Senior Software Engineer, Watson Life at IBM, New York, NY
Culinary Arts, 2005
Florian Pinel was working in the research division at IBM, computing by day and cooking on nights and weekends, when he realized he wanted to take his culinary skills to the next level. Choosing ICE for the quality of its programs and flexible scheduling options, he graduated from the Culinary Arts program in 2005 and completed his externship at David Bouley’s Michelin-starred Austrian restaurant, Danube. Florian continued to work at the restaurant part-time for almost three years, rotating through all the kitchen stations, while continuing his research at IBM.
Then, in 2012, Florian began work on a project that would combine both of his professional passions. Collaborating with ICE Chefs James Briscione and Michael Laiskonis, that initiative became IBM’s “cognitive cooking” technology, revealed to the public in spring 2014 via the groundbreaking IBM Food Truck. Utilizing the creative computing power of Watson, Florian and ICE Chefs stunned and delighted food truck visitors with never-before-seen dishes whose flavors were determined by cognitive computing. This collaboration between man and machine has already begun to transform the future of cooking and how we approach flavor.
Florian now spends his days bridging the gap between technology and taste, further developing the cognitive cooking project and dreaming up new ways that computers can bolster human creativity. Somehow, he still finds time to maintain his personal cooking blog, Food Perestroika, which focuses on Florian’s culinary adventures and the cuisine of Eastern Europe.
Recently, Florian was asked to give a TED Talk on the Cognitive Cooking project and the future of food. Click here to watch.
To read an interview with Florian, click here.