Frequently Asked Questions
About the App…
Where did you get the photos?
All of the photos were custom shot for this app. We took over 10,000 photos and narrowed that down to about 7,000 useable photos, and from there selected the 900 or so that made the first version of the app.
Who is this app for?
This app is specifically designed for the beginner or intermediate cook who wants to make amazing dishes, but may not know how or may want a little (or a lot) of support in the kitchen. Do you have a hot date that you want to impress, but don’t know how to cook? Do you have a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or even friend who wants or needs to know how to cook? This is the app for them. Check out the FAQ on the two app modes for more details on how to configure the app for your level of experience.
Is the app available for other devices?
Right now the app is available for iOS devices. We are considering other devices and platforms, and will post more information as it becomes available.
How is this app different from other recipe apps?
Most other apps are just rehashing of the recipe format that’s been around for 3,700 years. Some are even just eBook versions of the print versions. Unfortunately, none of those are really kitchen friendly and few of them take advantage of the real power of the format of tablets and mobile devices.
This app is all visual. Every ingredient, every piece of equipment, every dish, and, most importantly, every single step is photographed in full color. Most other apps only include a photo of the highly-stylized finished dish, if you’re lucky. This app shows one step at a time with only the ingredients and equipment you need at that moment. No confusion on where you are or exactly what you need to do.
How is the iPad app similar or different from the iPhone/iPod Touch versions?
Both versions contain the same great recipes, the exact same images, and they both help you make amazing dishes.
Well, to state the obvious, size is the key difference. The smaller screen limits the number of things that can be displayed at once. Because of that, the devices have different ways to access the same features. For example, while making a dish on the iPhone, users have to tap an extra button to see ingredients, equipment or timers. Otherwise, the apps share all of the same features.
I want both versions. Do I have to pay for both?
For the moment, yes. Shortly, we’ll be releasing a bundle that allows you to get all of the apps together.
About the Recipes…
How do I add/submit a recipe?
Right now, we are not taking submissions. Hopefully, in an upcoming version, you’ll be able to visually add and edit your own recipes (as well as those that come with the app). We’re also working on designs for social networking components that allow you to share recipes with friends and submit recipes to be included in the official recipe packs with the app. Stay tuned to the blog for more details as the features come out.
How did recipes get selected?
We looked for tasty dishes that would impress your guest(s). We had access to a lot of great recipes from amazing chefs and restaurants who have all been very supportive. We can’t wait to continue to publish their recipes in packs (both free and paid). So if you like a particular chef’s recipe in the app, let us know and we’ll work with them to add even more.
What kind of recipes are included?
There are a large variety of recipes in the current version. They include finger food, appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, desserts as well as a variety of cuisines and tastes. The only theme for the initial pack is dishes that taste amazing and will impress your guest(s).
Will more recipes be added?
The more people that buy the app and add positive reviews, the more recipes we’ll be able to add and develop. We plan to add more recipe packs, both free and paid, in future updates. We hope to even allow you to add your own visual recipes right inside the app.
How many recipes are included?
The current version has over 60 amazing recipes. We plan to add new recipe packs (both free and paid) in future updates. In addition, we plan to allow you to add and modify the recipes directly on the iPad. Visually.
About the Functionality…
What’s with the speaker button in the upper right corner?
VizChef will now read information to you as you make a dish. On the iPad, it will read the current step instructions to you as soon as you move to the next step. On iPhone, it will read either the step instructions, step ingredients, or step equipment, depending on what’s currently being displayed.
Turn turn the audio on or off, just tap the speaker button (or tap it again to go the other way)
How do I find a dish I want to make?
Browsing is always a fun way to find possible dishes to make. Just use your finger to scroll through the list of dishes on the home screen.
If you want to narrow the list down, type a word into the search box at the top of the list. VizChef will search for that word in both the title of the dish and any tags associated with the dish. Spelling does matter, but often just the first few letters (or even a few middle letters) will be enough to find the dish you want. You can search for things like seasons & vegetarian options, if you want.
