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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – 3-D printers are being used in hospitals, auto assembly lines, factories and now to make food.

A restaurant in the Netherlands is using the technology to create unique dishes for customers.

In the pastures of his parent’s farm,  Jan Smink, a top Dutch chef, is going back to the basics to create a culinary future.

“We use it but we transform it into the modern version,” he said of the 3-D printer.

Modern because he’s a pioneer in printing…food.

3-D printers don’t actually cook meals, but they pump pureed ingredients into layer upon layer of delicate designs.

“You can make shapes, what you can’t make by hand,” Smink said.

Like an avocado octopus or meat bowls filled with curry sauce.

Michelin-starred chefs have printed dishes before and The University of Utah Hospital now prints meals for patients with problems swallowing solid food.

But Smink is the first to give printed food a permanent place in each course on the menu.

Something extra for my guests, to surprise them,” Smink said. “It doesn’t change anything about the flavor, for example.”

Nina Hoff says the printers provided by her company BYFLOW are easier to use than many chefs think.

“Many restaurants are scared of technology in their kitchens,” said Hoff.

If dishes like these prove popular and the devices, each nearly $4 thousand dollars, get cheaper, Smink believes pixels to plate could improve nutrition and fight waste, by transforming unappealing food into tasty works of art. Plus, it’s fun.

He says if you mix a dash of inspiration with a touch of technology, anything’s possible.


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