Kitchen Robots: End of Chefs or Just Another Helping Hand? Blog by Oystein Mojord from Chef & Yöung

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th November 2017

This month Oystein Mojord from Chef & Yöung wonders how long it will take before robots replace chefs in the kitchen.

Robots have long been predicted to make their mark in kitchens but how far away are they and what is the impact on our industry?

Robotics at Moley
Robotics at Moley

Moley is a company working on a new fully automated and integrated intelligent cooking robot. The robot will have access to hundreds of recipes and have the skill to cook them and clean up afterwards – all without the need for a human to get involved in the process. The team behind the robot recorded the cooking skills of chef Tim Anderson, winner of BBC’s MasterChef: The Professionals 2011, with every motion and touch and then replayed his exact movements through the robotic hands. Is this the future? Will they be ubiquitous robots – relieving every household from the “burden” of needing to cook their own food?

Smart kitchens and robotics have long been a topic of fascination and discussion. For instance, Professor Azamov (roughly) predicted the rise of robots in the 60’s but visions have often fallen a little flat as we often overestimate the speed of evolution in technology and underestimate the changes in food culture.

There are still many hypotheses around how dependent we will be on robotics and the effect on our workforce e.g. chefs. Some robotic automation will most likely come in to simplify and improve certain repetitive processes, especially within large-scale food manufacturing. However, many people are forgetting the human element that is intrinsic to the food experience. Consider the restaurant and/or hotel guest who is paying for a full eating experience where intuition, creativity, taste, and emotion are key in creating these good food experiences. Something robots lack.

Professor Charles Spence
Professor Charles Spence

We recently met Professor Charles Spence at London Food Tech Week and he stated in his newest book Gastrophysics that, “The pleasures of the table reside in the mind, not the mouth”. Professor Spence studies the science of sensory perception and has discovered that the perfect meal has less to do with the “nuts and bolts” of the cuisine but much more about everything else e.g. smells, sounds, colours etc. and tries to define the difference between a memorable meal and one to be forgotten.

For now, our focus should be on creating memorable food experiences for our guests with science and technology aiding the skills of human chefs. Robots may one-day play a role within our industry but to a lesser degree than in others as ours is a people business where human senses play the bigger part.

Oystein Mojord

Chef & Yöung is a Scandinavian brand working to grow the talent and passion of yöung chefs and foodies, promoting cooking as a lifestyle. Everything started when the Norwegian chef, Oystein, travelled around the world and noticed that there was a high demand for quality chefs in the kitchens; meanwhile his colleagues were constantly switching jobs. He decided something had to be done and Chef & Yöung was born to bring in a new attitude among yöung chefs and promote cooking as a lifestyle. Oystein co-owns Chef & Yöung with Mattias Nordlander who focuses on the sales, marketing and finance side of the business.

Twitter: @chefandyoung

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th November 2017

Kitchen Robots: End of Chefs or Just Another Helping Hand? Blog by Oystein Mojord from Chef & Yöung