Robot kitchen restaurant to expand thanks to backing of top chefs (VIDEO)

A bowl at Spyce — Picture courtesy of de Grace Uvezian (Spyce Food Co)
A bowl at Spyce — Picture courtesy of de Grace Uvezian (Spyce Food Co)

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 11 — After debuting in Boston earlier this spring as the world's first robotic kitchen, Spyce restaurant is poised to open more locations in the US, thanks to a major investment boon and support from top chefs and restaurateurs including Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse and Gavin Kaysen.

Founded by four young MIT graduates, the Spyce kitchen is powered by seven cooking woks and induction heating to prepare healthy Buddha-type bowls.

Following a major US$21 million (RM87.16 million) financing injection from investors like Collaborative Fund, Maveron and Khosla Ventures, the company has announced plans to open a number of new restaurants along the East Coast in the near future.

Early on, the project received a major boost when it was able to enlist the backing of Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud as the culinary director for their healthy bowl menu.

Choices include Latin, Lebanese, Thai and Indian-inspired bowls, along with vegetarian and gluten-free selections.

Ingredients used are organic and sourced locally where possible. The menu is also conspicuously absent of beef, a resource-intense, unsustainable ingredient.

While chefs Boulud, Keller and Bocuse seem open to the idea of robot kitchens, others in the restaurant industry have been more reticent about automation, citing job losses and the erosion of human interaction as reasons to resist.

But over the last few years, robot servers have become less surprising, as have robot bartenders, like the one built on the mammoth cruise ship Quantum of the Seas.

Likewise, Fuamen Ramen Noodle in Nagoya debuted in 2009 employing robots to churn out 800 bowls of noodles a day.

Spyce claims to be the world's first robotic kitchen to cook complex meals to order. — AFP-Relaxnews