The future is here. And the future is food trucks!
Oh wait, food trucks aren’t new. They’re popular, but just buying your food from a truck is not the future. The future is buying your food from a truck in which the recipes are dreamt up by a supercomputer. The singularity is here and it has never been more delicious!
The IBM Watson supercomputer (which you may recognize from its appearance competing on Jeopardy), in partnership with the Institute of Culinary Education, has become the IBM Watson food truck, which uses “computational creativity” to create surprising new recipes.
Or, as IBM explains, the food truck will be used to explore “whether a computer can be creative by designing a machine that can create surprising yet flavorful recipe ideas no cookbook has ever thought of.”
The system begins by capturing tens of thousands of existing recipes through natural language processing techniques to understand ingredient pairings, ingredient-cuisine pairings and dish composition, which it rearranges and redesigns into new recipes. It then cross references these with data on the chemistry of food ingredients, and the psychology of people’s likes and dislikes to model how the human palate might respond to different combinations of flavors.
“Creating a recipe for a novel and flavorful meal is the result of a system that generates millions of ideas out of the quintillions of possibilities,” IBM writes. “And then predicts which ones are the most surprising and pleasant, applying big data in new ways.”
IBM says computational creativity could “radically transform” the food industry by “identifying new recipes and pairings that are not only tasty and healthy, but also efficient to produce.”
Watch a demo of how the IBM Watson food process works now:
According to Laughing Squid, the IBM Watson food truck will by in Austin, Texas for South By Southwest “across from the convention center at the corner of Red River and 4th Street from March 7th to March 11th.” So if you’re there, go let a robot make you lunch.
DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Robin Skinner knows the food truck business. She’s the marketing director for Ruthie’s Rolling Café.
Now she’s teaming up with the folks at Sisu Restaurant and Bar in Uptown Dallas to take advantage of one thing it has that every food truck needs — parking space.
“This is prime real estate that’s not being utilized,” said Skinner.
Wade Randolph Hampton is a partner in Sisu. “I was actually walking out in the parking lot one day and I said how am I going to get people to hang out more hours of the day, more hours of the week.”
Together, the two businesses will open a new food truck park, Uptown Truck Stop, on March 19. Sisu’s owners see it as an opportunity to draw more customers. The restaurant’s pool and patio are big attractions, but only during warmer weather.
“I’m walking through an empty parking lot more in winter,” said Hampton.
The new park’s schedule is already filling with food trucks, like Trailercakes, the cupcake company. “It’s a new location and it’s a great location,” said Heather Zidell, Trailercakes’ owner.
Zidell says, food truck parks offer readily available spots, cutting down the work for truck owners. “Instead of getting on the phone, saying, ‘Can I park there? Can I park there?’”
Visitors will have access to the whole property with a chance to grab a cocktail or hit the pool. Organizers call it a win win opportunity for them and the community.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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Reporter- New York Business Journal
Would you trust a computer to make your dinner? What about diagnosing a strange illness?
Probably not by itself. But if you pair an advanced computer with a highly trained chef of doctor, then maybe we’ve got something.
They call it Cognitive Cooking, and they’re blending suggestions from Twitter with Watson’s supercomputing power to scour the universe for innovative flavor combinations. Some of its early computer-generated inventions? Indian Turmeric Paella and Italian Grilled Lobster.
Yesterday, IBM Research Vice President Mahmoud Naghshineh explained their thinking in a piece of sponsored content(content provided by IBM) in Slate magazine.
“There’s no better place to explore computational creativity than cooking,” wrote Naghshineh, who’s based here. “Great food can seem so mysterious. We tend to think of it as a product of art, of intuition. Yet, in fact, there’s a massive amount of chemical and neural science that helps explain why one dish is sublime and another isn’t.”
This makes a lot of sense, considering IBM Watson’s first big commercialization effort in health care. The stakes (steaks?) are different, but a chef is not unlike a physician.
Their crafts are both traditionally seen as a finely tuned art, a blend of expertise, intuition and training that’s sometimes difficult to quantify. But both also exist in a world with almost endless possibilities and data, when you think about all of the things that can possibly go wrong in the human body — or the quintillions of different combinations of ingredients that could conceivably end up in a meal.
Ben Fischer covers local and regional business in greater New York City.
Is South Australia the food and wine capital of the world?
If you think Australian foodie culture extends about as far as meat pies and cold, metallic lager, then prepare to be surprised.
(PRWEB) March 06, 2014
Exsus, the luxury tour operator, and Shout, the multi-award-winning strategic digital agency, have collaborated on a long-form epicurean experience that explores the best of South Australia’s burgeoning foodie scene.
With features including an exclusive interview with the region’s legendary celebrity cook and restaurateur, Maggie Beer, and an exploration of the fascinating history of South Australian wine, interspersed with the view from the ground from many of the great and the good of South Australian cuisine and viniculture, the project offers a taste of a newly-minted food and wine capital. Users can discover the myriad highlights of eating and drinking SA-style, from street food festivals, to unimpeachably fresh fish, to luxe, beachy picnics, to wine that’s celebrated around the world.
