WORK > 2016 > Counterfactual Cuisine

Counterfactual Cuisine was a one night event with Institute for the Future’s Food Futures Lab exploring spectacular recipes, writing, and images created by the Center for Genomic Gastronomy to complement IFTF’s newest food futures forecast. 


The menu of food experiences and light snacks imagined a selection of potential food futures and included:

  • A recombinatorial cocktail celebrating the many fruits and cultures of California
  • The LOCI Food Lab, where guests explored ‘bite-sized bioregionalism’ by identifying the attributes of the food system that are important to them.
  • A selection of five food future canapés.

AutoGastronomy

In the microbiome era, your body is a farm, a kitchen, and a restaurant. From the rare species of moth that drink our tears to the microorganisms that inhabit our guts, this taster takes a look at the ways we can flavor ourselves to be delicious to the species that consume us at various stages of life. In this taster, we’ll try a combination of foods with inulin, a prebiotic dietary fiber that supports beneficial gut bacteria, as well as cooling and alkaline foods to ward off mosquitoes by minimizing CO2 emissions and lactic acid that excite their attention.

 

Terroir that Travels

As the climate changes, how will the production of foods shift as well? Will protected designation of origin (PDO) still be important? Will traditional foods of one region be grown elsewhere and exported back? What kinds of new culinary techniques will be employed to ease this transition? This taster explores a future where the constraints of a changing climate on the North American continent have altered cultural traditions and processing practices to accommodate an age-old demand for taste-of-place.

 

Cover Crop Cuisine

These smoggy treats are meringue cookies created from whipped egg foams and harvested air pollution. Air quality affects taste and plays a role in flavoring our food. In the future, will we fine tune air quality for culinary applications? Or will we celebrate street food for its unique urban pollution flavor? Or perhaps we’ll see protected designation of origin (PDO) labels, replaced by PDAQ (protected designation of air quality)?

 

Smog Tasting

These smoggy treats are meringue cookies created from whipped egg foams and harvested air pollution. Air quality affects taste and plays a role in flavoring our food. In the future, will we fine tune air quality for culinary applications? Or will we celebrate street food for its unique urban pollution flavor? Or perhaps we’ll see protected designation of origin (PDO) labels, replaced by PDAQ (protected designation of air quality)?

 

Cache of the Day

This taster explores cognitive cooking for waste streams. Can we employ computers to push beyond human creativity in food making? IBM Chef Watson is a computational system that generates novel recipes by combining flavor compounds, food pairing theory, recipe history and human taste preferences to create a palatable, but unexpected dish. In this future, we hand over our waste products to Chef Watson and ask the computer to get creative with our food scraps.


LOCI Food Lab Menu

  • Fried Wonton Skin Crackers
  • Manresa Bread Toasts
  • Cowgirl Creamery Dairy
  • Kefir Sunflower Seed Sour Cream
  • Monterey Bay Sole
  • Fermented Vegetables
  • Pickled Driscoll’s Strawberries
  • Orgain Organic Meal Powder
  • Green Goddess Dressing
  • Chile Oil
  • Fried Chicken Feet “Fries”