The founders started off by asking chefs and food writers for a list of cookbooks they considered the most important. Armed with a master list, the team sought out licensing agreements from publishers in the UK and the US and set about digitising hundreds of titles, some of which had never been made available online.
Browsing the content is somewhat addictive. I stumbled upon a recipe for Queen Henrietta’s Morning Broth, a 17th century recipe reproduced in Florence White’s 1932 cookbook, ‘Good Things in England’.
The cookbook appears in full. It’s not scanned, it’s been nicely incorporated into the site architecture via a dropdown menu and has all kinds of fascinating recipes, including one for mead, one for nettle haggis and one for mock turtle soup (you’ll need a sheep’s head).
As it turns out, I have almost everything I need to make the Morning Broth in my kitchen, except for a hen and a porringer, so I’ll come back to that.
If that all seems a bit esoteric, you can search by cuisine, chef, recipe, ingredient and more. There are 33 recipes from Alain Ducasse, over 13,000 options for vegan dishes, 1,241 ways to cook duck and over a thousand Thai recipes.
It seems that the content may vary from region to region, depending on licensing agreements.
If you decide to continue with your membership after your trial expires, a subscription costs £39.99 / $39.99 for a year or £24.99 / $24.99 for six months. However, it appears that if you sign up for a trial membership at the moment, you can get a year’s subscription at half price (£19.99). This seems like a pretty good deal for food lovers.
The iOS app is set to launch next month, with an Android app to follow.
If you haven't bought your dad a Father's Day present yet and he knows his way around the kitchen, you can get him a ckbk gift subscription.
And if you own a NEFF smart oven, you could already be entitled to a free subscription to the service.