À la Computer

Collaborative Cooking Project Allows Chefs to Prepare Meals Via Computer

What happens if you take two or more chefs, from different locations in the world, and ask them to prepare a meal from the comfort of their computers? It’s this question, plus many more, that the inventors of Collaborative Cooking are itching to answer in their on-going experiments.

The project allows participants to enter cooking instructions into the digital platform, whilst a machine carries out their culinary biddings. ‘We don’t want anyone to plan, or to put up a strategy- we want to involve play.’ Christian Isberg, one of the project’s creators, told us.

‘We look at the whole project as an ongoing discussion- the input is based on everything from salting the pot, to the point when it’s time to dine’

We asked Christian more about the idea behind the experiments:

The Plus: Do you think this kind of technology could overtake `face-to-face collaborative cooking in the future?
Christian Isberg:
No, I don’t think so. This project is quite low-tech. We never thought of it as inventing a new technology. I think most engineers would laugh at the simplicity of the tech we are using. We use basic and existing technology, but we contextualize it.
The project (which is much bigger than just the machine) deals with reactivity and interactivity. The machine itself is just reactive: you push something and it executes a function. The interactivity is within the collaboration.

TP: How could this project effect or change the international cooking scene?
There are a lot of possibilities. What happens if chefs from 5 different continents work together? -Or 3 chefs and 2 kids? How would people react to the idea of sitting at home and cooking their food for 6 hours, then coming to the restaurant to eat it? Would it matter that a top-chef chopped the onions that are put into the machine? For us the project has created a lot of questions.

TP: What’s next for Collaborative Cooking?
We have plans for an event in Stockholm, but nothing set in stone yet.