The project celebrates the launch of Exsus’ tailor-made Australasia and South Pacific holidays, and the arrival of top Australia and New Zealand travel expert, Annette Morrissey.
To experience it for yourself, please visit:
South Australia food and Wine
The London-based tour operator specialises in creating bespoke, luxury holidays and tailor-made tours and itineraries around the world. For further information, please visit: http://www.exsus.com
By Jon Fortenbury, Schools.com
There’s a reason ABC News called food trucks the “hottest new business venture.”
According to IBISWorld, a leader of business intelligence and industry research, the street vendor industry, which includes food trucks, has reached a revenue of one billion dollars, with approximately 30,810 businesses and 35,502 employees. It took the food industry by storm, with hundreds of new food trucks opening each year. But before you race to join the food truck industry, there are some things you should consider.
Is the food truck industry for you?
To determine if you should go into the food truck industry, consider these three facts:
1. A lot of food trucks go out of business: Though it’s tough to put an exact number on it, one estimate in a Huffington Post article showed that of the 100 food trucks that opened in 2012 in Los Angeles, 35 of them have closed. And though perhaps California doesn’t represent the situation everywhere, no one doubts that the situation is similar elsewhere. Can you deal with that risk?
2. Food trucks thrive in big cities: As IBISWorld pointed out in its research, the food truck industry is “located in areas which have a large population” and is “more concentrated in the most populated cities, and particularly, in the central parts of these metropolitan areas.” According to Zagat, the American cities with the “hottest food-truck scenes” are: New York City; Chicago; Miami; Austin, Texas; Portland, Ore.; Los Angeles; Cleveland; Boston; Houston and Washington, D.C. If necessary, would you be willing to live in a large city where food trucks thrive?
3. Food trucks are still businesses: With its flexible location and hours, it may be tempting to lose sight of the fact that food trucks, in many ways, still run like any other business. Have you earned a bachelor’s degree in business or studied independently on how to build a successful business? Since opening a food truck is entrepreneurial, a business-related degree may not be required, but anyone starting a business may benefit from it.
If you can accept the risk, you’re open to the possibility of relocating if necessary, and you prepare yourself for the business side of food trucks, then you may be ready to enter the food truck industry.
How to break into the field
You can’t just buy a vehicle and call it a food truck. There are more hoops than that to jump through. According to Mobile Cuisine magazine, there are several steps to undergo as you’re breaking into the food truck field, including:
• Decide on a menu, which requires demographic research and perfecting recipes
• Choose a location, which requires finding legal spots to park and areas that are popular
• Decide if you’re going to rent a food truck ($2,000-$10,000 a month, according to the article), buy a used food truck ($10,000-$75,000), buy a new food truck ($75,000-$125,000) or buy a custom food truck ($125,000-$300,000)
And then, according to the article, there are legal considerations, such as finding a legal spot to park the truck when you’re not using it, taxes, permits, licenses, insurance and more. A business degree or a knowledge of how businesses run could be beneficial when tackling all of these factors. Some culinary degree programs also offer instruction on running a food business.
The future of food trucks
No one can be certain, but there seems to be a general consensus on the food truck industry’s future. According to an Emergent Research report published by financial company Intuit, food trucks are expected to generate between 3 and 4 percent of the total restaurant revenue (about $2.7 billion) by 2017, which is a fourfold increase from 2012. Over time, according to the report, food trucks will expand to smaller cities and suburban areas, gaining share in catering and special events, such as weddings.
The food truck industry has a bright future. Deciding to be a part of it takes a lot of work. You’ll need money up front, a passion for and knowledge of food, some degree of business acumen, a desirable menu and location and a good understanding of the law. Only you can make that call.
Jon Fortenbury is an Austin-based freelance writer who specializes in higher education. He’s been published all over the place, ranging from the Huffington Post to USA Today College, and is a featured contributor to Schools.com. Follow him on Twitter. This article was originally published on Schools.com.
Food trucks will now have to abide new rules approved by the San Diego City Council Monday.
The ordinance requires the food truck operators stick to set hours of operation while in residential areas. If the truck is within 300 feet of a home, it can serve between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The rule is an effort to reduce late-night noise for residents, according to a release from City Council President Todd Gloria’s office.
Also under the ordinance, any private property owner who wants to host a food truck must first apply for an over-the-counter permit from the city’s Development Services Department.
Food truck operators themselves are not required to get the permits, and neither are schools, hospitals, religious facilities, construction sites or other industrial area property owners.
If they pick a space with “limited on-street parking,” the trucks will be required to move to private property to preserve the vehicle spaces and avoid pedestrian-vehicle crashes.
Operators are also required to clean 25 feet around their vehicle before serving.
