At the Smart Kitchen Summit we bring together innovators who want to make the kitchen more high-tech, connected, and futuristic. But what does that matter if it doesn’t actually get people in the kitchen and cooking?
That’s exactly the question that the first panel of SKS 2019 tackled onstage last week. Nancy Roman, of the Partnership for a Healthier America, Beth Altringer, of Harvard, and celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor spoke with The Spoon’s Michael Wolf about how we can build a bridge to the future of food and cooking. Without alienating people.
Onstage Roman emphasized that the kitchen of the future should have one goal: building a healthier population. One way to do that is to make it easier for people to cook simple, nutritious meals at home — be it with a new cooking app, a recipe platform, or something else entirely.
For Dr. Altringer, the kitchen of the future isn’t all rosy. In fact, she showed data that suggests outsourcing more and more cooking processes to automation or other convenience measures doesn’t necessarily equate to happier eaters. “People enjoy food more when they know they worked for it,” she said onstage. One way they might cook and enjoy it is by employing her Flavor Genome Project, which is gamifying food preparation to help consumers and chefs figure out better dishes and fix flops.
With all this talk of automation, you’d think that a career chef like Sanjeev Kapoor might be worried about what the kitchen will look like down the road. Instead, he’s excited about it. “It’s an opportunity,” he said onstage. For example, Kapoor leverages social media to reach more viewers and leverages tech to help feed 1.8 million kids per day for his nutrition outreach project.
Overall, it was a really fascinating way to kick off the summit, and a departure from some of the typical conversations you hear around the future of food. If you’re interested in how tech can help us eat better, you can listen to the full video below! Keep an eye out for more content from SKS 2019 coming your way over the next few weeks.