Fans of Food Network celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Ree Drummond can now take live cooking classes with the pros. The new Food Network Kitchen app, out Tuesday, wants to become your personal kitchen assistant.
Food Network Kitchen integrates with Amazon Alexa to act as a hands-free helper while you cook, said Tyler Whitworth, senior vice president and general manager of direct-to-consumer at Food Network's parent company, Discovery. The app offers hundreds of on-demand cooking classes, including 500 beginner classes, and hundreds of step-by-step instructional videos.
"As we talked to more customers, we heard that they were often not feeling confident in the kitchen, and wanted help," Whitworth said. "We built this kitchen companion that customers could use on a regular basis to help them build their skills and have more fun in the kitchen."
In daily live cooking classes with celebrity chefs, including Anne Burrell and Valerie Bertinelli, users will be able to submit questions and get feedback from chefs or culinary experts in the coming months, Whitworth said. There will be 25 live and interactive classes offered per week. Eventually users will have access to other Food Network chefs, including Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, Martha Stewart, Alton Brown and Ina Garten, a press release noted.
The new app is separate from the Food Network GO app, which streams the network's television content. Food Network Kitchen acts as a personal kitchen companion, helping you step by step while you cook, Whitworth said.
The service will cost $48 a year, or $4 per month. But at launch, you can take advantage of a 90-day free trial period before subscribing. With each annual subscription purchased, Discovery will donate up to 100 meals to kids as part of its Turn Up: Fight Hunger initiative.
Once you sign up for the service and connect your Alexa account, you can ask Alexa to bring up cooking classes, recipes and shows. And when you're elbow-deep in turkey stuffing, you can ask Alexa to repeat steps in the recipe or the amount of ingredients needed, without having to touch a screen, Whitworth said.
You can also order groceries and ingredients directly from the app via Amazon Fresh, PeaPod or Instacart's network of stores, covering 80% of US houses at launch, he added.
In 2020, Food Network Kitchen will expand its features to include 24/7 culinary support. So if, for example, you have a question about what to substitute for a certain ingredient, someone will be able to help you. Other upcoming features include culinary equipment delivery and more exclusive content.
Food Network Kitchen was first announced alongside Amazon's Echo Show 8 at a September Amazon event. The app is currently available on iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire Tablets, Fire TV, Alexa, and Echo Show. It'll come to Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, Xbox One and Xbox 360 later this year and into 2020, according to Food Network.