If you are constantly searching for recipes online or salivating as you scroll through your Instagram feed, then Ckbk (pronounced cookbook) might be the subscription for you. Initially launched for those who love to cook in April, users got access to three free recipes a month. For $8.99 a month, they could become premium members and access an unlimited number of recipes curated from 350 classic and contemporary cookbooks, ranked and recommended by chefs and food writers.
Why would a cook need yet another resource for recipes with so many at their fingertips online? As CEO and co-founder Matthew Cockerill explains in an introductory video on the About Us page of the Ckbk site, many classic and contemporary cookbooks have sage advice and tried-and-true recipes that have never made their way out of the cookbook and onto the digital page. Ckbk hopes to fill that gap. By making great print cookbooks accessible to others online, the cookbooks could be so much more if they were really accessible and discoverable on the internet.
The self-proclaimed Spotify for cookbooks boasts more than 75,000 recipes easily accessible and searchable through its website and, to date, Ckbk has 700 annual paid subscribers acquired through a Kickstarter campaign. A few months after launch, Ckbk has upped the ante by inviting professionals to the market, reports The Bookseller. To date, Ckbk has signed agreements with 60 different publishers, including Barrons, Simon & Schuster, Columbia University Press and Wiley, and garnered interest from U.K. chefs including Gary Rhodes and Ken Hom. Publishers who participate in Chkbk get a proportionate share of subscription revenue. Ckbk has also signed licensing agreements directly with 100 cookbook authors.
We just rolled out a nice feature where you can see the most popular recipes for a given book or author. This is the sort of data cookbook publishers and their authors have never had before, said Cockerill, in an interview with The Bookseller.
Cookbooks are a vital professional resource – chefs including Marco Pierre White, Alastair Little, Jeremy Lee and Giorgio Locatalli all point to cookbooks as having had a formative influence on their career. Ckbks collection has been curated with more than 8,000 recommendations from chefs and other food experts, and we are pleased to be able to support the next generation of chefs by making the best and most professionally-relevant cookbooks available online, added Cockerill.
Other new features that premium members can expect including:
- Sharing notes and uploading photos from favorite recipes
- Generating online grocery lists and shopping orders
- Nutritional analysis of all recipes
- Menu planning, quantity scaling and measurement conversion
This subscription service hits an interesting demographic – cooks who want to preserve classic cookbooks and access others they havent heard of, and a newer generation of cooks who doesnt want to amass their own collections of books and, instead, wants a searchable, accessible-from-anywhere membership that offers recommendations and recipes from a range of sources. While I am not much of a cook, I can see the appeal such a service would have, and I think it would make a great gift for the foodie in your life, whether they dabble in the kitchen or are obsessed with the latest recipes and cooking techniques. There seems to be no downside to this service and very little, if any, competition.