Recipe database

I knew that old age was finally starting to take root when I went food shopping this weekend and left with a copy of Sainsbury’s magazine.There was a point in my life when a magazine featuring a car, a scantily clad woman and something relating to general manliness would have been my publication of choice but, at the tender age of 27 it seems I may have consigned myself instead to a publication geared mainly towards the middle aged women market.

So, what was it that tempted me to pick up Sainsbury’s in store publication?Was it the free bar of chocolate, the low down of all the latest beauty products or the four page guide to becoming the ultimate party girl this Christmas?

It was in fact the pages upon pages of recipes that grace its pages as I have to admit that since moving house, I have developed something of a passion for cooking.Don’t get me wrong, neither I nor Hayley could be described as being particularly good in the kitchen but at least we are now making an effort to cook everything from scratch rather than browning some mince before coating it in Dolmio.

Cookbooks have become quite restrictive as finding a recipe that calls for just what you happen to have in the fridge is quite a rare occurrence.To expand my horizons the Internet seemed like the perfect place and I was surprised to find that the two most impressive websites I came across were actually the BBC ( and Channel Four ( pages.

The BBC site is certainly the most comprehensive, covering over 10,000 recipes from approximately 100 celebrity chefs.If you were to cook just one of these dishes a day, it would take 27 years to exhaust the list.The Channel Four site is less comprehensive with only a couple of thousands recipes but with contributions from Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall amongst others, it is certainly worth a look.

Both sites allow you to either simply browse what is on offer or alternatively you can enter a couple of ingredients and potential recipe matches will be returned.For example, typing chicken, chilli and onion in to the BBC site result in it suggesting to you that you may wish to cook some hot chilli fajitas this evening.Each recipe has the name of the contributing chef, preparation time, cooking time, a list of ingredients in both metric and imperial and a detailed method.If you are unsure of any particular terminology there is a particularly good glossary on the BBC site which covers everything from basic techniques to preparing a béarnaise sauce.

Both sites have additional video content and of particular note is the BBC page which gives you the ability to watch every BBC food program broadcast over the last seven days along with viewing several hundred video walkthroughs.Channel Four, on the other hand, have an on demand service which allows you to recap on up to thirty days of TV for free along with detailed information to accompany the Gordon Ramsey Cookalong series which is currently being broadcast live on a Friday evening.

Other information that may be of interest includes chef biographies, seasonal suggestions, forums, dietary information and competitions.The wealth of material on offer from either site means that I would certainly recommend bookmarking them both.


About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.