil Shrimp, whose recipe was given to me by All Appetizers, the application that specializes in gorgeous dishes while explaining each step of preparation and giving you all kinds of valuable nutritional information.
And seeing that there’s always a potential vegetarian dinner guest on the horizon, make sure your tablet makes room for the Messy Vegetarian Cook, the app for delighting anyone who has bid farewell to meat with delicious, flavourful dishes like tofu with lemon and herbs.
Since I wanted to prepare satisfying dish that everyone could enjoy – even the health-obsessed – soup was the natural choice as a first course. I chose the Fresh Asparagus Soup whose recipe I found on Soup Master, a great source for soups, veloutés, and bisques.
For the second course, since I did have one vegetarian dinner guest, I struggled with what to serve. I wanted it to be meatless, but flavourful. And so I cleverly turned to Japanese cuisine and served a mix of sushi and sashimi, accompanied by vegetable tempura. Sound daunting? Just download the Japanese Food Recipe Gallery, a collection of recipes for onigiri, miso soup, tuna salad, chicken teriyaki, okonomiyaki, and many other delicacies.
And of course, I saved the best for last: dessert. For the so-called cherry on the cake, I turned to a recipe from the sophisticated English chef Marcus Wareing from the app called Great British Chefs. After studying all kinds of dizzying desserts, I decided to try the Apple Crumble Tart, something on the lighter side that would be perfect with a glass of Riesling.
And speaking of wine, anyone who always wants to order with confidence should download Hello Vino, the app that suggests which wine to pair with which dish. But it doesn’t stop there. If you write in the main ingredient of a certain course, Hello Vino will give you three different label suggestions for wines that you can actually buy online through the app itself.
And that’s exactly what I did: I specified that it was an apple-based dessert and I received the options of ordering Leasingham, the Kiona Vineyards and Winery and the Inniskillin Riesling. I chose the last one, ordering it online and using it for the final toast to my very successful tecchie dinner party.