Revolutionize Your Recipe Creation with ChatGPT: A Game-Changing AI Tool for home and professional cooks
I recently put ChatGPT to the test! In case, you have not used the tool yet (it is free to subscribe for the moment), ChatGPT is the new cutting-edge AI language model chatbot developed by OpenAI. It could not be more simple to use: just ask it a question on any topic and the bot will reply back levering its large corpus of source materials to provide a bespoke answer.
In my case, I really focused on recipe creation and daily cooking tasks for my tests. Spoiler alert: I was blown away by its ability to assists home cooks. I started with simple requests, such as "generate a recipe for mushroom lasagna" and within seconds, I had a complete recipe with a list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions. But ChatGPT's capabilities didn't stop there! I even asked for a vegan version of a dish with specific serving sizes and cooking times, and it delivered every time with ease. Even when I tried to trick it with impossible requests, it knew and even provided a polite response!
In summary, I tested 5 different topics designed to test different aspect of recipe creation in my daily home cooking.
I asked myself, can ChatGPT be used:
• to generate recipes?
• to find recipe ideas based on what's in my fridge?
• to adapt recipes based on dietary restrictions?
• to improve existing recipes?
• to adjust quantities, convert measurements, or estimate calories in recipes?
Here below are the results!
Test 1: Can ChatGPT be used to generate recipes?
I first started easy and asked it to: "generate a recipe for a mushroom lasagna." In 2 seconds, here was the result, including instructions and a list of ingredients.
I must say, I was already quite impressed. The steps and ingredients were very detailed and clear.
But, let's push it further… What about asking it something a bit more complex such as: “generate a recipe for mushroom button mushroom and shitake lasagna using precooked pasta noodles and only vegan ingredients for 8 people”. Again, an answer in seconds.
This was getting extremely impressive. The bot adapted to quantity and instructions for the right quantity of people and changed the steps to fit pre-cooking pasta noodles requirements. It even included tips and cautions “Please note that the recipe may need adjustments based on the vegan ricotta and parmesan cheese you are using”!
Ok, now let's get naughty... I tried to trick the bot into describing something not possible... Lasagna in 5mins.
The result: It knew, it was not possible!! The response is incredible not only in terms of accuracy but also in its very polite form!
Test 2: Can ChatGPT be used for adapting recipes based on dietary restrictions?
This time, I wanted to test its capacity of adapting a recipe with specific dietary restrictions, such as vegan or gluten-free, or with requesting to switch specific ingredients.
I took one of my own recipes (ravioli carbonara) and asked the bot to transform the ingredients into vegan friendly options. I first tried to just share the recipe link, but I found that pasting the list of ingredients directly into the bot worked best.
As you can see from the results, it easily recognised the ingredients which were not vegan from the onces that were already. I also really like the caution of adjusting for taste as these changes could alter the final result.
Test 3: Can ChatGPT find recipes ideas based on what you have in your fridge?
For this test, I wanted to simulate a more creative task. Finding recipe ideas based on what I have in my fridge. For instance, that night I had salmon, potatoes, chickpeas, red onions and oranges. I will give it to you not the most complex ingredient combination but I wanted to keep it realistic to start. My goal here was not to trick it into an impossible recipe but rather have some suggestions of easy family dinner under 30min.
The AI answer: Orange-Glazed Salmon and Potato Chickpea Salad
The results were excellent! I really like the recipe and ideas it suggested. The orange glazed salmon was a no brainer. However for the side, I would have gone for a potato purée. In this case, having the suggestion for a potato and chickpeas salad was great idea to leverage both ingredients.
I even tried to ask follow-up questions to replace some of the elements it added to the recipe to account for ingredients I did not have in my fridge such as parsley! All suggestions would have worked, in my opinion, and it understood well the impact of the overall flavors on this specific recipe.
Test 4: Can ChatGPT for be used for adjusting quantities, converting measurements, or estimating calories in recipes?
Many food websites now offer ways to adjust for servings, changing to metric measurements (cups to grams, for instance) or calculating calories. But when they are not available, it is a pain to convert it or multiply yourself (yes, I am sorry... I myself do not offer this feature yet!).
To test the bot, I took the ingredients of my 2 person spaghetti and mint pasta and asked to convert it for 4 persons.
In this case, it all worked again perfectly. The bot could easily multiply or convert all the ingredients at once and kept the original conversions as reference.
Now testing for a calories count:
I really liked that the bot also shared again the limit of its knowledge and suggested reviewing package information. Here again, it worked best if I did not paste the recipe link but rather provided the ingredient list directly in the bot. I checked rapidly on calories count websites: the estimation seem correct.
Test 5: Can ChatGPT be used to improve recipes?
My final and most complex test in terms of creativity required: I asked the bot to improve one of my own recipe: Tomato and mint pasta sauce spaguetti.
This is by far my favorite test, because it shows how well the partnership between AI and humans could work. I believe the bigger conversation in AI is not whether they will "replace" us or not but rather how can we enhance our capabilities or productivity leveraging AI tools.
So with an open mind and humility (yes! I am about to learn from an AI!), let's review the quality of the answer of ChatGPT on how to improve my tomato and mint pasta sauce.
In my opinion: out of 8 ideas, I found 5 of them to be excellent. Honestly, this is not a bad score given the complexity of the task.
Here would be my detailed analysis:
Adding some protein or vegetables would indeed increase the nutritional value of the dish. Using fresh ingredients such as tomatoes or fresh mint could both add flavor, texture and freshness, and experimenting with different types of pasta could be a great go-to as well.
However, 3 ideas were, in my opinion, not optimal. For instance, sugesting to experiment with different herbs and spices. The bot missed the point here! Mint is the star flavor or the recipe, adding other herbs would confuse the dish or completely change it. In the same way, its suggestion to add a bit of acidity is wrong from a flavor balance perspective. In fact, although I am a fan of acidity to season dishes (as explained in my learning blog post here), this dish does not need more. In fact, the tomatoes are already quite acidic ingredient (pH of around 4.5). Finally, adding some creaminess to a tomato sauce is by far the worst advice!! Please, adding cream to tomato pasta is a huge no-no in my Italian opinion.
Overall, ChatGPT proved to be an invaluable tool for recipe creation and adaptation! Indeed, its ability to understand and respond to specific requests combined with its flexibility to adapt to different dietary restrictions makes it a must-have for any home cook or even professional chef. My favorite use so far is to request it to improve a recipe, as I really like the concept of working in partnership with an AI. So the next time you're stuck in the kitchen and need recipe inspiration or help, give ChatGPT a try. You won't be disappointed! If you use it too, let me know in the comments the results of your tests.
Ps: the image used with this blog post was created with another AI tool called Midjourney which allows you to generate imaged through an AI.