You may have wondered where longtime Serious Eats contributor Nick Solares has been for the last year or so. Indeed, we too were a bit leery when he informed us that he'd have to take an indefinite leave of absence while working on some sort of secret project. What is Nick doing? we wondered. Opening a burger joint? Building a meat pants factory? Saving the world one steak at a time?
Nope, turns out it was something far, far more exciting. Nick stopped by the office yesterday to show off the project he's been working on: Pat LaFrieda's Big App For Meat.
Created and produced by Zero Point Zero—the folks who brought you Anthonby Bourdain's No Reservations—the app features our own Nick Solares as creative director along with Mark Pastore and Pat LaFrieda of Pat LaFrieda Meats to bring to you what is undoubtedly the most comprehensive, beautiful, easily navigable, and downright useful guide to meat that we've ever seen.
If you've enjoyed Nick Solares' writing and camera work over the years, you'll be glad to hear that his aesthetic has been put to good use in helping to design this beautiful app which features detailed descriptions and photographs of every cut of meat you can imagine (and some you can't). Over 200 cuts of meat, many shot from multiple angles. As he told us, he spent 28-days in LaFrieda's aging room for this project—as long as some of the dry-aged meats themselves.
The navigation in this massive app (700 megabytes of carnivorous data!) is designed so that you can easily search for cuts by name (let's say you see a new cut at the butcher and want to know where it comes from or how to cook it), by position in the animal (see that cow diagram? Just tap on its butt and you'll get a list of every cut of meat available from it), or—most useful for many—by picture, which will allow anyone to walk into any butcher or meat counter and positively identify everything on sale. Not only that, but you'll probably be able to tell the butcher a thing or two about the best way to serve it.
Video also plays an element with nearly an hour of short tutorials from Pat, as well as occasional guest chefs showing you the tricks of the trade.
The coolest part of the app might be the 360 rotating images that let you swipe and swivel cuts of meat on your screen to view them from every angle.
I've never seen a resource this comprehensive, authoritative, or easy to navigate, including many many great books on meat I've read. It's really the ultimate guidebook for navigating all things carnivorous.
Not to sound like a shill/advertisement (nope, we're not getting paid for this!) but I'm really seriously impressed by how great this app is. There's so much junk and so much useless crap in the App store that it's great to see something that's truly authoritative and polished coming from a trusted source.
The app packs a few more features in as well (a quiz, a link to the LaFrieda home delivery store, a photo sharing applet, etc), but I'm happy to say that never again will I have to root through my annoying meat manuals trying to figure out what some obscure cut of beef is. It'll all be right at my fingertips.
Thanks to Pat LaFrieda and Zero Point Zero Production, we have five (5) free download codes to give away to Serious Eaters. To enter this contest, all you have to do is tell us in the comments section below about your favorite cut of meat.
This contest is now closed. Winners have been notified.