At this restaurant the chef is a 3D printer

Talk about an immersive dining experience.

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.

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