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June 4, 1997

"Dedicated to the worship of food," The Internet Chef is a distinctly inclusive specialty site. Catering to experienced and new cooks alike, IChef serves up generous portions of information while asking nothing more of its guests than a passing interest in eating.

IChef's predominant feature, the "IChef Recipe Archive," houses almost 30,000 recipes. It is remarkably easy to navigate: browse alphabetically through one of thirty-five categories -- Appetizers, say, or Chili -- and click on the recipe names that suit your fancy. Or narrow your quest with a particular word search. Once you have found what you want, type in your address and e-mail yourself a copy. Admirably utilitarian, IChef is somewhat short on style. Although the featured "Recipe of the Week" boasts color photographs, cookbook lovers accustomed to today's lavishly illustrated publications will probably be disappointed: IChef's graphics have the visual appeal of "The Joy of Cooking."

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IChef is more than just a recipe library. The "Tips and Hints" feature currently offers food remedies (what to do when your meringue weeps) and practical advice (boil hairline cracks in milk). A Chef Instructor, a Master Chef, and a teacher-writer-mother-cook all offer their advice in monthly columns, and modern-day recipe swapping takes place on the message boards. With more uses than an upgraded high-speed blender, IChef might well be the next big thing in kitchen appliances.

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