13 stories
Beta Testing
What's for dinner? Let IBM's 'Chef' Watson decide
IBM’s Watson has a voracious appetite for knowledge. In the past five years, this cloud-based cognitive system has played trivia champ, legal aide, and cancer researcher. For the last three years, IBM has turned its smarts on food. “Chef” Watson has a brand new cookbook out this month. “Cognitive Cooking” is a collaboration between the team at IBM and human chefs at the Institute of Culinary Education and Bon Appétit. Read More
a lettuce a day
Grove Labs to ship its chic, in-home veggie gardens to first customers this spring
A two-tower grove with founders Gabe Blanchet (left) and Jamie Byron. (Photo: Aram Boghosian)

Tomatoes year round, fresh-picked fish-fed kale: These are dreams that Grove Labs claims to make real. An idea for an in-home garden nourished by detritus from a fish tank germinated in the MIT dorm room of Gabe Blanchet and Jamie Byron when they were freshmen. Five years later, after launching a company and picking up $2 million in seed funding, the duo are shipping the first of their "indoor ecosystems" to early adopters in the Boston area.

Even when the sidewalks were icy and a chill hung in the air, it was toasty inside the testing space at Somerville eco-startup Grove Labs, where the air always smells of damp soil and sawdust.

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Power of suggestion
Soon-to-launch Chef Nightly app wants to streamline ordering dinner
"Hal, order sushi for two tonight." A Westford startup called Every Labs is working on the artificially intelligent food-ordering app of the future. While the company's Chef Nightly app isn't yet publicly available, a handful of Bostonians have been testing it in recent weeks. And the company has already raised early funding from the startup incubator Blade and Boston Syndicates, a group that includes individual investors and the Cambridge venture capital firm Atlas Venture. Read More
Music to your tongue
In a bid for more emotional snacking, Frito-Lay patents culinary theme songs
Innovation can be a matter of joining together things that the patent office — and maybe customers — will approve of. Corn chips, song, and the Internet are obvious influences on US patent 7942311, "Method for sequencing flavors with an auditory phrase," granted May 17, 2011 to George Eapen of Frisco, Texas. Eapen assigned rights to Frito-Lay, the corn chip behemoth. Read More
Goodbye grocery run
Russo’s and Whole Foods delivery debuts in Metrowest, via Instacart
As of today, residents of four Metrowest communities can get groceries delivered within an hour or two, through a service offered by the startup Instacart, which has been making deliveries so far in Boston and a few surrounding cities. Instacart is also debuting a new partner that will only be available for its Metrowest customers: popular Watertown market Russo’s. Read More