KitchenAid: A Culinary Odyssey- 03.22.12
The latest from our London-based editor, Justine Aw.
This evening I had the pleasure of attending “A Culinary Odyssey” with Bompas & Parr and KitchenAid to celebrate the launch of the new KitchenAid 6.9L Artisan Stand Mixer. The event was filled with science fiction inspired cocktails from the Experimental Cocktail Club (ECC), Kubrick inspired sets created by designer and prop stylist Rhea Thierstein, a levitating food device from Poietic Studio and futuristic menu created by Andrew Stellitano. Bioluminescent lollipops, a rum cola cloud chamber and cricket pasta were only a few of the incredible offerings. See lots of photos on the next page!
It all went down at the stunning venue One Marylebone, the Grade I listed building with classical architecture that contrasted beautifully with the futuristic experimentation inside!
Pasta made from crickets sounded intriguing, but we didn’t manage to grab a taste of the Insect Protein dish.
Sadly that beautifully hovering orb is not a meringue itself, but a demonstration of the lovely levitating food serving system created by Poietic Studio. However, the Spook meringues were absolutely delicious!
I love the red haze of rum and cola. What the photos don’t capture is how unbelievably sticky that cloak chamber is inside! To avoid becoming completely sugar coated, we had to suit up in disposable full body suits (not the easiest task when you’re wearing a dress!). The cloud itself (perhaps in combination with its effects) made it nearly impossible to see inside, but it was a blissfully surreal experience to be in a cool, sticky, sweet cloud of intoxication.
My favorite part of the whole event were these incredible Bioluminescent Lollies. Armed with our lollipops created with the chemical used by fireflies, we entered a darkened tent (with a KitchenAid inside) to fully experience their effects and it didn’t take long. These lollipops really do glow brightly with a slightly greenish tinge when licked and make your mouth and teeth glow too! Sadly, it was too dark to get a good photo, so it’s one of those things you’ll have to try to get a hold of and try for yourselves!
Pill making with KitchenAid! The pill making machine we previewed at the Cocktail launch was back in action, making a variety of tasty sherbert pills, think something like American smarties or SweeTarts (UK readers think Parma Violets).
You can’t help but stop and stare at the beauty of liquid nitrogen steaming as it makes icecream (remember Chin Chin Labs?)! The process is so much quicker than your conventional icecream maker and the result is fresh, smooth, silky and in this particular instance delightfully smoky in the smoked bourbon flavor.
There was lots of excitement happening at the Planetary Bar. The Experimental Cocktail Club (ECC) were at their finest, serving up an array of scifi cocktails in the stunning surroundings of Rhea Thierstein’s set.
Cream whippers at the ready created Milk Plus - Khat Milk. A bizarrely milky and rather alcoholic without being as overpoweringly sweet as you might expect.
Lovely tropism well by Poietic Studio delivering a healthy dose of Nourishment. The well detects patrons, fills itself with the cocktail, then dips down to pour just the right amount in your glass before returning to its post to search for the next empty glass.
The Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster in the making! “The alcoholic equivalent to a mugging”, but actually rather more pleasant than it sounds!
There were lots of strange and delicious canapes circulating as well, including dishes made with human hair oil, spirulina puff pastry and transglutaminase chicken patties. Find the full science fiction inspired menu below:
Milk Plus - Khat Milk Plantation Trinidad Rum, pineapple, lemon, toasted spiced-tea mix, coconut water and khat leaf (caffeinated) The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence. Stanley Kubrick (1971) Clockwork Orange
Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster Hendricks Gin, grapefruit zest, pomegranate molasses, absinthe, fresh mint, orange bitters and caffeine extract ‘The alcoholic equivalent to a mugging’ the effects of which are ‘like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick’ Douglas Adams (1979) Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Spook Elderberry and Health Science Nutrition Meringue. Remember Spook? Sure you do … ninety-nine percent sugar; one of those things that tastes disgusting first off, but you can’t help getting hooked if you persist with it. It was called Spook, I guess, because it was like clear liquid to start with, no flavour, with this neat gimmick in the cap. You could twist the cap six different ways to get six different flavours. Nothing special looking back, just some cheap chemicals released according to which flavour you chose, but the sort of thing that kids go mad for. Jeff Noon (1998) SOLACE
Nacho bananas Banana chips, yellow nacho cheese, chili salsa Roger Spottiswoode (2000) The 6th Day
Gruel Smoked eel, celeriac remoulade, oatcake ‘A single celled protein combined with synthetic amino, vitamins, and minerals. Everything the body needs’ Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski (1999) Matrix
Fine dining braised veal in wine sauce, duck a lorange, crevette a la mayonnaise, and steak served with picture and all the same Terry Gilliam (1985) Brazil
Humans/Reformatted protein Pea puree, mint, pea shoots, smoked human hair oil ‘Solyent green is people’ Richard Fleischer (1973) Solyent Green
Six foot long banana peel and other super-sized food Taste tech fruit chewing gum ‘I beat a man insensible with a strawberry’ Woody Allen (1973) Sleeper
