Inspired by Takeshi Kaga and his Iron Chefs, HappyZap has developed a Personal Digital Kitchen Assistant (PDKA) using the Atmel Mega103L 8-bit RISC programmable microcontroller and a low cost Seiko 321D, 320X200 pixel LCD display. "The Iron Chef" is a famed Food Network show which show pits the finest of culinary experts against each other in a battle for honor and fame. Incredible, as the chefs may be, they still need swarms of assistants to oversee the process of creating several dishes simultaneously. Naturally, we thought, "Wouldn't it be great to have your own personal assistant?" And the Cooking Coach was born! The Cooking Coach will precisely lead you though the steps to make exquisite dishes as seen on "The Iron Chef" and performs the simple tasks that the assistants would normally do; such as preheating your oven, serve as your timer, and turn the oven off when the dish is ready. It even generates a shopping list for you based on what you want to make.

The premise behind the Cooking Coach is to provide an overall cooking utility. From the user's PC, he/she can download and trade recipes with their friends and family online and transfer them to their personal Cooking Coach using the serial port.

Primary uses of a Cooking Coach

  • archive recipes.
  • generate shopping lists.
  • assist with cooking.

Archiving Recipes
The Cooking Coach holds recipes for an extended period of time. The Coach can be used to simply view the recipes.

Generating Shopping Lists
Once the recipes are in memory, the cooking coach parses them to generate a shopping list. This feature works using one or several recipes.

Cooking Assistance
Once your shopping is complete and you are ready to cook, set the appliance controls and then select the recipe you wish to use. Follow the steps outlined in the recipe. If so enabled, the Cooking Coach will prompt you to start the necessary appliance when the ingredients are ready. The Coach will then time the process and disable the appliance when the cooking is done.