Writer Michael Endelman reports on recipe-generating technology that straddles the line between computer science and human innovation.
There are nearly 50 years of combined cooking expertise in the test kitchen on the 12th floor of the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City. At one end of a table is Michael Laiskonis, who spent eight years as the pastry chef at Le Bernardin before becoming the school’s creative director in 2012; next to him is James Briscione, who worked in the private dining room of Daniel Boulud’s eponymous flagship and is now ICE’s director of culinary development.
Neither of them is running this kitchen today. Instead, they’re taking orders from a two-year-old named Watson: a supercomputer invented by IBM and uploaded with a catalog of culinary expertise.