ckbk pulls a ‘Spotify for recipes’ out of the beta oven

Cooking may be under sustained attack by a wave of on-demand
food delivery startups, with names that can double as gluttonous
calls to action (oh hey
Just Eat
!), but that hasn’t stopped London-based startup
ckbk from pushing in the
opposite direction — with a digital service that offers on-demand
access to high quality recipes licensed from major publishers of
best selling cookbooks.

Indeed, the ckbk platform serves up not just individual recipes
but entire cookbooks for browsing in app form.

The ckbk platform, which launches out of beta today — after a

Kickstarter campaign last year
that raised just over $55k —
is being touted by its creators as ‘Spotify for recipes’. Think
‘playlists’ of professionally programmed dishes to whip up in
the kitchen.

At launch it offers access to a catalog of more than 350
cookbooks (80,000+ recipes) — a culinary library that’s slated
to keep growing.

For $8.99/£8.99 per month the premium ckbk user gets to tuck in
to unlimited access to this “curated collection of cookbooks”
— with content selected using “recommendations from hundreds of
chefs and food experts including Nigella Lawson and Yotam
Ottolenghi”.

A freemium layer offers access gratis to three recipes per
month.

Subscribers are essentially paying for someone else with (most
likely) superior knowledge of cooking to sort the wheat from the
chaff so you don’t have to do the legwork of figuring out what
freebie Internet recipes are worth investing your time (and after
it, teeth) in.

Not just any old recipes, editorially curated recipes is the
ckbk promise.

Content partners at launch include “dozens” of major
publishers — including Chronicle Books, Macmillan, Oxford University Press, Rodale,
Simon & Schuster, Workman Publishing and Penguin
Random House’s
Rodale and Struik imprints.

Culinary content available via the platform is billed as
spanning both contemporary authors like Molly Yeh and David Tanis,
to award winning authorities and Michelin starred chefs, while also
dipping into old  culinary classics, such as On Food & Cooking
and the Oxford Companion to Food, and offering works penned by
legendary French chef and restauranteur Escoffier.

Publishers participating in ckbk’s platform are being promised
a new digital revenue stream (it’s not clear what the revenue
share is) — sweetened with data in the form of “new insights
into patterns of cookbook recipe usage” they can use to feed into
future editorial output. So of course all ckbk users are having
their foodie browsing extensively data-mined.

To push its ‘premium recipes’ proposition ckbk is trailing a
bunch of forthcoming promotional partnerships with kitchenware
brands, food-related ecommerce brands, food events, culinary
schools and publishing channels — which it says will be launching
in the next few months.

It also says recipes on the platform have been optimized for
integration with connected kitchen appliances.

European company BSH (whose appliance brands include Bosch,
Gaggenau, NEFF and Siemens) is named as the
first strategic partner for ckbk. It will be offering premium
membership of the service to UK buyers of its NEFF N90 connected
oven.

A subset of ‘smart’ cookbook recipes on ckbk will
automatically set the correct time and oven temperature via the
N90’s Home Connect system — for anyone who can’t be bothered
to twiddle the dials themselves.

ckbk adds that selected recipes will be further “optimized”
to make the most of features and cooking modes of the smart oven. A
tidbit which might make a seasoned chef raise an eyebrow and
question whether that’s heading towards recipes for robots.

The licensing project has certainly been a slow burn. The
company behind ckbk, 1000 Cookbooks, has been working on getting
the concept to market since 2014, per Crunchbase.

It says it’s currently raising a $2M seed funding round —
having previously raised a total of $750,000 in pre-seed funding
via investors, the Techstars/BSH Future
Home accelerator program, and its Kickstarter campaign.

Source: FS – All Tech News 2
ckbk pulls a ‘Spotify for recipes’ out of the beta oven