Authenmathai is a Thai-food-making machine from designer Purin Phanichphant. He made it while doing an MfA at Stanford.
When was the last time you had authentic Thai food? How do you know it was authentic? Was it simply because the restaurant had the words “authentic Thai food” right under its name? Was it because of the ingredients? Perhaps you are lucky enough to have been to Thailand and experienced authentic Thai food. But how do you know if it was really authentic? Was it simply because it was food on a stick cooked and served on the street?
So what does authentic Thai food really mean? As a Thai person living in the US, I have been so frustrated with Thai food to the point that I had to learn how to cook it myself. During my recent visits to Thailand, I have begun to question the authenticity of Thai food in Thailand itself.
In searching for the answer, I have deconstructed what we perceive as authentic Thai food down to these essential qualities: spicy flavor; colorful appearance; and ingredients of fish sauce, coconut milk, curry, ginger, lemongrass, chili, and lime. If authentic Thai food is as simple as combining these ingredients, why can’t we construct an automated machine that delivers the authentic Thai food of our desires. With the rise of robots and machines, perhaps Thai food will be cooked this way in the future?