CloudChef’s Culinary Delights

Like many immigrants living thousands of miles away from our countries of origin, I dearly miss the food I grew up with and often long for that familiar taste. That’s why I constantly seek out new desi chefs, recipes, and tastes that use farm-fresh ingredients in new and exciting ways to tantalize our taste buds and elevate a dish to an art form. Palo Alto-based CloudChef is taking a quantum leap to bring to our tables the familiar taste of our favorite gourmet dish.

 The company wants to create a “Spotify for food” with a cloud software platform that allows culinary teams in kitchens anywhere in the world to recreate a meal just as the master chef would.  In the same way that you can record and playback audio and video, founders Nikhil Abraham, Mohit Shah, and Atish Aloor contend that you can now record and playback taste, without any location constraints. CloudChef was founded in 2020 by a team of foodies who recognized the need for authentic cuisines in an increasingly globalized world. 

So, how does it work?

This is an image of three men standing and posing. They are CloudChef founders (from left) Atish Aloor, Nikhil Abraham and Mohit Shah. (Photo courtesy: CloudChef)
CloudChef founders (from left) Atish Aloor, Nikhil Abraham and Mohit Shah. (Photo courtesy: CloudChef)

I visited their Palo Alto kitchen and cooked up a meal by following the computer prompts. The Rajasthani Paneer Masala, came out perfect! It was as easy as it was fascinating.

The kitchen looked pretty much like any commercial kitchen. You don’t really notice the technological enhancements until you see that there are no knobs or temperature controls–every ingredient is barcoded, precisely measured/weighed with huge computer monitors and big green buttons next to all the industrial ranges. 

CloudChef has outfitted its capture kitchens (one in Mumbai and one in Palo Alto) with technology that closely monitors a chef working through a recipe. When a chef cooks in their kitchen, sensors, scales, and cameras monitor everything from the temperature of a protein to the moisture lost while reducing a sauce, to the brownness of an onion, and put it all into “a machine-readable recipe file” that can be executed in any kitchen powered with CloudChef’s software. Once the data has been analyzed, CloudChef’s team of culinary experts recreate the dish. They use the same ingredients, cooking techniques, and equipment to ensure the dish is as authentic as possible. 

Crave global, order local

This image shows CloudChef's Palo Alto kitchen, outfitted with non-traditional cooking ranges with no knobs but computers and other measuring devices. (Photo courtesy: CloudChef)
Cloud Kitchen: CloudChef’s Palo Alto kitchen (Photo courtesy: CloudChef)

The dish is prepared by local chefs trained by CloudChef’s team to ensure that the dish is consistent with the original recipe. The dish is then taste-tested and adjusted until it matches the original dish perfectly. Finally, the recipe is uploaded to the CloudChef platform, where customers can order the dish to be delivered to their doorstep. 

One of the primary benefits of CloudChef is the ability to experience authentic cuisine from around the world without having to travel. Whether you’re craving Srijith Gopinathan’s famed chicken ghee roast,  Thomas Zacharias’ avocado papdi chaat, or zafrani phirni from the famed Aminia in Kolkata, CloudChef can recreate it for you. For all of these acclaimed desi chefs, their recipes are an expression of their culture and heritage. CloudChef enables them to share that culture with people around the world, regardless of where they are located.

This would have been a godsend during the pandemic. But even now, our family loves to celebrate milestone days, like Mother’s Day, but want to avoid going to restaurants that tend to be packed. Just order Michelin-rated quality food from the comfort of your home! 

This image shows two dishes. Pindi chole in a container on the table (left) and butternut squash soup in a white bowl placed on a white plate (right). (Images courtesy: CloudChef)
Gourmet Recipes Recreated: Pindi chole (left) and butternut squash soup (right). (Images courtesy: CloudChef)

Recently, we decided to order food from CloudChef for a date night at home, and it was a fantastic experience! I had a chance to taste a lot of dishes and can attest that they were an exact match to their restaurant counterparts. The avocado papdi chaat and butternut squash soup were yummy, as were the parathas. The fish, pulao, pindi chole, chicken ghee roast, and Bombay keema pav are also very good, try them!

CloudChef has a special offer for IC readers: $10 off your order of $50. Please use the code “IC Special.” (Valid till June 15)

Mona Shah is a multi-platform storyteller with expertise in digital communications, social media strategy, and content curation for Twitter and LinkedIn for C-suite executives. A journalist and editor,...