The Watson computer from IBM is known for accomplishing many feats, including winning at Jeopardy! and running a food truck.
Now Watson has a new talent as a chef and bartender.
Thanks to assistance from foodies and chefs from both Bon Apétit magazine and the Institute of Culinary Education, programmers from IBM have managed to put culinary knowledge into Watson.
The project is known as “Chef Watson”, and the computer is able to create original recipes based on ingredients that are selected by a user.
According to co-developer of Chef Watson Florian Pinel, Watson goes beyond the typical process that a chef takes when examining an ingredient.
When a chef considers incorporating an ingredient into a dish, they usually consider the history for the ingredient and how it is most typically used.
Chef Watson also does this, but the computer also considers the chemical composition of the ingredient.
However, some of the creations of Chef Watson are a little unusual to say the least. For example, the program has come up with such favorites including a chocolate-filled burrito and a puree of soybeans and apricots.
Still, it’s remarkable that the computer can create original new dishes with just the push of a button. Chef Watson is also able to determine likely available ingredients based on what the user has created in the past and offer recommendations based on what is probably sitting in the user’s kitchen.
One of the main specialties of Chef Watson however is that of mixed drinks. The computer has been known to come up with some unique alcoholic beverages.
The “Corn in the Coop” mixes chicken stock with bourbon apple juice and ginger, and it recommends topping off the drink with lemongrass, an orange peel and a small wedge of grilled chicken.
Not all drinks created by Chef Watson are that unusual. The “Ivorian Bourbon Punch features bourbon, banana juice, triple sec, vanilla extract, ground turmeric, lemon juice, lime juice and honey.
So while Chef Watson might not be perfect just quite yet, it should be able to inspire both home cooks and top-level professional chefs.