IBM’s New App Wants to Make You a Master Chef
Categories: Tech

IBM’s New App Wants to Make You a Master Chef

What would you say if we told you all you needed to make a mouth-watering meal is a potato, dried peaches, flour, some onions and an app? Yup, it’s true thanks to Chef Watson, IBM’s sophisticated answer to connected cooking. This recipe-generating app means you’ll never again be left wondering: What’s for supper?

Chef Watson is unlike any other recipe app you’ve used in the past. It relies on what’s known as cognitive computing. This means that the app is programmed to have an understanding of things like food chemistry as well as what flavors, tastes and combinations people find both appealing and off-putting. In fact, IBM recently teamed up with Bon Appétit to “educate” Chef Watson about combining ingredients and cooking styles using about 9,000 Bon Appétit recipes.

IBM has high hopes that Watson won’t just help spice things up, but will make people better cooks. The idea is that by exposing you to food combinations and techniques you’d never think to use, your cooking skills will improve. (Here’s hoping.)

Unlike following a recipe, this app encourages experimentation. That’s the whole reason IBM got involved with the project in the first place. They aim to show that technology and data can be used to encourage creativity and discovery, and what better place to do that than in the kitchen?

Chef Watson is even inspiring new food products, like Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce. As a condiment packed with squash, Thai chilies and tamarind, you can be sure there was plenty of experimenting going on in that user’s kitchen.

Curious about what it’s like cooking with Chef Watson? Easy as pie. All you do is enter information like the ingredients you’d like to use and avoid, the kind of dish you want to make as well as a cooking style you’re interested in trying. Watson does the rest. Just like that you’ll be provided with 100 variations to try. But brace yourself; they won’t all be Michelin Star winners. But, hey, meals as deliciously eclectic as Austrian Chocolate Burrito, Belgian Bacon Pudding and Peruvian Potato Poutine sound good enough to… at least Instagram!

If you’re up to challenging your culinary senses, Chef Watson is still being tested and IBM is looking for people to be part of their pilot program. Good luck and bon appetit!

Are you a foodie? Share your craziest food combinations with us in the comments below.

(h/t Eater + Building a Smarter Planet)