Many foodies refuse to order chicken because of its ‘lack of originality’ – but that won’t be a problem for diners at a luxury California restaurant tonight.
The Michelin-starred Bar Crenn in San Francisco will serve poultry that was grown in a laboratory as part of its sold-out $150-a-head tasting course.
One of the six courses will be man-made chicken ‘coated in a recedo negro tempura batter, drizzled with burnt chili aioli, and garnished with edible flowers’.
Cultivated meat is made by taking a sample of cells from livestock like chickens and cows and growing them in a lab.
Selling it became legal last month, and the Bar Crenn will become only the second restaurant to have served it in the US after tonight.
The dish at Bar Crenn is described as: ‘UPSIDE Chicken coated in a recedo negro tempura batter, drizzled with burnt chili aioli, and garnished with edible flowers’.
Bar Crenn is a restaurant by French chef Dominique Crenn, 58, who is famous for being the only woman in the U.S. to achieve three Michelin stars
The man-made meat on the menu tonight was made by UPSIDE Foods, one of the two USDA-approved manufacturers of cultivated meat.
Amy Chen, chief operating officer at UPSIDE Foods, told Food & Wine: ‘It was important to be able to showcase the chicken, and to recognize that this is a whole-cut piece of chicken.’
‘[The recipe] really fit into that broader story about sustainability and artisanship and stewardship. Everything about it is just exquisite.’
The cruelty-free meat alternative is created by taking a sample of stem cells, the building blocks of muscle and other organs, from an animal.
The cells are placed in petri dishes with amino acids and carbohydrates to help the muscle cells multiply and grow.
Once enough muscle fibers have grown, the result is a protein that resembles real meat.
Bar Crenn is a restaurant by French chef Dominique Crenn, 58, who is famous for being the only woman in the U.S. to achieve three Michelin stars.
Ms Crenn, who has starred on the cooking show Iron Chef, created dishes with UPSIDE’s alternative chicken after taking meat off her menu in 2018.
Going forward, the restaurant will offer lab-grown meat during the first weekend of every month as part of its six-course tasting menu.
In January, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared engineered animal products safe for human consumption.
So far, Singapore is the only other country with approved lab-grown meats for sale.
The European Union, Israel, and other countries are working on regulatory frameworks for cultivated meat but have not yet approved a product for human consumption.
Cultivated meats could be coming to a high-end restaurant near you this year. Pictured: Founder of UPSIDE Foods Uma Valeti peers into one of the cultivators where lab-grown meats are manufactured
Workers pictured operating machinery at the plant where chicken breasts are grown
Shown above is a chicken breast grown in a vat by UPSIDE meats, in Emeryville, California
Serving the food in restaurants could turn the tide for engineered meat’s popularity.
A 2022 study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, for example, found that 35 percent of meat eaters and 55 percent of vegetarians would be too disgusted to try cultivated meat.
Last month, China Chilcano in Washington, DC became the first restaurant to sell US and Singapore-based GOOD Meat’s chicken in a dish called ‘Anticuchos de Poll’.
The restaurant, run by Chef Jose Andres, served their first GOOD Meat dish exclusively to the family of the late Willem van Eelen, who was considered the ‘godfather of cultivated meat’.
Mr Andres told Reuters he wants to sell cultivated meat because of its environmental benefits.
‘We can see in what is happening all around us, in every country around the globe, that our planet is in crisis,’ he said.
After gaining the USDA’s approval for sale in June, UPSIDE Foods posted on its Instagram account: ‘This is a historic, world-changing, moment and brings our vision of a more human, sustainable future one giant bite closer to reality’.
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