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.
One of the best parts about going to SXSW is getting a chance to slip away from the fray and venture outside of Austin. iReporter Digithoughts lucked out with a local guide and found her way to barbecue at The County Line.
Food in the Field gives a sneak peek into what CNN's team is eating, and the food culture they encounter as they travel the globe.
Hey, journalism students and folks who assume food writers have Perrier-Jouet's 2000 Belle Epoque Champagne and Beluga borne about on silver platters by butlers several steps behind - that's a bunch of bananas. Well, actually a LOT of bunches of bananas.
Flight attendant on a plane home from SXSW:
It should be noted that Team Eatocracy managed to get their paws on two (2) notable plates of 'cue during their trek home from Austin to New York yesterday: a brisket sandwich from Salt Lick Bar-B-Que in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and a chopped pork shoulder sandwich (with slaw - they ask you, and you shouldn't say no) at Jim Neely's Interstate Bar-B-Que at the Memphis International Airport.
Eatocracy has saddled up in Austin, Texas, all week not only to cover the annual South by Southwest music, film, and interactive conference, but also to prep for the third edition of our Secret Supper. And now, it's officially supper time in Texas.
He's well-known around town for hosting the "Meaty Monday Madness" gathering for his chef friends around the capital city. From there, they gather round and do what they do best: cook and eat. Chefs from fancy white tablecloth places to vegan food trucks to farm-to-table trailers. There is a sense of coexistence, despite varying types of cuisine, and we wanted to bring that same crossroads to the table.
To assist in tonight's meal and in that same spirit of delicious harmony, Chef Northcutt enlisted four of his chef-est friends, including John Galindo, owner of Izzoz Tacos and chef at the Red House Pizzeria; Mat Clouser of Rabbit + Hat Supper Club; Philip Speer, the executive pastry chef at Uchi and Uchiko restaurants; and Plinio Sandalio, the pastry chef at Congress Restaurant.
"You got to hang out with Toesy? I'm jealous! She's so cool..."
Toesy, as it happens, is a chicken. Mention her name in a throng of Austin food bloggers or chefs, and everyone knows exactly where you spent your morning.
A scant two miles from the beep and thrum of the 25th annual South by Southwest music, film, and interactive conference and festival, a couple of farmers - and their celebrity livestock - are changing the way the city eats, one egg at a time.