When the James Beard Foundation isn't busy finding America's future culinary superstars, it's surveying their current roster to find out what makes them tick. Recently, the JBF quizzed its members about – what else? – their favorite, can't-live-without iPhone apps. Now you, too, can organize your grocery list, scan cookbooks and find the freshest seasonal produce just like the pros. Who knows, maybe you'll bump into Michael Cimarusti or Akasha Richmond while browsing for the ripest artichokes, fava beans or summer berries. Okay, maybe not, but at least you'll know what's on their phones.

1. Grocery IQ 

Cost: 99¢

Making (and organizing!) a grocery list has never been this easy. Simply use your iPhone's camera to scan the barcode for any product you're after and it's automatically stored in a customized list. Better yet, Grocery IQ lets you find free coupons, share your grocery list with others and sort your items according to their specific grocery store aisle.

2. OpenTable  

Cost: Free

Get instant access to OpenTable's full network of restaurants, allowing you to make a reservation from anywhere for anything. Good luck trying to get a reservation for Red-O, though. They're booked 'til June 19.

3. Zagat To Go '09 

Cost: $9.99

Get a year's access to Zagat's 40,000+ restaurant reviews and ratings. Find restaurants automatically, filter them by food, decor, service or cost, and once you've made up your mind, you can make reservations instantly.

Credit: Locavore

Credit: Locavore

4. Locavore


If you can't get enough of local, organic produce, this app is for you. Locavore uses GPS technology to tell you exactly what produce is in season near you. It automatically detects your location and recommends local farmer's markets, shows you which of more than 230 produce types are in season (and for how long) and even links to Epicurious for a boatload of recipes.

5. Big Oven 

Cost: Free

This user-generated recipe app gives you free access to more than 170,000 recipes, photos and reviews. Build a grocery list you can access from practically anywhere, find out how to use leftovers, see what other people are making for dinner, etc.

6. Kitchen Calculator Pro

Cost: $3.99 

Never worry about kitchen math again. Kitchen Calculator Pro acts as a converter for all your kitchen math needs. Scale recipes up (or down), switch to the metric system and even convert weight to volume.

Credit: Epicurious

Credit: Epicurious

7. Epicurious

Cost: Free 

Get access to over 28,000 step-by-step, professionally-tested recipes, essentially turning your iPhone into a cookbook. Have trouble reading recipes on the iPhone? No problem; Epicurious works on the iPad, too.

Christie Bishop can also be found blogging at PardonMyCrumbs.com.

LA Weekly