Feb 4, 2019 | By Cameron

Danish star chef Kenneth Toft-Hansen used 3D printing to help him come first at the Bocuse d'Or chefs world championship in Lyon. Toft-Hansen is not new to mixing 3D printing with his culinary endeavors as he employed similar techniques when he competed last year at the European Championship in Turin.

The Danish Technological Institute helped Toft-Hansen produce the 3D printed molds so he could focus on the cooking. His dishes included elements of leaves and “Flora Danica,” a theme that references Danish flowers and plants. The appetizer was a shellfish mousse that required multiple mold pieces to come apart without breaking the delicate filigree, and “earthquake chips” and lifelike red beetroot flowers accompanied the main course. Only 3D printing allows the affordable fabrication of the intricate molds needed to produce such shapes.

“The idea of using 3D printing in the dishes originally came from the fact that we wanted to make natural expressions, and here it is cool in 3D printing that everything is possible. So if I can think of that, the Danish Technological Institute can do that, and that means that I can get even more personality into the courts. At the same time, the Danish Technological Institute has advised on how things can be done, and it has been a great help, as it has meant that I only have to think about the food while they are thinking of the finished solution,” said Toft-Hansen.

3D printing enables the production of organic shapes found in nature because interlocking molds for complex geometries can easily be 3D printed. “It is something completely different to work with natural organic forms, as it places great demands on the designers' modeling ability. Therefore, it has been fantastic to work with a passionate man like Kenneth, who has clear visions and manages to convey his ideas, and it has been an exciting challenge to meet his wishes,” remarked Thor Bramsen, senior consultant at the Danish Technological Institute.

Even though the Danish chef has used 3D printing in previous dishes and competitions, he still marveled at the quality of the final product, stating, “It surprised me that the red beetroot with naturally drawn leaves, which we worked long on for the final in Bocuse d'Or, came out as perfect as it did, because when you make that kind of molds, there is a lot you have to note. But with 3D printing, one has to put down its limitations, because what could not be done earlier can be done now.”

Toft-Hansen is pleased with the results as he remarked, “It was this mould that helped create the expression that formed the rest of the dish. And I am convinced that the competition judges noticed the unique patterns we have been able to create in this way. We brought something unique to the table, which I’m sure will be copied soon.” While Toft-Hansen used 3D printed molds to create his award-winning dishes, others are 3D printing food directly and even cooking the 3D printed food with lasers.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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