Think fine dining and accoladed culinary competitions. Is additive manufacturing the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe not. But what if we told you that you could utilize software solutions and 3D printing technology to create out-of-this-world dishes?
Today increased and rapid innovation happens before our eyes in all industries. And we are regularly seeing how seemingly different worlds collide. So when the art of cooking and additive manufacturing meet, it’s not so out of place. This fusion can provide an elevated level of innovative creations that are both remarkable, and tasty. See how Norwegian chef Filip August Bendi won Chef of the Year 2021, by utilizing SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD and a 3D printer.
A Nordic influence
The filet mignon of this story is Filip August Bendi, a 32-year-old chef from Sandnes, Norway. He is currently working as Creative Developer at Thon Hotels, with a base at Hotel Bristol, a grand venue located in the heart of Oslo. And his resumé, packed with a wide range within Scandinavian dining, is impressive to say the least.
After studying at culinary school in 2004 – 2006, he moved to Denmark. Here he worked for Noma in Copenhagen (which by the way recently was awarded the prize for the most coveted restaurant on the planet). He later moved to New York City where his now well-awarded creativity gained its spark. “Every chef has their niche, mine is being creative”, Filip Bendi says.
The road to perfection
So, the leap from making food to 3D printing isn’t a long one. “A world of possibilities and the ability to develop myself inspired me to get into 3D printing. You can do anything with the right tools. We are in a phase in the culinary world where things are moving fast, and you need to step up your game”, Filip says. And the right tools were exactly what Filip had.
His creativity began taking its physical, 3D-printed form in 2018. Without any prior design or manufacturing knowledge, he had to get creative. It all started with creating his own molds for arranging finished plates of food. But without any experience, he could only construct very basic designs. Some of the molds he wanted to create required a more experienced hand. Luckily Filip has a network of people with different skillsets. Here it was all about writing a recipe correctly, for others to understand the vision.
The helping hands consisted of team members, CAD designers, and other Bocuse d’Or contestants. This provided a fertile ground for further development and a deeper understanding of SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD. His ability to explain to the designer what he wanted was now strengthened. For example, the certain distance between molds or how a pattern should transfer from the mold to the food.
A curious palate
The inspiration behind his visually striking dishes comes from his time at Matsalen in Stockholm, Sweden. Here he worked with Mattias Dahlgren. Mattias’ philosophy det natruliga köket, or, the natural cuisine, sustained Filip’s “less is more” mentality. Taking inspiration from nature, it’s only natural that the plate reflects the vision.
“My food is inspired by tradition, the seasons, and innovation, and has a Nordic feel. It should be logical and have pure flavors“, Filip told the Norwegian Bocuse d’Or Academy earlier this year.
The recipe for success
The culinary industry can be extremely hectic, yet innovative. When fellow chefs are also utilizing 3D printing technology and the number of printers is scarce, it can cause delay. “With many working hours and lots of time waiting for an available printer, this was the Achilles heel. I needed my own printer to speed up my creative process” Filip adds. This is where PLM Group comes into play. Filip got in contact with our employees through Thon Hotels, and after a while was able to receive his very own 3D printer. And this is where the ball starts rolling.
PLM Group’s Application Specialist Stian Mork has been the biggest support contact during this project. He has given technical support by optimizing design for additive manufacturing, the printing of molds, and design enhancements, helping Filip achieve his 3D printing goals.
“Working with Filip and his team has been inspiring and educational as we have worked with methods and products in an industry that is a good distance from what I usually work with, but much of what we have done can still be transferred to other parts of the industry”, Stian Mork says.
Filip is also in conversations with PLM Group about expanding his 3D printing options with printers like 3D Systems Figure 4.
Third time’s the charm
Winning Chef of the Year 2021 hasn’t come undeservingly. After participating in 2017, and 2019 (gaining second place), competing this year and taking home the victory was particularly sweet. “I have learned to love what I do. My whole life is about food and wine. I think about food, dream about food and talk about food”. The respected title automatically qualifies him for a spot in the most prestigious cooking competition – Bocuse d’Or in 2023.
“My goal is to continue the creative work in the future and do a lot of 3D development along the way. By doing this we will hopefully achieve something new. Maybe discover a new way of using the technology. This can enable us to create something in a way we’re not used to”.
Big congratulations to Filip August Bendi – we are proud to provide him with the tools to achieve his goals. Which technology he will use in future preparations, nobody knows – but we will make sure that we are there to support Filip every step of the way.
Interested in how 3D printing can benefit your organization? Reach out to us.