All my quantities are in decimals. How do I switch to fractions?
You can choose to view ingredient quantities in fractions (1/2) or decimals (o.5). Just go to the settings screen by tapping the Settings icon and change your selection. They will change when you go back to a screen with ingredient quantities
What’s the difference between standard and intermediate modes?
Standard mode contains more detail than intermediate mode. For example, when dicing an onion, standard mode has 5 steps (and 5 images):
1. Cut the onion in half
2. Cut the top off the onion
3. Peel the onion
4. Make 1/2″ cuts in the onion from top to root, being careful not to cut all the way to the root
5. Make 1/2″ cuts in the opposite direction to make 1/2″ pieces
Where intermediate mode would only have 1 step and 1 image:
1. Dice the onion into 1/2″ pieces
If you need more help, standard mode is for you. If you’re somewhat comfortable in the kitchen intermediate mode may be a good choice. It can always be changed (even in the middle of a recipe) on the settings screen by tapping the settings icon
What is auto-lock and why do I care?
Auto-lock is a feature of iOS devices that puts it to sleep and locks the screen after a certain amount of time that it hasn’t been touched. That’s pretty handy normally. In the kitchen, though, the last thing you want is your device going to sleep while you’re in the middle of making a dish. Turning auto-lock off means that the device will not go to sleep. It uses more battery, but you wont have to unlock the screen just to get to the next step.
Turning auto-lock on and off can be accessed in the app’s settings by tapping the “Settings” icon in the upper right corner
How do I see more details on ingredients, equipment, and dishes?
Want to know more about a piece of equipment in a list? Just tap the equipment. You’ll get a bigger picture as well as details on the equipment and things to consider when you buy it in the store. The same is true for ingredients.
Dishes also have additional information such as the author, contributor, and a more detailed description
How do I move between recipe steps?
There are 3 ways to move between steps in cooking mode:
1. Swipe the photo of the step to left to go to the next step, to the right to go to the previous step
2. Tap the previous or next buttons in the top bar
3. Tap the “Steps” button (on iPhone) or the “Step Number” button between the previous and next buttons (on iPad) to get a list of steps. Select the step you want to jump to
How do the timers work?
You can have an unlimited number of timers running at once.
To ADD a Timer:
- Tap on the Timer button and tap the “+” button. This will add a default timer set to 1-minute
- Tap one of the two timer icons ( or ) or the Total Time available in the information about the DISH in the upper left corner. These will add dish-level timers with the appropriate amount of time for the current dish
- Tap one of the two timer icons ( or ) or the Total Time available in the information about the STEP just below the step’s instructions. These will add step-level timers with the appropriate amount of time for the current step
To START a Timer:
If the Timers are not currently displayed, first tap the Timer button. Then, tap the “Play” button next to the timer you want to start. Timers can be played or paused at any time.
To PAUSE a Timer:
If the Timers are not currently displayed, first tap the Timer button. Then, tap the “Pause” button next to the timer you want to start. Timers can be played or paused at any time.
To CHANGE a Timer:
If the Timers are not currently displayed, first tap the Timer button. Then, swipe left on the timer you want to change and select “Edit”. This will display 3 spinners to allow you to select Hours, Minutes & Seconds. When you are done, tap “Set” to make the change, or “Cancel” to discard your changes and leave the time unchanged.
To CANCEL/REMOVE a Timer:
If the Timers are not currently displayed, first tap the Timer button. Then, swipe left on the timer you want to delete and tap “Remove”
How do I switch from making a recipe to finding other dishes to make?
Tap on the “Dishes” (i.e. “back”) button in the upper left corner
How do I switch from exploring dishes to making a recipe?
For iPad: Tap on the image of the dish you want to make
For iPhone: Tap on the “Make” button for the dish you want to make