Though I’m not intimately involved with modernist chefs, I have the feeling that 3D printed food fits perfectly into this culinary art movement. As chefs in the movement explore the science of food and radical methods for preparing it, 3D printing has the potential to break meals down into their constituent components and lay them down with mathematical precision. When the technology has caught up to the minds of modernist cuisine’s brilliant food scientists, it could become a necessary appliance in their kitchens of the future.
For that reason, it was almost inevitable that the Modernist Cuisine test kitchen would use 3D printing in preparing their epic 50 course meal for legendary chef Ferran Adrià. To celebrate the chef’s newest book, elBulli, the kitchen served a slew of scientifically prepared meals that explore the boundaries of taste and eating. And, to top it all off, 3D Systems’ The Sugar Lab, along with chef Francisco Migoya, served Adrià an absinthe service. Replacing the traditional sugar cube used to sweeten and dilute the absinthe, the team served a Gaudi-like 3D printed sugar sculpture in full color, printed from their ChefJet Pro 3D sugar printer.
And, for an added touch, 3D Systems and Migoya also co-designed a 3D printed spoon, inspired by door handles by Gaudi and Dali and the classic pattern of sidewalk tiles in Barcelona. Using the unique ability to translate one-of-a-kind 3D models into 3D prints, the team was able to co-design a 3D printed ceramic spoon capable of grasping the sugar sculpture to hold it in place. The result was a stunning work of modernist food art.
As impressive as the 3D printed absinthe service was, from the video below, it looks as though it was just one of many amazing dishes created for the world-renowned chef.