Can cookbooks, apps and ebooks co-exist? | books | Hindustan Times
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Can cookbooks, apps and ebooks co-exist?

Despite the doomsday scenarios which predict the demise of hardcopy cookbooks with the growing popularity of tablets and apps, the president of the Paris Cookbook Fair says there's room enough for two. Cookbooks and technology aren't mutually exclusive, says Edouard Cointreau. "I see digital and

books Updated: Mar 14, 2012 07:28 IST

Despite the doomsday scenarios which predict the demise of hardcopy cookbooks with the growing popularity of tablets and apps, the president of the Paris Cookbook Fair says there's room enough for two.

Cookbooks and technology aren't mutually exclusive, says Edouard Cointreau. "I see digital and print helping each other," he said in a phone interview with Relaxnews on the eve of the Paris Cookbook Fair. "Digital brings new consumers to cookbooks."

As part of the fair, Cointreau also hosts the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards which crowns the best cookbooks in the world. In a gesture that acknowledges the growing importance of apps and ebooks, the competition added a new Apps category this year which gave top honors to Dorie Greenspan's Cooking with Dorie.

While tablets like iPads can offer consumers features like video tutorials, Cointreau points out that hardcopy books can offer something that technology can't: a tangible publication that doesn't require a plug or power source.

Interest in art cookbooks, for instance, has been growing among gourmands  who are gracing their coffee tables with large -- and often expensive -- cookbooks filled with lush food photography.

Digital technology and the advancement of printing have also paved the way for food writers to become their own publishers, a trend that allows for more interesting and varied books to enter the market.

Cointreau cites French chef Alain Ducasse as a perfect example: when his publisher wouldn't allow him to do what he wanted, he left to create his own publishing house.

Modernist Cuisine, the 2,400-page encyclopedic culinary tome co-written by a former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold is also self-published.

Where the digital revolution has really taken hold, however, is in China, Cointreau said, where the most popular e-cookbook series, Cooking Secrets, is downloaded 15 million times every six months.

The series' website www.6eat.com also receives more than 150 million visitors a year.

The Paris Cookbook Fair kicked off March 7 and wraps up March 11.

PHOTO: AFP RELAXNEWS