I've been using (and enjoying!) the site for a few weeks and have some feedback and ideas.
I really like cuuks' organization and terminology. I appreciate that it takes a different approach from typical cookbooks and food sites. I especially like that the notion of 'recipe' doesn't even exist in the system. The compositions and the free-form tagging are great.
In some ways, though, it's not clear how to use these new notions. it still seems too easy for users to interpret 'composition' as 'recipe' by simply putting all ingredients in the comp and then using the 'notes' section for prep directions. Some compositions are structured this way; others are more like the 'flavor affinities' in The Flavor Bible: a core set of complementary flavors that exist independent from a particular preparation.
This second version is what I first imagined a composition to mean, and seems to be the more exciting option. It's more flexible, because if this is how its used, a composition might lead to multiple preparations: kale + potato, for example, might be prepared as caldo verde, or kale-potato gratin, or colcannon. I'm also thinking of recipe-building methodologies like those in Colicchio's Think Like a Chef, or the various deconstructions of classic dishes that are a common theme of experimental chefs. Right now it seems like each composition can only have zero or one preparations without duplicating the composition. So I'm suggesting that it might be useful to add another notion, like a preparation or dish or technique, to the site, to allow users to leap between different ways to apply a composition.
Next, I'd really like an ingredient profile page, where I can see everything about an ingredient: all the comps it's used in and all the tags it has, and maybe additional info in the future (users can star/favorite particular ingredients?). Right now, if search on 'leather', the results include cabernet sauvignon, so I know that it has that tag. But when I use it in a composition I only see a truncated list of tags for the ingredient, which doesn't include leather. Which other tags am I not seeing because the list is shortened?
I second MichaelNatkins mindmap idea! Like the graphs on foodpairing.be, only better.
Tagging: Riffing on MichaelNatkin's idea again, I wonder if users should be encouraged to add key:value tags (like machine tags on flickr and other sites) to add a level of richness to the tagging feature. So users could tag an item as texture:crunchy, or vegan:true, etc. This could be done by users without any particular feature development up front. It would just be something to either encourage, if it seems useful, or discouraged, if it seems like a quality control headache.
More soon, and thanks again for the work on developing the app, it's great to play with.