Cookbooks and cooking apps full of recipes that will send you to the store are easy enough to find, but the Chefling app presents a new twist on that trope by using machine learning to help avoid food waste and give you recipes based on what you already have. All you have to do is tell Chefling what foods you have lying around, and it can give you a slew of different recipes based on what you’ve got on hand, pulled from published cookbooks, the web and other sources. With some foods, it can even tell you when something’s about to expire and show you things you could do with it before that happens, so long as you tell it when you bought the food.
Chefling can be used for recipes and shopping lists, making it one of the easiest and most comprehensive food management apps around. You can use it to plan out your meals, or simply fire it up when you have no idea what to make for dinner. As long as you keep the app up to date on what’s in your house, you should have no problem finding some recipes to work with, provided you keep a few basics around and have enough food on hand to actually use the recipes. You can even get the whole family in on the app by creating a profile and emailing invitations to family members. There are also push notifications for soon-to-expire food. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of cloud sync, so if you have to reset your device or hop over to a new one, you’ll have to log back in and remake your pantry.
The app does not take advantage of the on-board machine learning present in some modern smartphones but instead sends data to the cloud for processing on Chefling’s own servers and nodes. Even so, the app’s ability to quickly pull together recipes based on what’s in your personal pantry is quite impressive. This app is just one of the many creative use cases for machine learning that will surely keep coming over the years as AI technology continues to improve.