When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help?

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mhkyeung
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When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help? - Mon, 07/15/13 8:11 PM
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Hey guys, I've been a lurker on this forum but only until recently that I register for an account. A lot of users on this forum have extensive background in cooking, restaurant operations etc. so I would be really grateful if you can share you thoughts and experience on this matter.
 
Alright, so recently some of my engineer friends and I have been working on a [free] online tool that's designed for recipe users. What the tool does is basically about enhancing your experience [with recipes] in 4 steps:

1. Create or simply copy and paste a recipe onto the input page

2. The recipe is assessed, then assigned an overall taste score (our program takes care of this step for you)

3. Freely modify each recipe to better suit your preferences (nothing special here, just recipe editing), or get ideas from our ingredient suggestions (based on tastes, aroma compounds etc). This means you will have hundreds or thousands of ways to add/ swap ingredients in a recipe to improve the dish

4. Once you are done, use or share the recipe

 

The value of this tool would be 1) to simulate how a dish would turn out, before you have to go through the whole preparation and cooking process

                                                  2) provide you with lots of suggestions to add/ swap ingredients, thus explore different ways to enhance a dish

                                                      *as you use this tool, the algorithm will learn your preferences so future suggestions will be tailored to you

It might be especially beneficial to restaurant owners, as they have to design & test dozens of dishes before offering them to customers.

 

Technical aspects aside, my question is, in your opinion how likely would typical recipe users, or yourself, integrate this online tool into the cooking process?

To chefs & restaurant owners out there, would you be interested in using this tool to design/ overhaul existing recipe(s), and potentially introduce this new dish to your customers?

 

I'm just trying to validate this idea, and would appreciate any input or suggestions. If you don't feel like giving your ideas in public you can pm me or contact me through my homepage :)

Thanks!

<message edited by mhkyeung on Tue, 07/16/13 1:23 PM>

JRPfeff
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Re:When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help - Mon, 07/15/13 8:46 PM
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When digging a ditch it is very important to select the proper tool.  The wrong tool can make ditch digging very difficult.  I therefore will select a shovel as my tool, preferably a spade. Before you start digging your ditch be sure to contact the utility company to make sure that there are no power lines or other cables buried were the ditch is going. This can save you from possibly being electrocuted.
 
You're welcome.

FriedClamFanatic
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Re:When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help - Mon, 07/15/13 9:21 PM
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I just fry the Spam.  They like it or they don't. If they like it, I serve more; if they don't I pull out my pearl handled......NVM

mhkyeung
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Re:When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help - Mon, 07/15/13 11:33 PM
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FriedClamFanatic


I just fry the Spam.  They like it or they don't. If they like it, I serve more; if they don't I pull out my pearl handled......NVM

note to self: pearl-handles to ensure positive user feedback
<message edited by mhkyeung on Tue, 07/16/13 1:01 AM>

Foodbme
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Re:When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help - Tue, 07/16/13 1:25 AM
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Want a straight answer?
A totally useless idea.
It's like using a cannon to kill a mouse. Overkill!

JRPfeff
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Re:When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help - Tue, 07/16/13 7:16 AM
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I really thought it said ditch when I first read the title. Are ditches needed when installing British kitchens?

felix4067
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Re:When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help - Tue, 07/16/13 10:52 AM
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Not every new poster is a British kitchen spammer.
 
As Foodbme said, it's overkill. I understand where the idea came from, and the fact that you said you're all engineers gives me the reason it's so complex. Most people already think they know how something will taste, so they don't need a taste score (which is subjective anyway...I highly doubt a piece of software, no matter how intricately written, can accurately judge taste for everyone). Most people also know what they like or don't like, and will substitute accordingly (for example, I don't eat cilantro, but quite regularly use parsley in its place). Even if someone doesn't know what can be substituted, there are already several places where one can get a list of suggested substitutions.
 
As for the using or sharing aspects...there are hundreds of websites which consist of user-contributed recipes that can be used and shared publicly. Unless you're offering something wildly different or far more useful than what you've outlined here, few people are going to be willing to pay for a software package that does exactly what they can get for free elsewhere. I assume you're not just thinking of developing this out of the goodness of your heart, but as a means of making some money. If you were planning on this being a free online tool, then more power to you! People will probably use it, at least for a while.

mhkyeung
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Re:When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help - Tue, 07/16/13 1:32 PM
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Thanks a lot felix!
 
We do plan to make it a free online tool for everyone, and just maybe with optional subscription service for people eg. culinary students, restaurant owners etc. who want more advanced features
in terms of the taste score, what if it's determined partly by the algorithm and partly by public ie. user ratings collected over time, and as you use the tool repeatedly over time, the program learns your preferences so things you don't like would be given a lower score
In this case would you/ general users be more interested?

felix4067
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Re:When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help - Tue, 07/16/13 2:51 PM
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Honestly? No. I may not be a professional cook, but I do spend a great deal of time in the kitchen. My brain already does that for me, through trial and error and various other things I've learned over the years.
 
If you really want to do this, you might want to dumb it down and make your target market beginner cooks who don't already know as much. Anyone who has spent any amount of time cooking would most likely find it too much work for not a whole lot of result they can't manage on their own.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help - Tue, 07/16/13 3:19 PM
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I'm just an ordinary cook, but I know how things are going to taste before I cook them. If I didn't already know how they'd taste I wouldn't cook them.

lleechef
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Re:When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help - Tue, 07/16/13 4:19 PM
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I never use recipes when I cook.  Only occasionally when I bake.

Foodbme
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Re:When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help - Wed, 07/17/13 11:53 PM
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I've never cooked or eaten anything that tastes like an algorithm!!!!!
Go pan-fry your Slide Rule!!!
(Anyone remember those?)
 
<message edited by Foodbme on Wed, 07/17/13 11:55 PM>

bartl
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Re:When you design a dish, how do you usually approach it? Do you think my idea would help - Thu, 07/18/13 3:27 PM
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Foodbme
I've never cooked or eaten anything that tastes like an algorithm!!!!!
Go pan-fry your Slide Rule!!!
(Anyone remember those?)

I've got one that was used by noted physicist Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu.
 
Bart