Renowned chef and culinary alchemist, Heston Blumenthal, has joined robotics startup, Karakuri, as a board advisor. Heston, known for his unique creations and seeking perfection in food through science and technology, will provide Karakuri with insight and advice on how Karakuri’s automated food preparation system can deliver delicious , hyper-personalised meals.
This is the first time Heston Blumenthal has worked directly to advise a tech startup. Heston joins Karakuri’s advisory board alongside ARM, Ocado, Imperial College, Bristol Robotics Lab and Edinburgh Centre for Robotics. The board’s mix of experts from the robotics, retail and food world’s means that Karakuri can push further to the forefront of cutting edge technologies and define how they can be used to impact how consumers eat in restaurants or on-the-go.
Heston Blumenthal, founder of The Fat Duck and Dinner by Heston, said, “I’ve always been excited by the capabilities of robots. In recent years, the robotics industry has shifted greatly from being the workhorses of manufacturing into many other areas of our lives. Karakuri are part of a new vanguard of companies focusing on the use of robots in the food, beverage and hospitality space and I am really looking forward to helping be part of this growth.
The collaboration between robots and humans is something I am deeply interested in. Whilst there are so many incredible things robots can do for us, they lack many of the key human qualities that make the hospitality and service sector so special. Through my cooking I have come to understand the power of emotion and how it relates to food, how it is affected by feelings such as nostalgia, empathy and now our microbes. A robot is missing these factors and therefore it can never have as powerful a connection with food as humans. Part of the attraction of Karakuri was their willingness to explore these areas so that, as we build ever more sophisticated machines, we don’t lose sight of the beauty of human beings. Let’s use robots to celebrate the things that only humans can do”
Barney Wragg, CEO and co-founder of Karakuri, added, “From when we first came up with the initial concept of Karakuri, Simon and I dreamed that Heston would join us. Heston is the world leader in understanding the intricacies of how science and food work together to create something very special. He is constantly questioning how can we push the boundaries of food and its preparation. We are delighted to have access to this insight as we develop Karauri’s new and smart ways to prepare and deliver fresh meals.”
Notes to Editors
About Karakuri (www.karakuri.com)
Karakuri is a UK based technology company designing, manufacturing and installing robotic automation systems for restaurants, commercial kitchens and caterers.
Born out of the Founders Factory incubator, Karakuri was founded by Simon Watt and Barney Wragg, two longtime friends and colleagues who originally worked together at ARM in the 90s. In April 2018 Founders Factory invested Karakuri and Brent Hoberman joined the board as Chairmen.
About Heston Blumenthal
Internationally famous for his award winning, 3 Michelin starred The Fat Duck in Berkshire, Heston Blumenthal is considered to be one of the best and most influential chefs of his generation. Completely self-taught, he has pushed the boundaries of a traditional kitchen and changed the way people cook and think about eating. After extensive academic research, Heston was the first chef to affirm that eating is a ‘Multi -Sensory experience’.
Aside fromThe Fat Duck, Heston is proprietor of two Michelin starred Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in Melbourne, one Michelin starred The Hinds Head, The Crown at Bray village pub, and The Perfectionists’ Café.
Heston Blumenthal has been described as a culinary alchemist for his innovative style of cuisine. His work has awarded him international recognition and his research into the sensory journey of gastronomy has enabled him to work with food historian, perfumist, food physiologists and biochemists from all over the world. His papers written in partnership with the University of Reading awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Science in 2006. His Television Programme ‘Heston Blumenthal – In Search of Perfection’ was awarded a GQ Glenfiddich award in 2007 and was nominated for a BAFTA in 2008, in addition “Feast” with Channel 4 was also Bafta nominated in 2010. In the New Years Honours List in January 1st 2006 Heston Blumenthal was awarded an OBE for his contribution to British Gastronomy by Her Majesty the Queen. In 2007 he was voted The Best Restaurant in Britain by the customers of the UK Good Food Guide and in 2008/2009/2010 was accredited a 10/10, the highest score in the guide awarded by both readers and inspectors. The Fat Duck is currently the only restaurant in the UK to hold this position.
Photo credit: Alisa Connan