It's 5 pm. You open your fridge. You stare into the chilly abyss, wondering how in the world you can make food out of this bundle of crap. Luckily you have SmartChef, an assistant that generates recipes with ingredients in your fridge in just a few pictures. With SmartChef, a phone, and a few minutes, a complete cooking newbie can map out an entire meal.


SmartChef was inspired by college students and recent college graduates who have little to no experience cooking. With SmartChef, cooking is made easy. With just a phone and a fridge, newbies are introduced to viable recipes---without paying for expensive cooking ware or lessons from Gordon Ramsay.

What it does:

SmartChef is a Facebook chat assistant that utilizes image recognition to classify ingredients, generate recipes, and provide cooking guidance at a price everyone can afford.

How we built it:

First, we built a basic chat bot using Node JS. Then, image recognition technology was integrated to identify ingredients, and the chat bot was taught to find recipes using Google query. All of this functionality was combined to create the final product.

Challenges we ran into:

Challenges included creating an intuitive interface, generating recipes using Google Query, integrating the Clarifai API, and (of course) getting enough sleep.

Accomplishments that we're proud of:

Smoothly integrating multiple services to create an intuitive experience for users.

What we learned:

Our group learned how to integrate the Clarifai API, learning about Javascript and web application development ground up, and working with others as a group on a large scope project in a high-pressure environment.

What's next:

Future features include the addition of inputting your available cook ware, providing suggested recipes, mapping where to find missing ingredients, and dietary restrictions. Inputting cookware allows SmartChef to filter out unwanted recipes. For example, a college student who does not have a wok or stir fry pan cannot make stir fry noodles. Suggested recipes is a future feature that recommends recipes that the user does not have all of the ingredients for. For example, if a user has eggs and salt, SmartChef will recommend scrambled eggs and recommend the user to buy milk and pepper. Mapping directs users to stores that have necessary ingredients. The addition of dietary restrictions allows users to filter out unwanted, generated recipes.

Built with:

Node JS, Clarifai API, and Google Query were used to build SmartChef.

Prizes we're going for:

Intel® Movidius™ Neural Compute Stick

$100 Amazon Gift Cards

Social Entrepreneurship Award

Grand Prize

Blu R2 Plus Smartphones

Team Members

Aaron Lopes, Yi Wei, Benjamin Xu
View on Github