*rugenius in food+drink , 15:10

Sunday lunch in 2063- 05.02.13

mainhendrick.jpg Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw!

Earlier this evening, I headed to the previously featured urban food hub, FARM:shop Dalston for a preview of “Sunday lunch in 2063, an exploration into the sustainability of food and drink in the luxury sector”, part of Hendrick’s Carnival of Knowledge which will be part of the Brighton Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe and London Cocktail Week later in the year. The lectures will be presented jointly by mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana (Mr. Lyan), Shay Ola (Rebel Dining Society) and Duncan McRae (Hendrick’s British Ambassador) and our taster was hosted by the menu’s creators. Intrigued by sustainable luxury and “edible curiosities made from insects”, I wasn’t sure what to expect. More photos and a look at the menu on the next page!

Rather than your typical gross-out specials of whole cricket and mealworms, it was all about sustainability and incorporating insect proteins. With the recent horsemeat scandal highlighting how little we know about what goes into processed foods, Cheti and Ola began thinking about how more sustainable insect proteins might be incorporated into our diets (as more than a novelty for the brave). Rather than having insects on display, freeze dried locusts and mealworms sourced from the Netherlands (raised hygienically and with per weight costs close to that of Wagyu beef!) were combined with a variety of Asian inspired ingredients to create a delicious array of dumplings and paired with gorgeous cocktails made using sustainable techniques and incorporating fresh, local ingredients including rhubarb, asparagus and even local London honey.

The pairings were gorgeous and those who attend the upcoming lectures are in for a treat!

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The dining table is set in the cozy front room of FARM:shop. Just out of shot are the tanks of tilapia, looking at us curiously!

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Adding the finishing touches on our lovely first cocktail, the “Closed Loop” whose ingredients included a strawberry beer and spicy radish topping.

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The cocktail is based on the idea of closed loop fermentation, using the CO2 from fermenting strawberry beer (like that shown in Kilners on the dining table), to feed and grow the radish toppings.

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A seasonal cocktail complete with rhubarb and asparagus! Interesting flavor profiles and refreshing taste, though I must confess I’m not such a fan of rhubarb.

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Our locust and grasshopper dumplings in four varieties, atop an assortment of roe and seaweed. These were served alongside a cocktail with a recycling theme as it was made hydroponically grown cucumbers (which were used to filter water) as well as homemade falernum (a sweet syrup) made from lemon and lime husks.

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In addition to mealworms and locusts, the ingredients included “forbidden rice”, oyster mushrooms, shimo shimeji, lotus root, water chestnut, shitake mushrooms, on shimeji and taro root.

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Diners taking their first tentative bites of our insect protein dumplings.

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The “Eastern Influence” with ginseng, ginger and delicious local honey.

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Our hosts refrained from “geeking out” on us about all of their research and experimentations with food and insects, but promised more details and discussions at the Carnival of Knowledge.

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Love the table decorations too which included fermenting strawberry beer and hydroponic cress and other edible greens.

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Our full menu of sustainable luxury!

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