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Top restaurants around the world could soon use 3D printing to make and present signature dishes, as part of the technology's continued conquest of the world.
Speaking at the 3D Printshow 2015 in London, chef Mateo Blanch from La Boscana, a restaurant in Lleida, Spain, said 3D printing has the ability to revolutionise restaurant cuisine by saving time and enabling chefs to expand their creativity.
"I am using the 3D printer in my restaurant and I like to use it in front of customers so that they can participate and see how I am making their food, and I've had really good feedback from my customers," Blanch told IBTimes UK.
"It has changed the way I work with food. I now work with the 3D printer to make forms and shapes that would have been impossible to make so quickly by hand. I am capable of a level of precision that would never have been possible before."
Use of Focus 3D printer
Blanch is making use of the Focus 3D printer by Dutch manufacturer By Flow, the world's first multi-material 3D printer that is also foldable and portable.
The Focus prints everything from food, ceramics and plastic to bronze, silicone, nylon and wood. It launched on Kickstarter on 20 May and with 22 days to go, it already has 14 backers and €14,503 (£10,362, $16,236) in pledges out of its €50,000 goal.
"The problem is that most companies are focusing on the technology aspect, that's why we work with Michelin chefs who are very innovative and can think of new things to use the 3D printer for," Frits Hoff, founder and managing director of FabLab Maastricht in the Netherlands, told IBTimes UK.
"We have been inviting Michelin chefs to our events in Europe. The head chef usually comes along and brings with him a lower chef.
"We explain the technology to them and they spend some time conferring, then the lower chef stays at the show to learn and experiment with it, before going back to the restaurant and teaching the Michelin chef what he has learned."
3D lunch and dinner challenge
FabLab is a 3D printing solutions firm with branches worldwide that look into researching and developing new technologies and techniques to help industrial and product designers.
Hoff manages the Dutch FabLab and his son Floris Hoff developed the Focus while working with FabLab, before spinning it off to form his own company.
Blanch has set himself a challenge at the 3D Printshow 2015: during the show's duration, from 21-23 May, he intends to produce and showcase the world's first 3D printed lunch and 3D printed dinner, with a full menu of items that visitors can try.
"In the future, the 3D printer will be able to be used by anyone who makes food. The 3D printer can be used for so many things – snacks, meals, desserts, everything," he said.
"Of course it depends on the availability of the machine and when it comes into the market, if the price is affordable then more people will use it."