Newest Trends In The Kitchen: Let The Computer Do It All

A test-tube burger? An app that plans parties? A typewriter that mixes cocktails? Better believe it — the newest technology in the kitchen is so advanced, it practically takes out the need for a chef.

New gadgets in the kitchen haven't just transformed home-cooking, bartending, and entertaining; they've given us unimaginable, experimental cuisine that 20, or even 10 years ago, wasn't possible. Take the cotton candy eel from José Andrés' Minibar in Washington, D.C., the crystallized violets from Corton in New York City, or the 62-degree egg from Baume in Palo Alto, Calif. — without new innovations in the culinary scene, these dishes would have remained a fantasy.

The newest kitchen gadgets have revolutionized home cooking and entertaining. After all, who would have thought that sous-vide was possible at home? Or an oven could one day broil, steam, grill, and fry? Or that an espresso machine could be activated via text?

These gadgets are as big as the 5.5-foot corkscrew made by Robb Higgs and as tiny as the icon on your smartphone. Yep, the biggest technological advances in the kitchen may just sit in your pocket. Apps these days can guide you through food tours, plan parties, and even point you to the most unimaginably delicious crêpe in Paris. Hell, we're halfway convinced the Apple iPhone 5 will have an at-home chef included. ("Hey, Siri, could I have the sauce on the side?")

But it's not just the gadgets that have overhauled the culinary scene — it's the brains behind them. Without people like Jeremy Stoppelman, we wouldn't have Yelp — and would never know where to find a decent cup of coffee wherever we are. Without chefs like Grant Achatz, we wouldn't have experimental dishes at Alinea or molecular drinks at The Aviary. These innovators have shaped a new culinary world that lets machines do the work — but leaves behind products and meals for us to enjoy.

What else is trend-setting in the kitchen today? Head to our special section The Cutting Edge to find out.