Three generations of Spaniards including chefs like Ferran Adrià, a devotee of what is considered the “Bible of Spanish cuisine” have learned to cook thanks to the book 1080 Recetas de Cocina (1080 Cooking Recipes) by Simone Ortega. With more than 3.5 million copies sold, and translated into seven languages, this 1972 publication remains a bestseller and can now be downloaded as an application for iOS or Android with the name of 1080 recipes.
Ines Orterga during the app presentation.
“The project took a year and a half to complete, because we had to include all the recipes. It also has more photos and the ability for users to upload their own images”, says Chef Inés Ortega, daughter of the famous author, who was responsible for updating and disseminating her mother`s legacy. ”People seek the immediacy and interaction that comes with an application on their mobile or tablet.”
Simone Ortega, née Simone Klein Ansaldy, was born in Barcelona in 1919. Of French origin, she was a cultured and charming woman who wanted to share all her culinary knowledge, her own recipes and those bequeathed by her family, which is originally from the region of Alsace. She published seven books, the latest in 2004: The Book of Stews, written in collaboration with her daughter Inés. Recipient of numerous prestigious distinctions and accolades, Simone Ortega was awarded the 2006 Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of the Republic of France for her dissemination of French cuisine in Spain.
Six years after her death on July 2, 2008, when she was 89 years old, Simone Ortega’s reign continues, but now it prevails in the competitive digital market. “My mother would have been thrilled with this idea because she always wanted the book to be kept up,” says Inés Ortega. “She was a very modern woman who, even at 87 years old, was interested in learning how to use the Internet.”
The application 1080 Recipes was unveiled in Madrid last May during an event attended by celebrity chefs such as Sacha Hormaechea of Sacha restaurant and Iñaki Camba of Arce restaurant, among others. Everyone wanted to remember the many ways Simone Ortega had contributed to their professions. Ortega had the ability of presenting her recipes in a simple, precise way.
Simone Ortega next to designer Javier Mariscal.
“During the presentation of the app, we saw that even the youngest chefs still use the book as a reference,” says Inés Ortega, adding that although the manual remains true to her mother’s traditional recipes, the book is updated with new dishes such as sushi, or others focused on nutrition and diets.
Inés Ortega admits that she still clings to the printed book that made her mother a legend. However, she also uses the application during her trips: “I find it very convenient: both formats can be combined very well: you can have the book at home and use the app when you’re away.” ■