Later this month, the jersey inventor will take home the latest in a series of prestigious awards for a device, which she hopes will revolutionize life in the kitchen.
At a ceremony in London on July 28, Sabina Shami will receive the Model Diamond Award of the Global Network of Women Inventors and Innovators for her Kitchen Machine, a tabletop robotic device that cooks complex recipes, using fresh ingredients, at the touch of a button.
Ms. Elshamy, a former accountant who worked for the Treasury, has already seen her prototype design recognized in the European Product Design Awards, British Invention Fair Awards and Good Design Awards.
She describes the kitchen machine as “the future of cooking” saying, “We shouldn’t be standing there over a hot stove. With this one, you don’t need a stove because there’s a sauté function. It also steams, fries, and pot roasts and can provide the dry heat of the oven. It brings you back to The time you’ve been spending in the kitchen will produce perfect food every time.
What distinguishes Mrs. Shami’s invention from traditional multi-cookers is that it not only controls pressure, temperature and cooking method, but also introduces different ingredients separately in the cooking cycle in appreciation of their different properties.
While a chef may have to create a dish in stages, and return to the kitchen to add ingredients such as vegetables, which require shorter cooking times, the kitchen machine uses pre-programmed electronic recipe cards that automatically repeat this process.
In 2009, Mrs. Shami found herself lamenting the fact that the weekend would largely be spent in the kitchen, creating recipes that required a complex series of steps that were inescapably time-consuming.
“There was a moment when I said ‘I wish I had a machine that would do everything for me.’ I thought there had to be something but [other products] It hasn’t appeared yet, and anyway, there are usually three or four steps in cooking when you have to add something. It was that part that pushed me up the wall.
She passed her concept on to designers 4D Products Ltd, and oversaw the creation of the award-winning prototype which demonstrated that the multi-capsule machine, containing the different elements that make up a delicious meal, could be made to follow pre-set sequences to reflect the skill of a chef.
Ms. Al Shami explained that automation not only saves time but also helps prevent waste. She added that assuming the ingredients were loaded correctly, the machine could achieve consistency in the result that would otherwise require constant monitoring in the kitchen.
Its next step is to find a manufacturer who will turn the prototype – made with off-the-shelf components – into a product meant for the local, and possibly commercial, markets as well.
“Now I need to make contact,” she said. People need to get rid of the idea that the inventor is a crazy scientist. They need to see this as a real person with an ambitious idea, a lifestyle-changing device. I want this to be the next washing machine or dishwasher. This should be something cool and sustainable.