Leveraging AI for Local Impact: Crafting an Exquisite Cookbook

Luk Balcer
2 min readOct 10, 2023


Wondering what to gift a well-established local butcher turning 50? When posh restaurants and luxury cars don’t cut it, you dig deeper. Enter the power of artificial intelligence.

AI to the Forefront!

One summer evening, I revisited an old idea. My brother-in-law, Ben, ran a promotion: buy 1kg, get 500g minced meat free. As the person handling his Facebook promotions, I’d posted weekly minced meat recipes. With a rich database of ground beef dishes, I contemplated a cookbook titled ‘500g Minced Meat’ featuring 50 dishes by local chefs. But the complexity and cost quickly became overwhelming.

Then, AI changed the game.

The Recipe for Success with ChatGPT & Midjourney

Instead of sifting through billions of Google results, I turned to ChatGPT 4.0. From global dishes to detailed ingredients and preparation steps, ChatGPT churned out a plethora of recipes. With some tweaking, I curated 50 stellar dishes.

With the recipes in hand, I used Midjourney to visualize them. Perfecting the parameters was challenging, but the results were delectable. From Italian lasagnas to exotic concoctions, the AI did wonders. However, a few recipes did stump Midjourney.

The Art of Presentation

For print perfection, the images needed upscaling. I explored numerous AI tools, finally settling on Freescaler for Mac, delivering impeccable results. While Adobe might not yet offer AI-driven layouts, designing the book layout was a joy, reminiscent of solving crosswords. The cover? A masterpiece from Shutterstock, perfectly encapsulating the essence of the project. To personalize, I added photos of Ben at work, snapped with my iPhone14 Pro, and tweaked in Lightroom.

The culmination? A professionally printed book, thanks to ‘Brave New Books’. At €15 a piece, it was a steal.

The Reveal & Beyond

Ben’s birthday celebration at Hoeve De Bies in Limburg, Belgium, became the stage for the big reveal. The cookbook was a sensation, even bringing Ben to tears. The night’s enthusiasm soon translated to a decision to publicly release the book (Preview).

Do visit Ben’s website (Dutch) and share your insights. This journey underscores how AI, when combined with creativity, can resonate on a local level. Start small, dream big, and let AI amplify your vision.



Luk Balcer

Creatieve, lankmoedige agrariër // Schrijft, bedenkt, tekent en realiseert (zich vaak dat het ook anders kon).