WORK > 2016 > BETA-TASTERS: New National Dish

Beta-Tasters: New National Dish is a performance that collects trends, forecasts and data to prototype a new national dish for a given region. Visitors contribute their preferences by selecting three attributes to be processed and translated into tasters by our computer.

Changes to the human food system are being driven by factors such as climate change, demographic trends, migratory patterns, technological disruptions and cultural innovations. Although a relatively recent phenomenon, national dishes are under pressure to accommodate these changes while still remaining relevant to citizens. 

What constitutes a national dish anyway? Or a country for that matter? If climate change means that a key ingredient to a national dish can no longer be grown within a country’s borders, is it time for an update?

The Center for Genomic Gastronomy was commissioned by Jeu de Paume in Paris to look at the concept of national dishes in general, and the French national dish in particular as part of Futurs non Conformes.

The Beta-Tasters in attendance at Jeu de Paume helped to determine a protocol to develop a new national dish for France by choosing attributes that were most important to them. Input from these Beta-Tasters, combined with current trends, historic traditions, and national demographic, economic, and environmental factors, were put into a digital network in order to compute prototypes of new national dishes for France, creating a framework for further recombinatorial cuisine.