I am a creative design entrepreneur with a strong focus on food. During my master Industrial Design at the TU/e, I continued with my final bachelor project ‘Upprinting Food’ as a start-up. Upprinting Food started with 3D printing edible, beautiful shapes out of food that is often thrown away like old bread, ugly or overripe fruit and vegetables. I have set up a team with enthusiastic students, followed entrepreneurial programs to understand the skills and mindset of being an entrepreneur and started working on food printing with restaurants in order to collaborate in the development of recipes from the products they normally throw away. I further developed my expertise in applying digital manufacturing of food materials by setting up the project ‘Shape-changing Food’. Starting by experimenting with new materials in a kitchen context enabled me to iterate easily and to continue quickly. It is something I enjoy and which I advanced on a scientifically by studying chemical reactions and analyzing and measuring the material’s behavior.
For me it is important to transfer the knowledge to chefs, to reduce the gap between gastronomy and human food
interaction and enable them to implement the innovative materials or exclusive dining experiences in their own kitchens and daily processes. As a result of Covid-19, those interactive experiences are becoming an even more important aspect of dining-out. Since I realized that chefs can also be targeted through research publications, I developed my writing skills while working on my first publications, combining gastronomy with human-food interaction (HFI).
Throughout my master, I have gained knowledge in cooking and fermentation techniques, which enables me to communicate with the chefs on their level, collaborate in a kitchen context and to provide them with workshops on new materials and technologies. To further develop my skills in the kitchen and my knowledge on (alternative) food ingredients, I am currently following an online culinary education on plant-based food. This will help me to strive for more sustainable practices in the kitchen context and to collaborate with restaurants while working on future-proof materials and dishes.
Photo: Lieke van der Wel
“A sustainable, tech-based restaurant with unique, valuable food experiences is what I dream about.”
Through food design, designers can enable chefs to create a new level in their culinary arts. Applying digital manufacturing techniques, e.g. food-printing and laser-cutting, designers can give them a new level in form-giving capabilities. Through co-creation, designers help chefs to broaden their horizons without them being tech-educated. By looking at food as a material to play with, designers can aim for surprising interactions between chefs, the dishes and the diners. As designers build on knowledge from multiple disciplines, they can enable chefs to create new, transforming flavors and structures by combining food with physics or chemistry, without having a scientific background. Designers can even motivate chefs to act in a sustainable way, allowing them to be proud of this fact and operate as a role-model towards their guests and other food professionals.
As an entrepreneurial designer working in these directions, I constantly search for innovation in the culinary arts, creating value with new technology, taking a sustainable attitude towards food waste and ways to meet the developing needs of our future society. By doing so, I envision to design new dimensions in dining experiences, for both chefs and their guests.