MADRID: Can a robot cook a paella as tasty as the one made by a Spanish chef? Yes, it is possible, according to a master chef who has tried it.
The Spanish company BR5 has developed a robot capable of cooking one of the most famous dishes of national cuisine. The product has already attracted the interest of some hotel chains and resorts outside Spain.
“Of course, a dish of homemade rice on a Sunday will always taste different… We are not aiming for that, our goal is to travel around the world and be able to eat the same rice that we eat in our country, in another country,” BR5 founder Enrique Lillo told Reuters.
Some amusement parks and resorts in Japan already have their own robot paella, Lillo added.
But it can also appeal to locals.
“In my opinion, it’s a wonderful tool, and ‘Ole!’ for the developers because I loved it,” said Maria Munoz, paella chef and director of the “Cocinea” gastronomy school, after trying the robotic paella.
The robot consists of an electronically controlled stove and a mechanical arm that places the sautéed ingredients on the paella pan, adds the rice and then mixes it with a slotted spoon before pouring the fish stock.
All the ingredients must be prepared in advance and are already measured for a paella. Once all the ingredients are in the pan, the robot constantly stirs and shakes until it’s done.
Munoz said it would be very useful for restaurants as it helps to make more paellas at once.
“If you only have one paella cook, you can only do 20 at most because it’s crazy, especially to find the right place for paella,” she added.
(Reporting by Silvio Castellanos and Susana Vera; Writing by Emma Pinedo and Cristina Galan; Editing by Gareth Jones)