By Carly DeFilippo

As one of the nation’s leading culinary schools, our mission at ICE has always been to push the envelope and anticipate the changes that will shape the culinary industry. So when one of the world’s most innovative and creative companies—IBM—approached us to collaborate in developing a software that could change the way chefs create new dishes, we were more than a little intrigued.

With the aid of our extensive recipe database, our experienced instructors and long history of culinary education, IBM has been able to refine their scientific theories regarding the pairing of ingredients, evaluating these combinations for not only novelty, but also pleasure. For working chefs, the aid of this “computational creativity” offers unprecedented opportunities to not only create unusual and exciting restaurant dishes, but also to develop recipes to accommodate specific health concerns, address factors such as sustainability or even create new products to address such important issues as that of world hunger.

“It forces you into new territory, working with ingredients in a way you never have before—and most likely, that no one ever has before.”
– Chef James Briscione, Institute of Culinary Education

Our chefs’ experience proves that computational creativity can push chefs beyond their comfort zones, inspiring ingredient pairings that surpass the boundaries of even the most advanced palate’s instinctive understanding of flavor. And food is only the beginning. From the fashion industry to advertising and health, this groundbreaking ability for computer technology to collaborate with humans to improve our reasoning capabilities, opening up new creativity possibilities, is yet to be seen.

“We’re all familiar with search engines and how they can help us…but can a computer help you come up with things that have never existed before? That’s what we’re trying to do.”
– Dr. Lav Varshney, IBM Research

We are honored to have been a part of this project, and look forward to seeing how this revolutionary technology will change the very way we, as humans, imagine and create. Most of all, we’re excited to continue exploring the ways that man and machine can work together to find the culinary voice of the future.

Click here for more information on the IBM and ICE collaboration on cognitive cooking.

To read IBM’s take on this exciting project, click here.

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