In our series Real food,we'll look to the future of gastronomic technology.3D printers are used in hospitals, car assembly lines, factories and now in the kitchens of high-end restaurants.
In the pastures of his parent's farm, Jan Smink, a top Dutch chef, is going back to the basics of "fresh,local ingredients" to create a new culinary future.
"We use it, but we transform it into a little bit modern version," Smink told CBS News correspondent Roxana Saberi. It's modern because he's a pioneer in 3D printing food. 3D 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. Paco Perez at Miramar and Joel Castanyé at La Boscana in Spain both use the 3D printer Foodini made by Natural Machines. The University of Utah Hospital now prints meals for patients with problems swallowing solid food. They also use the Foodini, making things like mashed potato castles and "cookies" made of Nutella.
If dishes like these prove popular and the devices, each nearly $4,000, get cheaper, pixels to plate could improve nutrition and fight waste by transforming unappealing food into tasty works of art. Plus, it's fun.