Twin sisters Haidee and Helen Chen co-founded Sereneti Kitchen in 2014. The company has been working on prototypes of the Cooki, an appliance that cooks your food for you. No, it’s not just a crockpot; it actually stirs your meal and adds ingredients over time.
The Chen sisters are 18 years old.
When the sisters approached their older brother, Timothy Chen, a robotics professional, with an idea for an appliance that could cook for you with the push of a button, he was skeptical. He asked them to show him a clearer vision of the product, so they came back with a Keurig coffee maker, spatula and the iTunes application.
“Music is the same as food,” Timothy Chen, now Sereneti Kitchen’s CEO, remarked. “The score is the recipe and the musician is the chef.”
Modeling their business plan after this romanticizing of a kitchen appliance, Sereneti Kitchen has been working on numerous prototypes for several months in order to present the Cooki at TechCrunch’s 2015 Hardware Battlefield, a Consumer Electronics Show (CES) staple event.
“Music is the same as food. The score is the recipe and the musician is the chef.”
Jesse Rosalia, the fourth co-founding member and CTO, had a rough go of it during the team’s presentation when the Cooki wouldn’t function (1:56 below).
“I thought, well, this is just some performance anxiety,” laughed Rosalia, regarding the first malfunction. By the third non-start, he committed to a (pretty good) improvisation of how the Cooki would be performing.
Cooki’s nerves didn’t affect its critical reception and it’s been running smoothly ever since on the CES floor.
The coolest aspect of Sereneti Kitchen’s business model is the meal plan that accompanies the Cooki. For $5 or less a meal, the company will ship fresh ingredients to you in pre-portioned and prepared trays, which you simply have to slide into the Cooki. You can then control it from a smartphone application.
This primary iteration of the Cooki is geared toward single servings for college students lacking culinary skills. Though it currently lacks the ability to schedule meals, Rosalia spoke passionately about integrating the feature in the near future.
For $5 or less a meal, the company will ship fresh ingredients to you in pre-portioned and prepared trays.
At the moment, recipes are limited to pastas, soups, salads and rice dishes due to the singular pan, but Timothy Chen notes that you can make about 60 percent of the world’s cuisine with just one pan.
Sereneti Kitchen’s crowdfunding campaign to transform their very industrial-looking prototype to the Keurig aesthetic that started it all will launch in spring 2015. A preliminary IndieGogo campaign is live until 11:59pm PDT January 9, 2015.