Before my dad passed away when I was 12, he was a manager at my family’s restaurant and an incredible home cook. He made the best Caesar salad for dinner. Truly mouthwatering. It’s a recipe that has an almost magical ability to wow people and bring them together — it’s spicy and complex on the palate but simple to make with ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. It was something he was incredibly proud to make, and something that was a joy to eat.
My day job entails long hours in front of screens designing websites for wineries, and is usually about as far from the kitchen as you can get. I wanted to do something on my own, for myself and in tribute to my father. That Caesar salad was always in the back of my mind, and as technology evolved I began to percolate an idea for taking this recipe that I loved so well and bringing it to life in a digital medium. The app platform just made sense.
It’s a ridiculously simple premise — a truly stunning interactive visual representation of how to make The Best Caesar. One recipe as an app. That’s it. Crazy right?
So last year I gathered together a handful of talented folks to help bring this vision to life. After a fun two day photo shoot with my friend, Katie Newburn, I got to designing and developing the app in a great platform called App Press, built by my friend Grant Glas. 12 days later, The Best Caesar was submitted to the App Store.
Since launching in early January, The Best Caesar was featured on the App Store homepage and Food & Drinks section, numerous blogs including Mashable, Beautiful Pixels, Hustle & Kale, and Design Work Life. It has been downloaded over 15,000 times by people in over 85 countries. So many wonderful people have gone on to make the recipe (even modifying some of the ingredients based on what they had or could acquire) and sending me photos of their Best Caesar. It’s been an incredible journey, and what’s come back from the world, even more amazing.
Perhaps the best thing about this simple app is that it’s actually encouraged people to step into the kitchen and cook something. To make something and share it with their loved ones. Digital to real-world. I’m so thrilled.
One of my absolute favorite photos sent in was from Ianus Keller making The Best Caesar with his daughter. This image brought me back to my childhood with my dad. It warmed my heart and reminded me of why I made this app. Life is all about shared experiences and I’m proud that this app can help encourage those experiences. The response has been so incredible and so far beyond what I imagined. This app has truly changed my life forever.
Many people have asked, how do you monetize this? Well, not everything in the world needs to make money. Some things just need to be shared. So I ask, how far can it go?
Make The Best Caesar tonight and please, enjoy it for a lifetime.
This project wouldn’t be a success without you! Follow #thebestcaesar community and help spread the word! Take a photo of your Best Caesar and send it in.
I wrote this article in support of App: The Human Story, a documentary in the works about the cultural phenomenon that is the app. It’s a great project by Jake Schumacher and Jedidiah Hurt, and I am thrilled to see it turn into a reality.