The movie “Tron” was released on the precipice of the digital revolution, 10 years after the release of “Pong” and two years before the unveiling of the Macintosh. Today the film seems both highly prescient and oddly retro. The virtual world represented in the film is not the jittery polychrome environment of the contemporary internet, but something altogether more modernist: a simple, luminescent grid emerging from a black infinity.
The icy minimalism of “Tron” is perhaps a strange starting point for a post about gourmet pastries, which usually evoke images of Viennese bakeries bathed in warm morning sunlight. However, former architectural designer Dinara Kasko is not an ordinary baker, and her pastries are anything but traditional. While no one doubts these pastries are delicious, they seem much more at home in the glossy black void Kasko favors as the backdrop for her photos than they would on any plate. More than just food porn, these pastry portraits are abstract retro-futurist compositions.
“In general, element forming is one of the main factors for me as a designer and a pastry chef,” said Kasko in an interview with so good.. magazine. “I should also note that photography, frame composition and products presentation also play an important role. This is a manifestation of me as an artist, making cakes and photographing them as objects of art. Why not? Tasty and beautiful, that’s great.”
It should surprise no one that Kasko was trained as an architect before she became a pastry chef, graduating from Kharkov University Architecture School in her native Ukraine and working for three years as a designer-visualizer for a firm in the Netherlands. Indeed, the structural integrity of her creations can be seen in her process, which makes use of sophisticated molds and even internal scaffolding. In place of concrete and steel, however, Kasko uses meringue, mousse, mascarpone and ganache.
Kasko’s process begins with 3ds Max, where she models digital prototypes of her cakes. She then brings these models to life using a 3D printer, which is used to cast a silicon mold. The process, which proceeds from rendering to reality, is familiar to all architects but quite distant from the manual techniques pastry chefs have handed down through the centuries.
“In my creations, I’ve used such geometric constructing principles as triangulation, the Voronoi diagram, biomimicry,” explained Kasko. “Biomimicry is using the models, systems and elements of nature, macro elements in general. It can be anything, fragmentation of expanding shells in spiral, herb structure or the form that bubbles take.”
Contemplating pastries as structured objects is a thrilling paradigm shift for any design fan with a sweet tooth. The perfection of shape, texture and volume Kasko achieves in her pastries is all the more remarkable when one considers the fickle materials she is working with. Pastry chefs must take subtle differences of humidity and temperature into account to ensure their cakes turn out as intended. The remarkably sturdy, balanced appearance of Kasko’s edible structures is thus as much a culinary triumph as an architectural one.
Architect - Tech Writer - 3D Artist - 3D printing enthusiast