Jamie Oliver has partnered with AKQA to create one of the first Amazon “Alexa Skills” in the UK. For those who haven't been following Amazon's foray into internet of things domination, “Alexa” is the name given to the AI that forms to core of the Amazon Echo multimedia speaker. Anyone who has been watching Mr Robot will no doubt remember the scene where the forlorn FBI agent has a soul-searching conversation with her own Amazon Echo, and probably came away from the experience really wanting one for themselves, depressing existentialism and all! The Alexa Skills are essentially programming instructions that allow you to personalise your Amazon Echo, and this new Jamie Oliver Skill gives users hands-free access to over 160 different culinary delights from Jamie himself.
The Jamie Oliver Skill offers recipes based on eight main ingredient categories: vegetarian, pasta, eggs, fish or meat (beef, chicken, lamb and pork). You can start a conversation with Alexa by asking Jamie Oliver (you refer to him by name, even though you're talking to a speaker) for recipes or asking him to suggest a recipe for dinner. Alexa will then recommend a selection of recipes with a short description for you to choose from. The Skill works around your preferences and Alexa can also advise on the timing and skill level of your chosen recipe through such phrases as “Is it easy?” or “How long does it take?.” The Skill will also update regularly with new and seasonal recipes. Once you’ve found a recipe to suit your taste, you’ll also receive an email with a summary of the recipe, a full list of ingredients and a link to JamieOliver.com for further instructions.
Zoe Collins, Creative Director at the Jamie Oliver Media Group, said: “Finding new and exciting ways to connect people to the joy of food is at the heart of Jamie's Food Revolution. The new Jamie Oliver Skill on Amazon Echo makes it easy to find delicious and nutritious recipes to cook and enjoy at home.” AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed added: “We are delighted to create one of the first Amazon Alexa Skills to launch in the UK, with one of the country’s most beloved chefs. The Jamie Oliver Skill is a fantastic way to bring cooking to life, and places Jamie right in the heart of every modern kitchen.”
To enable the Jamie Oliver Skill, simply visit the Skills section in the Alexa app, search for “Jamie Oliver” and tap Enable Skill to get started. Future updates planned for later in the year will allow you to search for recipes with a wider range of filters, such as time and dietary requirements. More recipes will also be added over the coming months and years. Examples of the some of the recipes already included in the 'Skill' include such delicious sounding, and healthy options as a lamb and chickpea curry, beef stroganoff, Mexican breakfast, baked salmon and dill yoghurt and superfood salad. The idea is essentially to transform the Amazon Echo into your own personal Jamie Oliver, and if that sounds like culinary heaven to you then you're probably not alone!