Have you seen the Samsung Family Hub smart fridge? We stopped by Samsung KX in London this week to take a look (for the uninitiated, it's a Samsung display space that's free to enter, plus you (and your kids) can try out all the tech. There's a cafe, too, btw).
Anyway... As you're probably aware, we're fascinated by the world of smart kitchens and the evolution of kitchen trends and technology, here at RealHomes.com. So, when the opportunity to discuss everything from robot chefs to how technology impacts food trends with two Michelin star chef Michel Roux Jr arose at IFA 2019 in Berlin last week, it's fair to say we jumped at the opportunity. We sat down with Michel after a delicious meal at Samsung Club des Chefs, where Michel Roux Jr and Michel Troisgros cooked attendees lunch the help of Samsung Bot Chef – an AI-powered kitchen assistant!
- Do I really need a smart fridge? Find out in our no nonsense guide
- Do I really need smart kitchen appliances? We give you honest advice...
Q: Do you have any smart tech in your home?
A: I guess it depends what you classify as smart home tech. I am a huge fan of induction, not only for the home but also in professional kitchens. At Le Gavroche it's all induction and in my professional career that's one thing that's notable of change. And it's now becoming mainstream, which is great.
Q: Would you be interested in the likes of the Samsung Family Hub?
A: Yes! *cough cough to Samsung PR, who is also in the room.* I love the smart fridge, I absolutely adore it, I think it's brilliant. Obviously it's fun, because you can write messages, send emails and even see me cooking.
I've done lots of step-by-step videos for recipes, so you can just tap and see me or Davide (Olandi) or Michel (Troisgros) or any of the other Samsung Club des Chefs to help guide you through a recipe.
But there are so many great features on that fridge. The one that always gets me is that you can see inside the fridge (on the door screen or via your smart phone, without opening the door). I just love that. You could be doing your shopping for example and check if you have milk. You can see everything in your fridge. It's just brilliant.
Apart from the tech, the fridges are amazing. They really are with all different zones for different foods. And when they're interactive like that, even better.
Q: If you could design any technology for the kitchen, what would it be?
A: There's the bot, which you may have seen yesterday.* Now, it's a primitive bot, but I think it's going to grow very quickly and in a few years time there will be more in place in both the home kitchen and professional kitchens. Yes, I can see that happening very quickly.
* We were fortunate enough to experience Michel Roux Jr cooking alongside a robot at Samsung Club des Chefs.
Q: Is there any scope for a restaurant run totally by robots?
A: I don't think totally run by robots. I think there will still be some human element. But, I think there will most definitely be some kind of artificial intelligence and robotics. Some form of help.
We see it already in some instances in warehouses, where robots can put things away and bring them to you. So, there's no reason why that couldn't be transferred to smaller kitchens, or ultimately in the home.
It will take time. But, as with all things, you think it will take a long time and it ends up moving very quickly because more people are interested and more money ends up being invested. Before you know it, you walk into your home and your robot has practically done all of your dinner for you. Which would be amazing.
Q: So you're not sure there's any scope for a robot with a Michelin star anytime soon?
A: Who knows! I may not see that. My daughter might see it, but I'm not sure I will. I remember reading something about how some robots can define taste and differentiate between tastes, so there's progress there.
And at least they won't be so moody. Chefs are notoriously moody, so perhaps you'll have to program the robot to be moody in order to be a real chef.
Q: How has technology impacted food trends, so far?
A: There have been so many advancements with various cooking techniques. The onslaught of sous vide, vacuum packing at low temperatures and all of that.
Yes, vacuum packing and sous vide cooking has definitely improved cooking for cheap cuts and slow cooking. Every chef now cooks pork belly vacuum packed and overnight in a steam oven, Whereas in the old days it would've been a lot more difficult to achieve that level of perfection.
Q: And since we're in Berlin, do you have any restaurant recommendations?
A: Don't look any further than the place I ate last night. A place called Panama which was excellent. Great service, relaxed but on the point. The food was trendy, delicious, super well seasoned. Highly recommended.