3D printers—which transform digital models into solid objects by churning them out in layers—have been used to make foods ranging from pizzas to pancakes. Now, they’re the main “cooking” tool for a fancy new British pop-up restaurant, Seeker reports.
Called Food Ink, the gastropub advertises itself as the world’s first 3D-printing restaurant (although, as Eater reports, another London pop-up restaurant called 3D Printshow Kitchen also holds the claim). It will offer nine-course, 3D-printed meals prepped from gourmet chefs’ original recipes. Keeping with the theme, much of Food Ink’s décor and furniture will also be created using 3D printers.
3D-printed food might sound a little gimmicky, especially to foodies who appreciate a hand-cooked meal. However, Food Ink explains on its website that the experience is all about novelty: “... we believe that technology needs to serve a purpose and we are using it to add magic to the magic,” they write. "... we are putting at work most innovative technologies, like 3D-printing and augmented reality, in order to elaborate the most exquisite interactive edible experience. While there is no real magic here, our energy is dedicated to make every moment an enchantment."
Not everything on the plate will be machine-made. Foods that can be turned into a paste-like substance—like chocolate, cheese, dough, or smashed vegetables—will be fed into the printer, spit out through its extruders, and layered into a dish. But since 3D printers can’t create, say, lettuce or carrots, your salads, garnishes, and side dishes will be sourced and prepped the old-fashioned way. And while menu details haven’t been disclosed, Food Ink’s communications director, Sasha Mather, told The Daily Mail that "Meat is tricky to print for sanitary concerns and in terms of generating a genuine texture or 'mouth feel.'" In other words, don’t expect to be served steak.
Food Ink debuted at the 3D Printing Food Conference in the Netherlands last April. Now, it’s slated to host its world premiere dinner in London from July 25 to June 27, before moving on to other major global cities including Los Angeles, New York City, Austin, and Las Vegas.
To check out a mock-up of Food Ink in action, watch the video above, and to purchase a limited number of tickets, visit their website. Sales begin on Friday, July 15, at 9 a.m. GMT. Not surprisingly, Food Ink's dinners are pretty expensive: £250 per person, or nearly $330 in U.S. dollars. For those of us who want to take in the experience of a 3D-printing restaurant without the price tag, the event will reportedly be live-streamed. Bring your own snacks.
Banner image courtesy of YouTube.
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