MEAT THE FUTURE
MODEL MAKING & STYLING
Exploring the potential of what lab-grown meat culture may bring to our table
IN VITRO MEAT COOKBOOK
This award winning book is a stunning visual exploration of the new food culture lab-grown meat might create, featuring 45 speculative recipes illustrated by Silvia Celiberti.
I composed the meaty visual of its cover and styled the physical models of the recipes featured in the photographic part of the book.
BOOK COVER ELABORATIONS
CREATING & STYLING
After the book publication, the project
expanded into a virtual restaurant called Bistro in Vitro and into an exhibition called Meat the Future.
I worked on transforming the recipes into
Using a mixture of peculiar materials and techniques, I built textures and compositions, giving the food concepts a palpable feeling of touch and taste.
According to legend, Cleopatra dissolved a pearl in her drink to win a bet with Marc Anthony over who could spend the most money on a meal. Unfortunately for Cleo there weren’t any lab pearls at the time. The Bistro In Vitro Lab Pearls are filled with cultured animal fat and have a delicate structure resembling caviar or tapioca balls. A matured variety has a similar nutty flavour to a good Italian lardo. A true taste sensation!
MEAT FOAM COCKTAIL
The advent of in vitro meat has awoken in our bartenders the irresistible urge to experiment with savoury cocktails. No animal is off limits when they start mixing, foaming and shaking. On the menu is a meaty variant on the classic B-52 cocktail, but you only have to ask and we will happily combine cultured bacon with whiskey or whale meat with sake.
Grown without blood vessels, nerves or organs, this sashimi is a nearly invisible meat with a pure, delicate flavour. This traditionally presented, transparent fugu sashimi has been developed from meltingly tender blue fin tuna, but is even fattier and tastier than the original fish. Also, growing this sashimi reduces the overfishing of this endangered species.
PIG IN THE GARDEN
Meat comes from living animals, and that goes for the stem cells needed for in vitro meat as well. The pig in the restaurant’s garden is a living repository of stem cells for the pork shoulder on our menu. Interested in meeting the pig with your dinner companions? Ask your waitress, and she will happily escort you.
MICROBIAL LAMB’S MEAT
Fermentation has long been used to make yoghurt, beer and sauerkraut. For the first time ever, we are applying this method to the preparation of meat. This beautiful cut of microbial lamb has been prepared using minimal electricity, the power of beneficial bacteria and the natural fermenting process. The bacteria in the vat have left a hint of malted milk, a delicious combination.
3D-PRINTED MARROW EGGS
Throughout human history, eggs and bone marrow have been primary sources of protein and fat. Our ancestors smashed bones with stone tools to get to the bone marrow. This is unnecessary with these marrow eggs, filled with creamy, snowy white cultured marrow. The 3D-printed exterior is inspired by the shell of a sea urchin and adds valuable calcium to this dish with a meaty bite.
IN VITRO ICE CREAM
Why limit sorbet and ice cream to the end of the meal? In Vitro ice cream combines the velvety soft texture of ice cream with the taste of popular meat types: a savoury sweet frozen delight with a wide range of exciting tastes. At Bistro In Vitro we serve the Dragon, a fire-breathing blend of meat that tastes of mythological beast, as well as the salty Polar Bear, soft as snow and cultured from an actual polar bear.
You think lab grown meat is soulless, sterile and too artificial? The rustic in vitro bio reactors bring artisanal production methods back to cultured meat. The longer this rustic in vitro meat is left to ripen, the more flavour it acquires. Our rustic in vitro meat has spent months maturing in peace, allowing the cells to develop deep and complex flavours that vary from black truffle to oak.
Normally, in vitro meat is ‘exercised’ using electrical impulses to develop a firm structure. Lab Sweetbread is not, which means it keeps its soft, melt-in-your-mouth consistency. True gourmands will love it for its similarity to sweetbread, the culinary term for an animal’s thymus.
While sweetbreads are traditionally obtained from calves kept in deplorable conditions and slaughtered when they are barely a few weeks old, lab sweetbread is made from 100% cultured meat, fresh from the bio reactor, ready to be enjoyed.
Lab-grown meat is often cultured in sheets no more than a few cells thick. Our chefs are skilled at the art of origami and make use of the wafer thin proportions to fold flowers and animals from crane meat. An ancient Japanese legend holds that anyone who folds 1000 cranes is granted a wish by a mystical crane, a benevolent creature said to live for 1000 years. Bistro In Vitro’s cranes made of crane meat may well significantly increase your chances of a visit from this granter of wishes.
MEAT FLOWER IN BROTH
These meat flowers are based on the Chinese art of ‘flowering tea’. The small, tightly wrapped bundle of cultured meat unfolds in warm water to reveal a magical flower, complete with elegant leaves and petals. So their intricate artistry can be admired from all sides, the blooms are served in a clear broth of Chinese tea in a clear bowl, garnished with a garden of Asian herbs.
There is something deeply satisfying about gnawing meat off the bone. So as not to lose this primal pleasure, we offer you these Bone Pickers, made of cultured meat around an ersatz bone scaffold. We are giving you back the joys of chomping and tearing.
Prepare for an entirely new culinary experience with our Meat Fruit: a marriage of vegetarian and carnivorous ingredients. In Meat Fruit, the feminine elasticity of sweet fruit and the masculine attraction of red meat come together in a hybrid feast of surprising combinations. In this variation on a classic fruit tart, the crème pâtissière has been replaced with a savoury sauce. This turns our meat-berry tart into a savoury-sweet dessert that begins with an intense hit of beef and finishes with the sweet taste of blueberries.
Taking the kids to Bistro In Vitro? Familiarise them with cultured meat in a fun way with these colourful magic meatballs. They only contain healthy animal protein, supplemented with the vitamins and minerals that your child needs. These galactic magic meatballs, served with black pasta and sprinkled with ‘stardust’, will ensure your child has a taste experience that is out of this world.
The Bistro In Vitro bar is best described as a vintage brewpub, where local beer is brewed and meat is grown. Old-fashioned copper beer tanks are teamed with modern stainless steel bioreactors and algae tanks, spreading a cozy soft green glow. Here you can sample meat delicacies and local ales, from the comfort of your in vitro leather chair. A charcuterie platter of homemade cultured meats is also served in the restaurant, teamed with carefully selected ale.
FRIENDLY FOIE GRAS
The production of foie gras is a matter of bitter contention between gastronomes and animal rights activists. Although the buttery taste of foie gras is unparalleled, it is undeniable that gavage — the force feeding of geese and ducks through a metal tube — is an inhumane practice. Tissue engineering has solved this age-old controversy by growing goose livers without the goose. French farmers may frown on disembodied livers and the loss of a centuries old tradition, but the previously rare delicacy is now an affordable, abundant and animal-friendly treat.
The dodo is back on the menu. Thanks to a dried specimen of a dodo in the Oxford University Natural History Museum it is possible to taste what the first sailors ate when they visited Mauritius in 1598. Tissue engineering and advanced genetic sequencing have allowed food scientists to reanimate this long-extinct species. Children love the taste of cutting-edge science, especially served with our sweet honey and mustard dipping sauce.
Forget autographs and posters on the wall. Show you are a true fan by literally eating your favourite celebrity. These Celebrity Cubes are made from celebrities’ stem cells. Bistro In Vitro serves the stars dipped in a whiskey glaze. A deliciously addictive dish.