A chef has realized another way to apply 3D print technology: plating.
Swiss chef André Kneubühler entered a highly competitive event to determine the “Best Chef in Switzerland”. His work was recognized and eventually he found himself in the Golden Chef final facing two other master chefs.
At this level of culinary competition, it’s not just about taste. It’s about the entire experience, and that includes textures, smells and certainly appearance.
“Plating” is therefore a critical element of the final food presentation, and it’s studied carefully by chefs worldwide. Here, Kneubühler had an idea to do something completely different.
His idea was to design and 3D print customized plating components that could best show off his culinary dishes.
It’s important to realize that at this level of culinary expertise there is a high degree of “art” required. Each part of the presentation must convey a message the chef is trying to portray. The food itself carries that message, but the plating can also do so.
He worked with his sister, who just happens to have expertise in the 3D area, to design and 3D print theme-based plates for the competition. These were produced in PA 12 nylon on a Sintratec S2 System, and then painted white.
It wasn’t simply a plate. It was a more complex arrangement of components, each adding to the theme. Sintratec explains:
“To produce André’s plate structure, Sintratec sponsored various components: The mountain range, various Edelweiss vases and plates, and a 1:1 model of the Matterhorn were manufactured with the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) process on the Sintratec S2 System using stable PA12 nylon material. Then, André and his team ingeniously combined the white-painted 3D parts with magnets so that small gold plates with the food could be fixed on top.”
In the end Kneubühler was voted as the “Third Best Chef in Switzerland”, partly helped by 3D printing.
Here’s a video of his project:
I’m now wondering if Kneubühler is on to something here. There are plenty of high-end restaurants in the world, each vying to be the best. Would it be possible for these restaurants to create their own 3D printed designs for their unique foods?
Restaurants don’t likely have the 3D expertise to do so themselves, so it may be a business opportunity for a 3D entrepreneur. Designs could be custom-developed according to a restaurant’s theme and then plating produced through 3D printing and post-processing.
This is not only a custom-design requirement, but is also a low-volume manufacturing problem, ideal characteristics for a 3D print solution.