Food: When 3D printing helps Top chef Kenneth Toft-Hansen to win Bocuse d’Or Competition

On the homepage of the Bocuse d’Or website, one can read, « Classic or modern, there’s only one cuisine…
The Good one
». When it comes to 3D printing, it is not all about taste, it is about sight, appearance. The pretty sight of a plate might definitely raise appetite.

Famous Paul Bocuse created the Bocuse d’Or, a revolutionary gastronomy contest. Replicating the codes of major sporting events, he imagined a true show placing the emphasis on cooking and on the chefs.

During this competition, with his third place, Kenneth Toft-Hansen drew attention of the community. He used 3D printing to create moulds to showcase his dishes. “I was tired of using the moulds that are already available as they are predesigned. I had some ideas about moulds that were not available on the market. The predesigned moulds limited my creativity. Then I discovered the 3D printing technology,” says Kenneth Toft-Hansen. The top chef therefore used the 3D printers available at Danish Technological Institute to create his moulds.

During the Bocuse d’Or Europe competition, the Danish chef presented two types of moulds: an onion mould which can be divided into three parts, thus avoiding that the shape of the dish is ruined when unmolding it; and another one that can create an organic pattern, which the top chef used to create a unique expression of lattice-shaped meat. Furthermore, due to its flexibility, the mould easily retains its shape.

All images via Danish Technological Institute

 “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”, says Kenneth Toft-Hansen.

While the chef is claiming to be the first in this solution, let us remind him that the young pastry artist Dinara Kasko also takes advantage of 3D printing to produce her moulds. Today, Dinara has created a whole business around her cakes with atypical shapes.

This competition is certainly the beginning of a great adventure for Kenneth Toft-Hansen and we can’t wait to see his next step; maybe the integration of 3D printed food on the menu like Top Chef Jan Smink does?

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