The Paella Robot is Back Serving up Savory Socarrat
BRobot5 and Mimcook served up 5,000 dishes at HIP Expo in Spain this week.
Perhaps the best way to start this post about BRobot5’s paella robot is to go back to what I said about it a year ago, when I was still at The Spoon (emphasis mine):
We’ve covered plenty of robots that will make you all types of food such as pizza, burgers, tokoyaki and more in the development. But those are all examples of food that is meant to be cooked quickly in high-traffic areas. They can all pump out lots of food consistently around the clock. Br5’s paella bot helps illustrate how sophisticated cooking robots are getting. This arm is doing more than flipping burgers or dunking frozen fries, it’s coordinating a complex, multi-ingredient dish.
Since I wrote that piece, we’ve definitely see more robots coming out that can make increasingly complex foods. Dexai Robotics’ Alfred uses the same tools as a human chef to everything from searing steak to scooping ice cream. SJW Robotics makes complex bowls of food in its restaurant in-a-box. But perhaps most similar to the paella bot is THEO, which only makes one thing — a very complicated multi-layered baumkuchen cake.
So it’s no surprise that the paella bot re-surfaced this week at the HIP Hospitality Expo. The paella bot is actually the marriage of two different components: BRobot5’s robotic arm and Mimcook’s high-end precision burners built specifically for paella. Enric Cuadrada Quer, Project Manager at Mimcook posted a video of the robot in action on Linkedin with the following caption:
Yesterday we finished the fair #hip2022 having served more than 5000 servings of rice between BRobot5, GBfoods (Corporate Brand of Gallina Blanca) and Mimcook.
There we represent the tradition, evolution and future of the kitchen, where we are going, and the possibilities that change can generate.
While some purists (like David Chang, probably) might still scoff at the idea of automated paella, that’s okay. This robot isn’t meant to replace every restaurant that serves paella. But what this robot does do is make it possible for paella to be served in places it normally couldn’t. I don’t normally consider paella a meal I would eat on the go (like at an airport), but who knows, maybe if it was more widely available, more people would.
I think the thing to watch here is what other cuisines could sustain a unitasking robot like BRobot5 or THEO or the Mukunda Foods’ Biryani robot. The world’s a big place with plenty of specialties adored that could be automated so even more people could enjoy them more often.
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