Chef Homaro Cantu of Moto Restaurant | The Food Replicator Printer

Time for dinner….switch on the printer

Restaurants could soon invite diners to take a bite out of the menu to get a taste of the dishes which appear on it, according to a report in Engineering & Technology Magazine, published by the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology).

The magazine has gone behind the scenes at a restaurant in Chicago where the top chef is using a standard inkjet printer to produce menus which customers can eat.

Chef Homaro Cantu of Moto Restaurant uses edible paper and food-based inks to produce everything from birthday cake and cheesecake flavours to sushi and a Panini sandwich.

Cantu said he calls the printer his “food replicator,” think of Captain James T. Kirk generating a synthesized meal aboard the Enterprise.

The food based inks include juiced carrots, tomatoes and purple potatoes while the paper tray contains edible sheets of soybean and potato starch and the backs of the printouts are dipped in various food powders and either frozen, baked or fried.

Cantu is keeping under wraps what he has done to the printheads to enable them to use vegetable juice and the exact ingredients of the inks and he has several patents-pending.

Engineering & Technology also reveals that the hi-tech chef is investing in a 3D-printer to use as a cooking device, creating silicone moulds for pill-sized dishes, flavoured like watermelon, bacon and egg or even beef Bourguignon.

“Gastronomy has to catch up with the evolution in technology, and I’m just helping that process along,”
Cantu said.

As Chef Cantu continues to develop his technologies without an end in sight, in a few short years, we all might traipse into our kitchen, turn on our 3-D food printer, and print out our favorite dinner, drink, or desert without a second thought.

Dickon Ross, Editor in Chief of Engineering and Technology said: “There is an increasing overlap between the worlds of science, engineering and technology and food. Equipment from labs and workshops are finding their way into kitchens and chefs are employing the skills and approach which engineers take to create new dining experiences. Our magazine will also carry a brand new feature called “cooking for engineers,” written by an engineer who takes an “analytical approach” to cooking.

“Elsewhere in the magazine we are looking at the technology involved in 3D-printers, how it is developing and how the price is dropping. These types of technologies are going to revolutionize our home and work lives. It will make more people want to understand technology and how it is being developed and that is part of the role of our magazine.”

Engineering & Technology is produced by the IET, Europe’s largest professional society for engineers and is available to their 153,000 members worldwide. The publication has been re-launched this month and will become fortnightly instead of monthly. The magazine will bring in-depth coverage of the fast changing world of engineering and technology. It is available on subscription.

Chef Homaro Cantu of Moto Restaurant | The Food Replicator Printer

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