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Epochal Banquet brings curated menu of world firsts to Expo

The gastronomic experience lies at the intersection of design, science and technology to deliver never-before-seen dishes

‘The Future of Food: Epochal Banquet’ is an immersive dining experience featuring a multi-course exploratory menu, conceived by Bompas & Parr in collaboration with Expo 2020.

Collaborating with numerous innovators, scientists and creative technologists, the team at Bompas & Parr has gathered ideas on how we will eat in centuries to come and created an imagined menu of the future.

World-first highlights from the menu include aerogel meringues; transgenic collagen-infused sauce in a glow-in-the-dark starter; vegan bone marrow; herbs grown in a high CO2 environment, and flavour-changing jelly accompanied by a biologically metallic-iced sphere and dream-inducing chocolate.

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The menu is designed to entertain and inspire, while exploring important themes involving the future of food, including how humans and artificial intelligence can work together to sustainably feed a growing global population, tackle food waste and maintain nutrition. The theatrical experience is based on The Novacene, a publication by eminent 102-year-old scientist and inventor James Lovelock.

All dishes throughout the meal are paired with drinks and the order of the experience will be as follows:

Reception on arrival: The Universal Museum of Food – 2320
Canapés upon arrival include a selection of never-before-seen dishes, such as Mammoth Tartare, Crisps of 1000 Flavours, and nibbles inspired by the UAE Space Agency mission foods.

Starter: Imminent Future, 2021
Informed by Geltor’s bio designers, will be a dish of shiitake and kow choi dumplings in a luminescent seaweed broth that is seasoned according to the diner’s personality. Geltor chief of staff at Abigail Yun explained: “There’s a whole industry growing up where we are discovering new ways to make compounds with far fewer resources, such as water and land, and greenhouse gas emissions. You can literally flip a switch on a microbe and get it to secrete a compound in the purest form possible. These compounds can take a plant-based burger to the next level, so consumers can enjoy the same mouthfeel, texture and even nutritional profile as meat.”

Details about the dishDessert – The Novascene, 2320

Interlude: AI Dystopia, 2120
Developed with insights from Dr Alexandra Sexton, Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, regarding the future of agriculture, Interlude is a dish of vegan bone marrow with burnt butter, topped with crisp croutons. This course characterises a future of sustainable synthesised meat and lab-perfected proteins.

Main course: The Gaia, 2220
The main course will feature edible earth, garnished with herbs grown in the year 2220, as simulated in climate chambers by scientists at the University of Sheffield. A golden chestnut wafer tops a marble-cured duck yolk, rolled lamb belly, a terrine of rouge crapaudine (cooked birds) and trumpet squash, served with a fricassée of morel mushrooms and a pea emulsion. A vegetarian option is also available.

Dessert: The Novacene, 2320
The enchanting banquet dessert comes as a result of extensive experimentation by University of Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry to develop a structural pigment based on pollia condensata berries, the world’s shiniest living thing. The Bompas & Parr development kitchen has then used this to create an iridescent glaze that looks holographic. The dish comprises flavour-changing jelly with an iridescent knafeh-iced sphere and botanicals. Knafeh is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert made with cheese, syrup and filo pastry.

Expo 2020 Dubai chief experience officer Marjan Faraidooni said: “The Future of Food immersive experience is extremely exciting, offering foodies and the curious a world-first taste of the culinary experiences of tomorrow, while also delving into pressing global challenges based around food security.”

Available throughout the six months of Expo 2020, tickets for the two-hour adventure are now on sale on Expo Dubai 2020 website

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