“The ordinance is a fair approach to protect public health, safety and welfare while providing for mobile food truck operations on private property and in the public right-of-way, and I know food truck operators will benefit from having this clarity,” said Gloria in the release.
But some food truck owners are not as thrilled with the new restrictions.
When asked about the possibility of rules last month, Stuffed food truck owner Alex Gould spoke out against them.
He said he and his wife could be forced to move to a different city if the restrictions become too harsh.
The city council is required to review the ordinance in one year to take into account its effectiveness, public input and potential changes.
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Albany’s downtown manager is excited about new rules city commissioners passed that he hopes will attract more food trucks downtown.
Commissioners unanimously approved an amendment to an ordinance that will allow food trucks to use public streets downtown.
They can now set up in parallel parking spots as long as they don’t block other businesses.
“In reality we’re probably fix, six, seven years behind the food truck craze. But we need to stay and continue to get ahead of what’s going on in the rest of the United States,” Aaron Blair, downtown manager.
Blair hopes the new rules will attract more venders and stimulate downtown revitalization.
Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.
A strawberry cheesecake cupcake at Sarah’s. | Emily Wasserman
We’ve got good news for your sweet tooth. Sarah’s Cake Shop (10 Clarkson Wilson Centre, Chesterfield; 636-728-1140) is putting a second food truck out on the road sometime later this week. Manager Jill Umbarger tells us that the truck was just wrapped with graphics and Sarah’s logo yesterday.
The team at Sarah’s has been planning a second truck for about three months. Sarah’s Cake Stop (the food truck) couldn’t make all the dates people and companies were requesting, so it seemed like the logical next step. Sarah’s will be tweeting and posting locations for both trucks on the existing Cake Stop Twitter and Facebook pages.
One of its signature desserts, Glitter Bites, will also be available in the food trucks for the first time. Not only do we love the name, but they sound amazing: white cake filled with buttercream, dipped in chocolate and dipped in sugar.
“We’re gonna be offering some new things, so just stay tuned,” Umbarger says. “We’re working on some new recipes and new desserts — it’s a work in progress.” Look for the new food truck later this week!
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter.
10 Clarkson Wilson Centre, Chesterfield, MO
Even in the dead of winter, new food trucks appear.
The latest is a patriotic food truck called Yankee Doodle Dandy’s. It has the Statue of Liberty, the Constitution, and other Americana as the truck wrap.
Winner! Winner! is not necessarily our opinion of the food (you have to read to the end to find out), but it is the name of their most popular lunch special.
The Winner! Winner! is basically 4 chicken tenders, fries, potato salad, and a piece of buttered toast(?) for $7.75.
We think Winner! Winner! might actually refer to the highest number of carbohydrates in a food truck lunch, but we digress.
If you recall, there was another very patriotic NYC food truck a couple of years back called Our Heros. That truck had an eagle carrying a hero sandwich, but it had more of a 9/11 theme than a Founding Fathers theme.
The chicken fingers were nicely breaded and crunchy, two important factors in assessing chicken tenders. The breading was also peppery, which we personally like, but may not be to everyone’s taste.
Even more important, this was real chicken, not some processed stuff.
We tend to prefer skinny, crispy fries, but these were about average size. They appeared to be hand cut (i.e. not uniform), with a little skin on some pieces.
The potato salad was right up our alley, with an eggy and slightly sweet vinegar tang to it.
The fries were probably our least favorite part of the lunch, but they were not bad by any stretch of the imagination. We just liked the chicken and potato salad more.
The dipping sauce was very good. It was a ketchup, mayo and relish base, but was perked up by some interesting spices. We took their advice and used it for the fries as well as the chicken.
The Winner! Winner! from Yankee Doodle Dandy’s was a solid lunch from a new food truck in town. Sometimes it takes time for a vendor to find their sea legs on the NYC streets, but these guys seem to have their act down.
Next up for us will probably be their Buffalo Chicken lunch.
By Tracey Taylor
BERKELEYSIDE: After the city put a stop to a hugely popular Off The Grid in one part of Berkeley just over a year ago, the food truck market is back. This time, rather than being in the heart of Gourmet Ghetto, whose brick-and-mortar restaurants objected to the competition from the market, the trucks will take up residence in the parking lot of the North Berkeley BART station.
The market will feature 10 or more trucks every week, will be open for dinner on Sundays, from 5:00-9:00 p.m.
It will be the second weekly food truck gathering for Berkeley. Off the Grid is also on the south side of the Cal campus, at Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street, on Mondays from 5-8 p.m.
Trucks at the Feb. 9 launch will include Koja Kitchen (which recently opened a brick-and-mortar spot on Telegraph Avenue); Kasa India; sliders and fry vendor WhipOut!; Liba Falafel (which is slated to open a restaurant in Uptown Oakland this summer); burrito makers Burr-Eatery; and Lexie’s Frozen Custard.
Berkeleyside is an award-winning, independently owned news website based in Berkeley, Calif., that shares content with partner organization sfgate.com. Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.
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