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The service, called Ckbk, will offer a collection of 100,000 recipes. 

Elisabeth Sherman
July 10, 2018

Ckbk, a new service calling itself the “Spotify of cookbooks” and promising seamless digital access to the best cookbooks in the world, has launched its Kickstarter campaign today.

The online database (and, eventually, mobile app) boasts 100,000 recipes, and was built with guidance from acclaimed chefs and cookbook authors like Nigella Lawson, Yotam Ottolenghi, and Fergus Henderson. Food science writer Harold McGee (best know for his book On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen), praised Ckbk in a statement on its Kickstarter page, saying that the service, “offers expert guidance to home and professional cooks alike, making the best cookbooks more accessible than ever before”.

Ckbk users will also be able to share their own recipe photos, tips, and tricks through the platform, which will form a kind of online community for home cooks. Here’s how it works.

All you have to do is type in the recipe that you’re looking for in the top search bar (roast chicken, for instance) just like you would for a song on Spotify. For a fixed monthly fee (around $9 in the U.S.) you get unlimited access to Ckbk’s entire database—which should lead you to thousands of roast chicken recipes. You can also customize your search based on a specific cookbook author, dietary restrictions, and type of cuisine.

So what makes this service different than simply searching Google for your desired recipe? This cookbook collection has been curated by top chefs, including those mentioned earlier, meaning that you know you’re getting the best recipe for roast chicken, not just the first one that pops up on Google. Another benefit is that you can search the database while at the grocery store, so the cookbooks you love are always on hand. Plus, you can either search for a specific recipe or flip through an entire book.

One of the biggest draws of Ckbk might be that you can create a collection of your favorite recipes from the database, and add pictures of your dishes once you’ve finished cooking, essentially creating your own customized cookbook (or, if we're still running with the Spotify comparison, "recipe playlist") along the way. 

Update 7/10: A previous version of this article stated incorrectly that the database contains recipes from Nigella Lawson, Yotam Ottolenghi, and Fergus Henderson. In fact, these cookbook authors helped build the database, but their own cookbooks are not featured in it. The text has been updated to reflect this change.