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IBM Cognitive Cooking Collaboration

ICE and IBM launch Cognitive Cooking including a food truck to travel to IBM Pulse and South by Sout#IBMFoodTruck Powered by ICE

As one of the nation’s leading culinary schools, our mission at ICE has always been to push the envelope and anticipate the changes that will shape the culinary industry. So when one of the world’s most innovative and creative companies - IBM - approached us to collaborate in developing a system that could change the way chefs create new dishes, we were more than a little intrigued.

Over the past two years we have been collaborating with IBM researchers, testing the limits of ingredient pairings and developing strategies to implement cognitive cooking in the culinary arts.

What is “cognitive cooking”?

“The idea of cognitive cooking is machines and humans working together—in this case, a very complex analytic system drawing from the vast collected knowledge of chemistry, food culture and taste preferences to help chefs break new ground."
– Mahmoud Naghshineh, IBM Research

With the aid of our extensive recipe database, our experienced instructors and long history of culinary education, IBM has been able to test and refine their scientific theories regarding the pairing of ingredients, evaluating these combinations for not only novelty, but also pleasantness. For working chefs, cognitive cooking offers unprecedented opportunities to not only create unusual and exciting restaurant dishes, but also to develop recipes to accommodate specific health concerns, address factors such as sustainability or even create new products to address such important issues as that of world hunger.

"For a chef, creating flavor pairs is natural, but seeing ingredients matched in larger groups and understanding the science—the shared compounds that make these foods taste good together—is revolutionary."
- James Briscione, Institute of Culinary Education

This spring, for the first time ever, this cognitive computing system will be on display at IBM Pulse in Las Vegas and South by Southwest in Austin, where IBM and the Institute of Culinary Education will serve samples of computer-generated dishes from a specially outfitted food truck.

Hungry festival-goers will be able to use Twitter to vote for which type of dish they’d like to see on the truck’s menu each day. In the truck’s mobile kitchen, ICE chefs and IBM researchers will take the top trending suggestion and, using the power of cognitive cooking, turn it into a never-before-tasted recipe. Tweet your favorite dish to #IBMFoodTruck to cast your vote.

You can follow our chefs’ adventure on board the #IBMFoodTruck on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels. To find out more about this groundbreaking partnership with IBM, visit

“Rather than a crutch that removes the chef’s decision-making process from the equation, this technology pushes chefs outside of their familiar comfort zones to consider new ideas and techniques toward deliciousness.”
– Chef Michael Laiskonis, Institute of Culinary Education

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