packing paper

The journey begins! Actually… the journey resumes!

To explain why let me hop on the time machine with Marty McFly and Doc Brown and get back to when it all began…

Cambooza started in early 2011 as a cooking application, with a mission to provide working people with a simple tool to help put together a hearty dinner for the family. I wanted it to be different from all of the other zillion cooking websites and recipe collections you find on the Internet. The idea came to me intuitively just by personal experience…

My life is quite hectic, a common problem these days. I usually work very long hours and when I get home at night, I go straight for the fridge, so famished I could eat a horse. Sometimes I find a lasagna or some other meal prepared by my lovely mother-in-law (you’re my hero!). Other times my wife gets home early and bravely attempts new cooking techniques that nearly burn down the kitchen (she’s really good with desserts though…). That means I usually need to make something up on the fly and have very little time.

So I quickly assess my options. Pizza delivery? Always a favorite but, judging from my love handles, I already have too much of it. Sushi? Delicious, but not really substantial unless I spend half of my salary and probably not suited for the kids. Ok ok. Let’s take the plunge and try cooking something then.

Now, for some reason I don’t really find cookbooks convenient to use. Don’t get me wrong, they are beautiful works of art and I think they look great on my bookshelf, but recipes are way too complicated, with exotic ingredients or fancy Masterchef techniques, and not really suited for day-to-day cooking. There are of course plenty of websites, some of them really neat, but looking for a recipe is always time consuming, navigating through many different pages and ads for very little relevance. My stomach is growling in the meantime.

So I thought… how about ditching this grueling search process altogether? What if I could input the ingredients I have (or wish to use), set a few preferences like time available, cooking skills and diet requirements, and immediately get the results I’m looking for? And maybe have the recipes sorted by ingredients’ relevance, so I can see how close I am to the complete recipe. Wouldn’t that be cool?

That’s how Cambooza started. So we put together a really good mobile app, with a fantastic team, and published it to the world. Unfortunately the costs of developing, running and maintaining the app, all self funded, where just too high and we couldn’t find a viable business model, since the content was mostly free.

So we put the project on ice, but the inner cook within me never really accepted the idea of tossing in the sponge. And I thought: why not resume the journey and let Cambooza live in a cooking blog in the meantime? Always true to its spirit and tradition of course:

simple recipes for simple people

And maybe giving a few tips and tricks along the way, mixed with cooking experiments and ramblings over life in general.

I  hope you have fun cooking with Cambooza and enjoy our content. Let us know how we’re doing!

P.S. If you’re curious about our name you can check its origin here…

In loving memory of Lorenzo Signorini. Thank you my friend for having shared with me all your enthusiasm and love for good food and good life. It was a great journey…