Take one big, bad, legendary computer, a social network and a team of adventurous chefs, then mix them up inside a food truck. Serve up the results to a line of curious, hungry festival-goers eager to sample the world’s first man-machine fusion food.
It's called "cognitive cooking" and here is how it works: Twitter users employing the hashtag #ibmfoodtruck and voters on IBM's website pick a familiar dish like kebabs or fish and chips. Then IBM's Watson supercomputer (best known to non-techies for its appearance on the TV show "Jeopardy") creates a long list of eight or more ingredients based upon a chemical analysis of their flavor compounds. Finally, the dish is conceived, prepared and served from a food truck by a team of cooks co-led by Michael Laiskonis and James Briscione of New York City's Institute of Culinary Education.
Keen-eyed readers may recall a few weeks back when we spent the goodly part of a week eating bananas in the basement of the CNN Grill at the annual SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. Well, we managed to flee the building for a few minutes and bolt across town to take part in a panel at the TECHmunch food blogger conference.
In part one of a series of videos from the conference, moderator Addie Broyles of the Austin-American Statesman, Tampa Tribune food writer and master Top Chef Twitterer Jeff Houck and L.A. Times food editor Rene Lynch and I discuss How to Leverage Traditional Media and get on a Food Editor's Radar - essentially how you can get your fabulous bloggity self on our pages and screens.
We get food crushes sometimes. It might be a chef whose stracciatella makes our hearts sing (that'd be you, Missy Robbins), a winemaker with a barrel-sized brain and wit to match (cheers, Randall Graham), or a writer out of whom we'd just like to hug the stuffing (we're coming for you, Francis Lam).
This go 'round is Addie Broyles, food writer for the Austin-American Statesman. We had a chance to swing into her orbit during our trip to Austin for our SXSW-centric Secret Supper, and while we'd long been impressed by her mastery of the Austin food scene (the Austin Chronicle named her the city's top "food celebrity") and feminist take on food culture, one more thing quickly became evident.