One of the problems we thought Amazon Echo solved really well was the ability to get information through voice. It is like the friend beside you who has nothing to do and doesn't say no when you ask him/her either.
What it does
The "Sous chef" skill can do many things to enhance Alexa and more! For example, want to explore new recipes? Alexa can give you options to choose from. Can't remember what to do next? Alexa can read out the steps you need. Ran out of ingredients? Alexa can remind you to buy them so you can continue doing you! Of course, it also comes with enhanced food-related jokes.
How we built it
Almost magically. There was Firebase, Amazon, and MEAN involved.
Challenges we ran into
Finding a great recipe API was definitely a big challenge. Other challenges include: How do we set up Firebase? How do we read/write data to it? How can Alexa behave as if she had persistent data? And as usual, lots of web dev problems.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Damn Alexa! It works.
What we've learned
Brainstorming is a crucial part of any hackathon. Not having mentors would have been painful.
What's next for Sous chef
Sentient AI, of course.