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Lisbon Dinner Menus

September 24, 2013

Recipes for Disaster Lisbon, 1755.

A turning point in history. Earthquake, tsunami and fire. Out of the wreckage, a new way of seeing and being in the world emerged. Our contemporary disasters are harder to see because they are complex, diffuse and effect humans indirectly. Overfishing. Colony collapse disorder. The clean water crisis. Climate change. There is a sense that a catastrophe is heading our way. Doomers, preppers and hoarders the world over are stocking their cabinets with preserved food and hunkering down. This set of dishes tells the story of disasters new and old. However, it is not all doom and gloom with disasters. During times of crisis the world is turned on its head. We are forced to invent new social and environmental relationships. Enjoy the journey because the destination is not predetermined. 

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Slow Expectations

After a century of speed are we ready for a radical slowing down? If we keep accelerating, humankind will either go extinct or reach escape velocity: uploading our brains to computers, or leaving this planet all together. For those of us still attached to our bodies and the planet, now is the time to pause. Can we choose to slow down on our own terms, or must this be enforced by austerity measures imposed from above? Can we slow down our global food network to reconnect with food that is fair, local and delicious or must we cope with unrelenting speed of global capitalism? There are forgotten flavours and complex methods that are worth retaining, even if they cost more and are inefficient. This menu will serve food that is the result of the most inefficient processes of growing, preparation and consumption of food. We invite you to turn off your mobile phone. Take a little longer than you think might be necessary to savour each of these dishes.

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Decadence for All

Should truly decadent experiences only remain within reach of the privileged few? Is universal access to hedonism a goal worth fighting for? The Modernist agenda paved the way for optimization and standardization, strategies that have consequences when applied to food systems at a planetary scale. We share the Modernist aspiration for social equity, but we propose that desire and pleasure are also universal needs. This menu presents many views on decadence and indulgence, the pertinence of their universal access and the hidden consequences that might arise from their implementation. Is it more opulent to consume meat daily or to eat it less frequently making each rare occasion truly sumptuous? There are many varieties of decadence: this menu emphasizes the close, the slow and the social. We invite you to loosen your belt, get your hands dirty and express your pleasure in public. Feel free to close your eyes, lick your fingers and define decadence for yourself.

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