Printing a Michelin Star

3D printed food gets the gourmet touch

In the trendy New York City neighbourhood of Tribeca, up-and-coming international chef, Felix Beaux, has opened a new pop-up restaurant featuring 3D printed food. The rising star of the food world has served under culinary greats such as Heston Blumenthal and Yoshihiro Murata. Beaux opened his pop-up restaurant – aptly named Beaux at the Roxy – at the popular Roxy Hotel New York this week. Featuring the latest in 3D edible printing technology, the restaurant allows diners to select from a specifically curated menu and print their meals without ever leaving their tables.

Since its development in the 1980s, 3D printing has come a long way. From décor items and jet engines, to organs and neurons, the list of things that have been successfully 3D printed seems to grow daily.

In the early 2000s, when 3D printed food was first explored, most 3D printers could only print with a single material. To understand whether a printer could combine materials to print machine components, such as batteries, a research team at Columbia University used food ingredients, like cookie dough and chocolate, because they are easier to work with, but have many of the same properties as the materials needed to print machine components.

Since then, what started out almost accidentally has grown into a massive global industry. Many of the early advancements in edible 3D printing came from Israeli start-ups seeking new ways to ensure food security in a future where climate change was causing crop failure across the globe. Although the impact of climate change is still a driving force behind industrial-scale 3D printed food, this more ‘fine dining’ approach is certainly a new use for the technology.

Beaux, 29, earned his first Michelin Star three years ago, as head chef at Mélisse in Los Angeles. Since then, he has earned two more stars and looks set to continue making waves in the culinary industry. Although it’s unlikely you’ll find a 3D printer at your local Burger King, for the more discerning restaurant-goer, 3D printed cuisine seems to be earning its stars.

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