What Could New IBM x Bon Appetit App 'Chef Watson' Mean for Chefs and Future Menus?

IBM x Bon Appetit team up for Chef Watson app | Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

IBM x Bon Appetit team up for Chef Watson app | Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

IBM’s Watson is a force to be reckoned with. Just ask Ken Jennings, who was beaten by the supercomputer on Jeopardy in 2011. Watson is no stranger to the food scene — this past year, IBM took the tech to SXSW, fittingly. Watson became a "cognitive cook" that would translate algorithms of large data sets (ingredients) to determine which flavor profiles would pair well with others. In more basic terms, Watson would shuffle around ordinary recipes to create even better ones that held similar flavor profiles to existing concoctions, but “upgraded” them using data. The new recipes would then be created in the food truck, and voilà!

More recently, it was announced that Watson and Bon Appetit are pairing up for a soon-to-be-released beta version of a new app, called Chef Watson. As you can probably guess, the application will help cooks create new recipes out of existing ingredient combinations. “Think of Watson as an algorithmically inclined sous chef that gently suggest hundreds of flavor combinations that you’d probably never come up with on your own,” Wired reported. 

Now, imagine what this kind of technology could do for chefs. According to IBM Research Scientist Lav Vershney, most people have a difficult time managing large data sets, like ingredients in a recipe, but most chefs can handle at least two or three ingredients. “Pretty much no human can reason four ingredients.” What could Chef Watson mean for chefs all around the world? Read More