What Does It Mean For a Beer Brewer When Their Product Becomes Digitized?

When you drink a great wine or a tasty IPA, you're often tasting the land from which that creation came from. But what happens when the means of production becomes distributed and food, once produced in a brewery or factory, is produced at the point of consumption?

I ask this question of Zahr Said, Associate Professor at University of Washington School of Law. Said has spent a great deal of time studying the local beer creators market in the Pacific Northwest, and on this podcast we discuss the implications for the creators once food and drink becomes digitized, including the financial potential of global access to worldwide markets when their creation is digitized and eventually paired with local production.

Conversational Cooking: Exploring Chatbots As a Cooking Interface

When I tell people I cook with Facebook, they give me a strange look.

But using Facebook's chatbot as a cooking interface is surprisingly natural. The first cooking company to create a Facebook Messenger chatbot interface is ChefSteps, who launched their Joule-Messenger integration earlier this year.

The chatbot is part of the company's larger vision around the idea of 'conversational cooking', which I discuss with the ChefSteps CTO Michael Natkin.

For listeners interested in the Smart Kitchen Summit, less than two weeks until early bird pricing expires. Use the discount code PODCAST to get an extra 25% off of tickets.

Robot (and Big Data) Pizza: A Conversation With Zume Pizza's Julia Collins

In today's podcast, Mike talks with Zume Pizza cofounder Julia Collins.

If you've read an article about Zume Pizza, chances are it focused on the how the company is using robotics to make pizza more efficiently.

But here's the thing: while robot-assisted pizza production IS interesting, it is NOT what's the most intriguing part about Zume Pizza's business. No, what makes Zume Pizza revolutionary is it's the application of data analysis combined with what the company calls an "elastic" pizza delivery network that pushes final cook and delivery to where the most demand.

In a sense, the company is applying cloud computing concepts to pizza creation, bringing the ability to scale fast to meet demand with highly efficient resources.

This makes sense for a whole bunch of reasons. Traditional retail fast food involves hundreds of thousands - even sometimes millions of dollars - in fixed cost associated with each (to use a telecom term) "point of presence", but once the store is built you're stuck in one place. Why not move to meet demand where it's at, when it's at?

That is exactly what Zume is doing with a network of mobile pizza trucks that do final-cook in smart ovens and through a fleet of scooters that bring the pizza to the consumer's home.

Enjoy the podcast.

Amazon acquires Whole Foods

Every now and then a deal of such magnitude happens, it makes you almost speechless when you first hear about it.

Amazon buying Whole Foods is one of those deals.

On this quick-take podcast, Mike gets together with Nomiku CEO Lisa Fetterman to discuss this mind-blowing deal, what it could mean for Amazon, what a future Amazon-ized Whole Foods could look like and the implications for the broader grocery industry.

Tipping Cows With Crowd Cows Ethan Lowry

Here's one thing you probably haven't tried: crowdfunding a cow.

But now you can. Crowd Cow is a company that has a platform to crowdfund the purchase of a steer or heifer. Started by Ethan Lowry, formerly of Urban Spoon, Crowd Cow lets backers buy their choice of meat and crowdfunds local meat one cow at a time.

I talked to Ethan about how he got the idea for Crowd Cow, how he sees the retail market for meat changing and how Crowd Cow could evolve to become a platform for products other than beef.

Is Flavor a Technology?

In this podcast, Mike talks with Mikel Cirkus and Matthew Walter from Firmenich, the largest privately owned flavor company in the world, about the idea of flavor as a technology. They explore how flavor can be broken down into different elements, how the speed of innovation and discovery in flavors continues to accelerate across geographies in today's connected world, and how the connected kitchen is impacting the flavor industry.

Connected Cooking, Subscription Sous Vide, And The Food Self-Sufficient Village of the Future

In today's podcast you get two interviews for the price of one!

The first interview is with Lisa Fetterman, the CEO of Nomiku, in which Mike and Lisa talk about Nomiku's new sous vide circulator, their new subscription meal service for users of the Nomiku and the recent investment in Nomiku by Samsung.

In the second interview, we talk with James Ehrlich of ReGen Villages. James is trying to recreate the home and neighborhood of the future in which villages will be entirely self-sufficient in terms of energy, water and food creation.

You can find out more about Nomiku at www.nomiku.com
You can learn more about Regen Villages at www.regenvillages.com

Watch Out Microwave, Here Comes RF Cooking

On the 50th birthday on the microwave, the core technology behind the fast-cook workhorse faces an uncertain future. One of the technologies taking aim at the old-school microwave is RF solid state cooking.

