App-etite: Peace Point cooks up a new app

The prodco won Canadian Media Fund dollars to put its celebrity chefs into kitchens across the country.

Canadian Media Fund Experimental Stream funding winner Peace Point Entertainment is cooking up a new app to promote some of its food-based properties.

Slated for a spring 2011 release, the recipe-generating Olson Anytime Anywhere Recipe Maker will star foodie-media power couple Michael and Anna Olson and will be available at the iTunes app store, BlackBerry app store, and the Android market for about $3.99.

MiC caught up with Les Tomlin, president and executive producer, Peace Point Entertainment, to talk taste algorithms and applying the Olson magic media touch to mobile.

Q: Tell us about your app: What does it do and why did you develop it?
A: The inspiration came for the app through working with Anna Olson, and to a lesser extent Michael Olson, from our three seasons of Fresh. She’s just such a great culinary talent that Eric Blay, our VP of digital media, came up with the concept of taking the old-school text version of a cookbook and turning it into an app, whereby it becomes interactive with what you have in your fridge and pantry.

It uses a slew of the Olsons’ recipes and they’re all converted into an algorithm that will allow you to cook something pretty fantastic with the limited resources you have available.

Q. Who is your target demographic?
A. It’s any home cook or home chef. It’s a much broader demographic than the TV show would be. The Olsons have had eight bestselling cookbooks in the country, so they are renowned celebrity chefs.

There’s going to be exclusive HD footage as part of the app. If you don’t know how to chop parsley, you’ll be able actually see footage of Anna or Michael showing you how to chop parsley. There’ll be a video tutorial portion of the app. That’s what Anna and Michael’s expertise with 20 years in the business of cooking will allow us to do.

Q. How will this app be promoted to consumers?
A. We have an advertising budget, and we’re going to be promoting it mostly through online. [Social networking] is another thing we’ve invested pretty heavily in here, with other projects like Bump, and we’ll probably do some ads on Facebook and Google. (The Bump! Travel Guides are a series of mobile apps affiliated will Peace Point’s gay and lesbian travel show, which just started production of its fifth season.)

Q. Why is this something that’s attractive to the company?
A. It’s part of our growth. We realized a couple of years back…that the world is going digital, and why try to fight digital taking eyeballs from television when, I think, there’s actually a happy marriage between the two. It’s just part of our growth strategy and our mandate to grow the digital side. This will be one of the first projects that going to be a stand-alone, without a TV show to back it up.

Q. How do you see the app evolving over time?
A. The goal right now is to get it up and running and then, depending on the success and the sell-through, we’ll add more recipes and more video clips and more tips. If you look at it like an old-school cookbook, it would be different volumes. We can add volume two, volume three, so we can continually expand on it, and add to the recipes and refresh the video clips.

I think it’s going to be a really revolutionary thing, it’s also going to be a lot of fun for the average cook to get home after a busy day at the office and click on what they’ve got in the fridge and have a recipe spit out by the Olsons. It’ll be simple but delicious.