ChickieNobs - Transgenic meat Mackerel, beetroot, orseradish, purple shisho “This is the latest,” said Crake. What they were looking at was a large bulblike object that seemed to be covered with stippled whitish-yellow skin. Out of it came twenty thick fleshy tubes, and at the end of each tube another bulb was growing. “What the hell is it?” said Jimmy. “Those are chickens,” said Crake. “Chicken parts. Just the breasts, on this one. They’ve got ones that specialize in drumsticks too, twelve to a growth unit. “But there aren’t any heads…” “That’s the head in the middle,” said the woman. “There’s a mouth opening at the top, they dump nutrients in there. No eyes or beak or anything, they don’t need those.” Margaret Attwood (2003) Oryx and Crake
Chicken little - Transgenic meat Transglutaminase chicken patty, GM corn relish, demi-brioche bun The aristocrat of Dorm Ten was Herrerra. After ten years with Chlorella he had worked his way up— topographically it was down— to Master Slicer. He worked in the great, cool vault underground, where Chicken Little grew and was cropped by him and other artisans. He swung a sort of two-handed sword that carved off great slabs of tissue, leaving it to lesser packers and trimmers and their faceless helpers to weigh it, shape it, freeze it, cook it, flavor it, package it, and ship it off to the area on quota for the day. He had more than a production job. He was a safety valve. Chicken Little grew and grew, as she had been growing for decades. Since she had started as a lump of heart tissue, she didn’t know any better than to grow up against a foreign body and surround it. She didn’t know any better than to grow and fill her concrete vault and keep growing, compressing her cells and rupturing them. As long as she got nutrient, she grew. Herrera saw to it that she grew round and plump, that no tissue got old and tough before it was sliced, that one side was not neglected for the other. Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth (1952) The Space Merchants
Quadraped Dish of the Day - Ameglian Major Cow Steak tartare, sourdough ‘We’ll meet the meat.’ A large dairy animal approached Zaphod Beeblebrox’s table, a large fat meaty quadruped of the bovine type with large watery eyes, small horns and what might almost have been an ingratiating smile on its lips. ‘Good evening’, it lowed and sat back heavily on its haunches, ‘I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in the parts of my body?’ ‘Something off the shoulder perhaps?’ suggested the animal, ‘Braised in a white wine sauce? ‘Or the rump is very good,’ murmured the animal. ‘I’ve been exercising it and eating plenty of grain, so there’s a lot of good meat there.’ Douglas Adams 1980 (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe)
SoyPRO - IP protected mono-culture Soy Pro takoyaki, miso batter Through a gap in the slumped hovels, Lalji caught another glimpse of the lush waves of SoyPRO and HiGro. The sheer sprawl of calories stimulated tingling fantasies of loading a barge and slipping it down through the locks to St. Louis or New Orleans and into the mouths of waiting megodonts.. “We Provide Energy for the World” - motto of Paolo Bacigalupi (2005) The Calorie Man
Algae Crops Goats curd, ginger, spirulina puff pastry “It’s the food situation I’m worried about… There’s been another mutation in the Chlorella tanks; must have started when we passed through that radiation field near Sigma Draconis. We’re getting a yield of about twenty-two hundred kilograms per acre in terms of fats.” “That’s not bad.” “Not bad, but it’s dropping steadily, and the rate of decrease is accelerating. If it’s not arrested, we won’t have any algae crops at all in a year or so. And there’s not enough crude-oil reserve to tide us over to the next star. James Blish (1957) Cities in Flight
Coffee, Cigarettes and Oxygen Ridley Scott (1979) Aliens
Nutrimatic He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea. The way it functioned was very interesting. When the Drink button was pressed it made an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject’s taste buds, a spectroscopic examination of the subject’s metabolism and then sent tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centers of the subject’s brain to see what was likely to go down well. However, no one knew quite why it did this because it invariably delivered a cupful of liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea. Douglas Adams (1979) Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Scop - Bioluminescent Lolly ‘David was a health-food nut, a great devotee of unnatural foods. After eight years of marriage, Laura was used to it. At least the scop was improving. Even the scop, single-cell protein, was better these days. It tasted all right, if you could forget the image of protein vats crammed with swarming bacteria.’ The bioluminescent lolly is made with synthesized Renilla luciferase, the protein responsible for sea creatures’ spontaneous glowing. It is activated by contact with salivial oxygen. Bruce Sterling (1988) Islands in the Net
Concentro Machine mixed sherberts with micro-encapsulated flavors ‘When gathering dusk made jumping too dangerous, we sought a comfortable spot beneath the trees and consumed part of our emergency rations. It was the first time I had tasted the stuff—a highly nutritive synthetic substance called “concentro,” which was, however, a bit bitter and unpalatable. But as only a mouthful or so was needed, it did not matter.’ Philip Frances Nowlan (1928) Armageddon: 2419 A.D.
Cookie of Nostalgia Nostalgic cookie with Turkish Delight (1777), Kendal Mint Cake (1869), Crunchie (1929) or Lion Bar (1976). “when you are done eating it you’ll feel right as rain” Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski (1999) Matrix