Apr 3, 2017 | By Tess

Nothing can quite compare to the satisfying crunch of a salty crouton in a salad or soup. But if you thought the classic crouton could not be improved upon, we suggest you check out these elaborate 3D printed croutons made by Josiah Citrin, the chef and co-owner of Santa Monica-based restaurant Mélisse.

The two-Michelin-star restaurant, which is known for its French-influenced contemporary American cuisine, has started serving an updated and reinvented French onion soup that features a tasty-looking 3D printed crouton. The crouton, which replaces the soup’s traditional cheesy crouton topping, is 3D printed in a perforated cubic structure and is made out of an onion-flavored powder.

In developing the additively manufactured crouton, Mélisse chef and co-owner Josiah Citrin and his Chef de Cuisine Ken Takayama partnered with 3D printing company 3D Systems, which helped them to realize the tasty and tech-inspired garnish. According to Citrin, he is aiming to use 3D printing technologies in his kitchen to offer his guests classic dishes with updated and innovative twists.

If your mouth isn’t watering yet, Citrin has also used the 3D printed cubic crouton as an edible vessel for a ball of onion petal-wrapped burrata, and has garnished it with chive blossoms, chive, and a tempura onion sliver. When served, an oxtail broth is poured over the dish (in front of the customer) for extra effect.

Citrin is just one of many professional chefs who is exploring the use of 3D printing for culinary purposes. While some efforts are being made to commercialize and make 3D printed edibles mainstream, for the moment it seems its true potential might lie in gastronomic environments, where the pros can play with and experiment with new 3D printed flavors and textures.

3D Systems, which helped to realize the 3D printed crouton, has also collaborated with a number of other chefs and culinary institutes to advance and create new types of additively manufactured food: it is working with the Culinary Institute of America to explore the use of 3D printing for rethinking traditional artisan culinary methods (using a ChefJet Pro 3D food printer); it helped Mei Lin, the winner of Top Chef season twelve, to 3D print an intricate garnish for a Hawaiian-inspired dessert; it has even assisted celebrity chef Duff Goldman (from the Food Network’s Ace of Cakes and, more recently, Duff Till Dawn) in making intricate and stunning wedding cakes.

So far though, Santa Monica’s Mélisse seems to be the first restaurant to have used 3D printing to make French onion soup. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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