A company that figures to be a key player in the RF cooking space is Goji Solutions. With a portfolio of technology originally developed for heating tissues for medical environments, today Goji Solutions holds over 100 patents in the RF heating market. Goji is working with appliance makers to bring products to market using their RF cooking technology. They are also members of the RF Energy Alliance.

We talk to Goji Solutions President Yuval Ben-Haim to hear the backstory of his company's technology and to get a state of the market for RF cooking.

If you'd like to hear Ben-Haim talk about RF cooking in person, make sure to come to the Smart Kitchen Summit where he will be speaking. Go to www.smartkitchensummit.com and use the discount code PODCAST to get 25% off of tickets

News Show: Why Did Whirlpool Buy Yummly?

We're back!

Yes, it's been way tooo long since we've done one of these, but Ashley and I catch up on the top smart kitchen and foodtech news of the last few weeks, including:

-Whirlpool's acquisition of Yummly
-Amazon's latest Echo device, the Echo Show
-Microsoft's new Cortana powered wireless speaker
-PicoBrew's record breaking campaign for the Pico C
-The microwave's 50th birthday and while it may not be long for this world
-The Cinder grill's Indieogogo campaign

We also catch up on all the news coming out of the Smart Kitchen Summit. If you'd like to go to SKS, head on over to the Smart Kitchen Summit website and use the discount code PODCAST and get 20% off of tickets.

Podcastsmart kitchensmartkitchenfoodtechWhirlpoolYummlyMichael WolfAshley Daigneault

Creating A The Food Data Layer With Victor Penev

Victor Penev set out five years ago to create a semantic data layer for the world of food. Now his company, Edamam, has one of the world's biggest databases and provide food and nutrition data to companies like the New York Times and Epicurious. Now Penev wants to bring his data to the world of connected cooking appliances.

You can find out more about Edamam at www.edamam.com

Check out The Spoon for daily analysis about the smart kitchen at www.thespoon.tech

The Thermomix Interview at CES

I caught up with the Thermomix team at CES. This is his conversation with Kai Schaeffner and Stefan Hilgers on the first day of CES 2017.

We discuss the Thermomix market entry in the US, the roll out of the Cook-Key and more!

You can find out more abut the Thermomix at thermomix.com/

Talking Spinzall With Dave Arnold

Dave Arnold is a culinary innovator who has published a James Beard award winning book on cocktails, is the founder of the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) and also hosts an extremely popular podcast called Cooking Issues. He also makes hardware, and his latest creation is the Spinzall, a countertop culinary centrifuge.

Mike caught up with Dave to talk about the creation of the Spinzall and much more.

You can find the Spinzall at blog.modernistpantry.com/spinzall/

Reinventing Refrigeration With Phononic's Tony Atti

Over the past 10 years, the world of lighting has witnessed a massive transformation to modern technology in the form of solid state (known as LED lighting).

Now, some in the world of refrigeration are hoping for a similar reinvention using a centuries old physics concept called the Peltier Effect.

We talk to the CEO of Phononic, a company which just received $40 million to help take it's technology mass-market.

Read about Phononic and more about the future of the kitchen at The Spoon: www.thespoon.tech

SKS16 Sessions: The New Food Network

This episode features a conversation from the stage of Benaroya Hall in Seattle at SKS16. Included in the conversation are:

Ashlee Clark-Thompson, CNET; Tiffany Lo, Buzzfeed/Tasty; Kevin Yu, SideChef; Esmée Williams, AllRecipes

The panel description from this session is as follows: The number one video publisher in the world today is Buzzfeed's Tasty, which had almost 2 billion views in the month of May for its short how-to cooking videos made for the Millennial generation. In the age of apps and online video, cooking discovery and education is changing rapidly and this panel will explore what the Cooking Channel of tomorrow will look like.

News Show: Smart Cookie Ovens & Malibu Bay Breeze

Mike and Ashley are back talking about what's going on in the world of the connected kitchen and foodtech.

In this episode, M&A talk:
-appliance as a service (and it's terrible acronym)
-Juicero's new CEO
-SideChef's smart easy bake oven for cookies
-Teforia's $12 million infusion
-Ashley's experience with the Nima gluten sensor
-Jenn-Air's Nest integration
-Ashley explains why Rhode Islanders are still drinking Malibu Bay Breezes
-A discussion of whether George Foreman actually invented a grill
-Smart Kitchen Summit pictures are out!
-SKS17 pre-registration has begun!