At Food Ink, the main draw isn’t even the food, but the way in which it’s made. You see, everything at this London concept restaurant is 3D-printed. From the dishes to the dishes upon which they sit, you’re eating at the throne of technology. Because who wants hand-prepared meals when they can be printed?
Self-described as a “conceptual pop-up dinner series where fine cuisine meets art, philosophy, and tomorrow’s technologies,” this exceptionally unique experience uses 3D-printing to make the food, the utensils, the furniture — literally everything.
But just how is food made using a 3D printer? As it turns out, there’s a contraption called the byFlow, which allows chefs to use ingredients like hummus, chocolate mousse, or other paste-like foods to create aesthetically spectacular dishes.
“The best way to describe it is that mechanically, it’s the same principle as a pastry chef using a pastry bag to ice cakes. Puréed ingredients are extruded and vertically stacked into the three-dimensional molds from digital files,” explained Food Ink co-founder Anthony Dobrzensky. “In this case, the bag is squeezed and guided by the robotic arm of the 3D printer with a level of precision that’s beyond what a human can do.”
As good as these offerings look, few people know how they taste — the extremely exclusive Food Ink has only been tried by a select guest list, with only a limited number of tickets made available for three days last month.
Food Ink is just the latest in the many creative applications of 3D-printing technology. Already, doctors have printed skin, architects have printed houses, and agencies have printed rocket parts, showcasing the true diversity of possibilities with 3D-printing. But this may be the most delectable option of them all.
Ultimately, the pop-up restaurant says, their goal is “to use the universal language of food as a fun and accessible way to promote awareness about the amazing possibilities of 3D-printing and other promising new technologies.” Food Ink hopes to “serve as a platform for a public conversation about how these emerging technologies are rapidly challenging and changing the way we eat, create, share, and live.”
So if you’re looking for a way to really impress a date, consider paying a visit to Food Ink. At the very least, the restaurant itself will be a built-in conversation starter.