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Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson: Recipes…
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Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson: Recipes for Innovation from IBM & the…

by IBM

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The highs and the lows. First off a low, despite being a hardback colour book it felt and looked like a cheapend production. Forget that because the real high is opening and flipping through, wow, wow, wow. Like no other cookbook I have opened, each page offers another exciting and surprising combination, you could eat it off the page. Into the text and I am caught, IBM Watson is used to data trawl a vast library of recipes to come up with surprising flavour and taste combinations that will work. A realtime dip your finger in the barrel and surprise yourself with something never experienced before.
Unfortunately as I read through the magic faded. Watson came up with novel combinations but it took the skills of highly talented chefs to balance the ingredients and to find ways of cooking them to bring out the suggested blend of flavours. Worse still this is fancy high end cooking so lots and lots of side preparations to compliment and balance the key ingredient only for a dribble or a dressing or a smear to be used. But what dishes, they looked good and you can just image the flavour contrast, balance and opposing textures and colours. What is not to like. As a sop they included a section of 'home cooking' that ordinary guys like you and me could tackle. Real patronising made worse because their concept of home cooking is firmly founded on what goes down in the USofA, so a rich diet of burgers and BBQ's.
In the end I put the book down disappointed. Our talented chefs were challenging Watson with unlikely combinations of ingredients or style of cooking to see what it could come up with to then use their creative skills to turn it into a worthwhile dish. So in the end just another exercise in searching the planet for novelty for novelty sake. Too much of that going on already. And the waste, all those ingredients that add just a fleck.
So wanted to revel and I will try some out. But not the breakthrough I was expecting.
On reflection those old regional dishes had a lot going for them, taking the few ingredients that were in season and making the most of them, producing hearty and filling meals with little waste. Surely that is better than this chase after novelty. ( )
  tonysomerset | Oct 6, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 149262571X, Hardcover)

Take Your Cooking to a Whole New Level with Chef Watson and the Institute of Culinary Education!

You don't have to be a culinary genius to be a great cook. But when it comes to thinking outside the box, even the best chefs can be limited by their personal experiences, the tastes and flavor combinations they already know. That's why IBM and the Institute of Culinary Education teamed up to develop a groundbreaking cognitive cooking technology that helps cooks everywhere discover and create delicious recipes, utilizing unusual ingredient combinations that man alone might never imagine.

In Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson, IBM's unprecedented technology and ICE's culinary experts present more than 65 original recipes exploding with irresistible new flavors. Together, they have carefully crafted, evaluated and perfected each of these dishes for "pleasantness" (superb taste), "surprise" (innovativeness) and a "synergy" of mouthwatering ingredients that will delight any food lover.

Sprinkled throughout the book are cooking tips from the pros at ICE, entertaining anecdotes on the various stages of IBM and ICE's collaboration and ideas for home cooks to expand their repertoires or spice up current favorites. From Chef Watson's first recipe ever, the Spanish Almond Crescent, to Creole Shrimp-Lamb Dumplings, Italian-Pumpkin Cheesecake, and Hoof-and-Honey Ale, Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson introduces home cooks and professional chefs to a whole new world of culinary possibilities.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 05 Jul 2015 16:11:42 -0400)

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