Though it can be easy to think of food in terms of fuel or comfort, in its highest (and sometimes simplest) form, it is also a work of art. In fact, in the world’s premier kitchens, design is nearly as critical to the final dish as the recipe itself. Want proof? Check out this reel of the 50 courses served to honor Ferran Adrià, and prepare to be wowed.

Ferran is widely regarded as one of the best chefs in the world, and in March the team at the Modernist Cuisine test kitchen in Seattle held a dinner to celebrate his newest book, elBulli. The last of the 50 courses was an absinthe service, coordinated between 3DS’ The Sugar Lab and Francisco Migoya, a heavy-weight in his own right who spent many years at the French Laundry. Rather than pouring water over a traditional sugar cube to sweeten and dilute the absinthe, we created a whimsical and vivid Gaudi-like form in full-color sugar.

But the experience didn’t stop there. We also co-designed the absinthe spoon with added Barcelona symbolism, pulling from a set of door handles designed by Gaudi and Dali, as well as the patterning of iconic Barcelona sidewalk tiles. Because we were able to co-design the sugar and serveware digitally, we could make them interact in very specific ways. In this case, ceramic prongs reach up and interlock with the sugar chimney to cradle it in place.

We were greatly honored to work on this project and were excited with how well it aligned with our own philosophy around the ritual of food. The absinthe service we crafted for Ferran highlights the potential of personalized 3D printed edibles and their cultural relevance, which is something we (along with pastry chefs, molecular gastronomists and mixologists) are innately interested in exploring.

Click here to learn more about 3D printed edibles and discover how you can make them part of your next culinary adventure.