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

In today’s podcast, I talk 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.

If you’d like to meet Julia Collins and hear her talk about the future of restaurant tech in person, make sure to be at the Smart Kitchen Summit. Podcast listeners can get Smart Kitchen Summit tickets for 25% off using the discount code PODCAST. Just go to www.smartkitchensummit.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. 

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

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
                            

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.

Podcast

Tipping Cows With Crowd Cows Ethan Lowry by Smart Kitchen Show is licensed under a  Creative Commons License.

 

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.

CES 2017: The Thermomix Interview

If you live in the US, chances are you haven’t gotten your hands on a Thermomix TM5. That’s because the latest generation of Vorwerk’s hugely popular multi cooker that has sold over 3 million units in Europe has only been available in the state of California as part of a limited test market rollout.

But that’s all about to change. Thermomix’s parent company Vorwerk plans to expand the product’s US footprint in 2017, first in New York and then to other markets. This expansion comes as the company rolls out its new connected recipe platform, the Cook-Key, which gives Thermomix users access to thousands of recipes that can automatically be downloaded and used as part of multicooker’s guided cooking system.

As CES in Las Vegas I caught up with the head of Thermomix’s North America, Kai Schaeffner, and Stefan Hilgers, who is head of product for the Thermomix.

Listen to the podcast by clicking play above, subscribing on iTunes or downloading here.

The CES 2017 Smart Kitchen Wrapup Show

It’s the CES 2017 smart kitchen wrapup! Mike and Ashley talk about what they saw at this year’s big consumer tech confab in Vegas.

Some of the topics they cover:

  • Smart fridges
  • Smart appliances
  • Whirlpool assisted cooking
  • Bosch’s kitchen robot Mykie
  • Panasonic’s smart kitchen
  • Anova’s new lineup of sous vide circulators
  • AppKettle
  • Alexa

Plus a couple non-CES news items such as Daimler’s investment in Starship and the
AB Inbev and Keurig Partnership.

This episode can be downloaded by clicking here.

Enjoy!