Cuciniale Intelligent Cooking System

Early this year when I first wrote about the guided cooking trend after the Housewares show in Chicago, one of the companies I mentioned was German startup Cuciniale.

The company, founded by former executives of professional kitchen range maker Rational, first debuted parts of what would become its intelligent cooking system back in 2014, but only began to show the fuller vision of what became the intelligent cooking system in fall of last year.

With the company launching the US version of its guided cooking system on Kickstarter today, I decided to speak with Cuciniale CEO Holger Henke, the former CMO of Rational, about his company’s journey over the past five years and how Cuciniale differs from the other guided cooking systems making their way to market.

Wolf: How long have you been working on the Cuciniale intelligent cooking system?

Henke: The company was founded in 2012 and we’ve been working on the system for five years. We released a retrofit solution in the Sensor+/App in 2014, but that version required the user to manually set the appropriate heat.

Wolf: How is the Cuciniale Intelligent Cooktop different from other “guided cooking” devices such as the Hestan Cue or Pantelligent?

Henke: For one, it works with any induction cookware (ed note: the Hestan Cue comes with its own induction – and Bluetooth connected – cookware, while the Pantelligent is not induction compatible).

Second, heat and cooking time are optimized automatically to the varying food properties. The probe (GourmetSensor) measures temperature of the pan and within the food accurately and quickly.  We use artificial intelligence homed by a huge amount of empirical knowledge on automatic cooking and this allows us to set the heat with great accuracy (within 1 Watt accuracy) depending on the amount, weight, size, structure and composition of the food.

Wolf: How does the European and US market differ for smart kitchen and guided cooking?

Henke: On one hand, the needs of the consumer are the same in the US, Europe and China. They want to cook better and in a more convenient way.

However, US and, surprisingly, Chinese consumers are more open to smart innovations in the kitchen. Europeans tend to be much more hesitant and conservative. As a result, we believe the speed of adaption will be the higher in the US and China compared to Europe.

Wolf: Can you tell us how many of the retrofit system and the Cuciniale intelligent cooking system have been sold?

Henke: We’ve sold thousands of the retrofit system (the stand-alone Sensor prob/app), but without any marketing support. The built-in version of the smart induction cooktop was announced in September 2015 during IFA (ed note: A European trade show similar to CES) and will begin to ship in 2017 in Europe and the US.  We will sell Cuciniale technology through different, smaller European premium brand names with a ‘powered by Cuciniale’ logo. We will do the same in Asia and in the US as well.

You can find out more about the Cuciniale intellgent cooking system at Kickstarter.