The restaurant in McLaren Vale is the first in Australia to use a 3D food printer.
Want to try a dessert with a technological twist? Head to the d’Arenberg Cube Restaurant in McLaren Vale, South Australia. It’s the first restaurant in Australia to use a 3D food printer.
“The dessert is basically our take on a lemon meringue pie,” says Brendan Wessels, Head Chef at d’Arenberg Cube Restaurant. “Breaking down the flavours and trying to re-create the flavours that are associated with the lemon meringue pie of our childhood memories.”
The base of the dessert is namaleka (caramelised white chocolate set with gelatine) which is 3D-printed in varying heights on the same structure (“so you have a visual texture to it,” says Wessels). Next comes lemon curd, lemon-vanilla parfait balls, liquid nitrogen fennel balls, chocolate crisps, foraged wild fennel and fennel pollen (to name a few), which are topped with a 3D-printed Italian meringue that sets in the fridge overnight.
Wessels says the process is rewarding, albeit a lengthy one. “It’s massively time-consuming. We prepare it 24-hours prior to service, because the meringue templates need to dehydrate overnight as well. We prepare the namaleka bases in advance, too – we keep it in the freezer and it should come out frozen, because it will start slowly thawing. You want those contrasts of flavour and temperatures in the dish as well,” he says.
“But it gives us so many more options as to what we can do with it. You’re able to inject so much more theatre – and so much more entertainment, and fun – into the whole project and presentation of food.”
Wessels predicts 3D-printers will play a big role in kitchens sooner than we think.
“It’s like any other modern technological advancement in cooking… there’s some apprehension associated with it because it is new, and you have to figure out your way around it – and it’s the same with us; there’s a lot of trial and error,” he says.
“But ten years from now, this is going to be standard equipment in kitchens.”