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. 


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.


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.



The Real And Other Fictions

As part of 2013‘s Lisbon Architecture Triennale‘s exhibit The Real and Other Fictions The Center for Genomic Gastronomy has transformed the dining hall at the Palace de Pombal into a 3-month pop up restaurant called the Planetary Sculpture Supper Club. Each dinner includes a 6-course menu drawn from one of three themes: Recipes for Disaster, Slow Expectations and Decadence for All. A bespoke mirrored table reflects the ornate ceiling of the palace, and diners are served recipes that are designed to be eaten directly with their hands, no cutlery is needed. 

Here are a few images from the opening week:

Plating for journalists




Photo Credit: Catarina Botelho Photo Credit: Catarina Botelho






You can book dinners here through November. Be warned…you’ll have to click through a few screens, and then pick your date on the calendar.

Join the Genomic Generation

September 7, 2013

Industrial Ag. Trade Magazines: One of the stranger corners of the Genomic Gastronomy library……

“Would you rather be purchasing semen on elite sires like 1HO08784 FREDDIE and 1HO02565 CASSINO now?”Cows

 “Use Calf Math to help define your semen usage strategy.”


Day 1 of Test Kitchen in Portugal

September 6, 2013

 Close, Closer, the Lisbon Arch. Triennale is almost here.


Our bespoke table has been built and delivered. 



We are having a lot of un collaborating with culinary students from all over Portugal. Here, Heather is helping manage the test kitchen in Estoril.



We are experimenting with some new recipes like the Cuttle-Fish-Ink Meringue (above).

CyberAgrarianism: Tagging the FoodScape

August 27, 2013

I noticed that no one had written a Wikipedia entry for CyberAgrarianism (or FoodScaping for that matter!). Here is my first attempt at defining this tricky space. Used the introduction to the Agrarianism article as my starting point:


CyberAgrarianism has two common meanings. The first meaning refers to a social philosophy or political philosophy which values urban foodscaping over non-edible landscaping, commons-based-peer-production over industrial models, and sees urban foraging as a cultural practice that can shape and transform social values. It stresses the potential of networked and locative technologies to facilitate non-fiscal transactions and overcome the tragedy of the commons.

The philosophical roots of CyberAgrarianism include green urbanists who believe in increasing food security by promoting local food and short supply chains, and advocates for a sharing economy facilitated by emerging networked technologies (free cycle, car sharing services, etc.). Early practitioners of CyberAgrarianism include urban foodscaping advocates and geolocative geeks (see: HeadMap Manifesto and Ambient Commons) who understand urbanity and are interested in mapping and tagging the places where they live.

Urban foodscaping trends have influenced artists such as Fritz Haieg (Edible Estates) and Stroom Gallery’s FoodPrint activities who implement Urban FoodScaping projects under the banner of artistic production. The 21st century school of digital food mappers include groups such as Fallen Fruit and Future Farmers who create mapping and tagging tools for foraging edibles or urban farming that exist within the urban and peri-urban landscape. More Urban Foodscapes along with the tools to map and tag these locations form the basis of a CyberAgrarian movement.


However, there is a need to create continuity in this movement. There is a crisis of institutionalization. What began as a bottom-up movement can easily burn out as artists move on to their next project, websites go dead or databases are not updated or filtered.

Will CyberAgrarianism become the transit oriented development of the 2020s? Would that be a bad thing?

In the Independent (UK)

August 18, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 9.21.01 AM

from The Independent newspaper (UK) – 
Friday 16 August, 2013
by Christopher Beanland

Food that will serve up a serious debate

A dinner party with a difference will be serving up quirky dishes like “deconstructed caldo verde” (all the ingredients of soup served dried on a plate) and “the Lusophere Flip” (sous vide fish with sauces from former Portuguese colonies Macau, Goa, Brazil and Angola – which were once poor but are now thriving). The idea is to provoke debate about architecture and cities. “These Planetary Supper Club dinner parties are about getting people talking about the events of our time,” says artist and cook Zack Denfeld of the Center For Genomic Gastronomy, who devised the menus for the event, as part of Lisbon’s forthcoming Architecture Triennale. “The fish dish for example is about imagining a more horizontal world where ideas, food and people flow equitably around the Lusophere.” Denfeld will also dish up Cobalt 60 BBQ Sauce (above) created with plants bred from mutations – which questions how we use and abuse intensive agriculture and bioscience in the kitchen.

Diners, along with top art world personalities from Portugal, will discuss how food, culture and science can help us to improve the cities and buildings of the future. Can eating really teach us about architecture? “There’s a focus on questioning the boundaries of what constitutes architecture at the Triennale,” says curator Mariana Pestana. “The idea is to bring back politics to the dining table.”

Planetary Supper Club, Palacio Pombal, Lisbon, as part of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale (,‎ 12 Sept to 15 Dec

Global Appetites: American Power and the Literature of Food

August 16, 2013

Global Appetites

“The reasons for the proliferation of food movements and food media during the last decade are numerous. Perhaps more importantly, environmental groups have publicized scientific findings that industrial agriculture is a major contributor to climate change at the same time that the volatility in rice, wheat and corn prices have highlighted a troubling paradox of the modern food system: despite tremendous gains int he productivity of agriculture, nearly one billion people are hungry.


The 2012 exhibition Edible: A Taste of Things to Come illustrates another paradox of the modern food system, one that inspires this book: the richness of cultural responses to the system’s perceived failings. Organized by the playful art collective known as the Center for Genomic Gastronomy, the exhibition assembled artists, activists, cooks, scientists and hobbyists to imagine possible futures of food. With installations like “Disaster Pharming” and “Vegan Ortolan,” the exhibition showcased the outer reachers of molecular gastronomy and agricultural genetics alongside more familiar “countercuiisines” such as vegetarianism and raw food. In position these futures, the exhibition was highly critical of the status quo. 


The Edible catalog concludes with two infographics: one showing disinvestments in small farmers and increases in obesity rates and another charting the decline of agricultural diversity under the industrialized food regime (in which wheat, rice, milk, potatoes, sugar and corn have displaced the thousands of edible plats long cultivated around the world). Paired with this lament about the present however, is a celebration of the culinary cosmopolitanism that the present affords. De-centering the United States, and indeed the nation state, as the locus of food power, the Edible curators suggest that the global circulation of foodstuffs and food cultures allows the individual eater to act as a world citizen.”

– Global Appetites: American Power and the Literature of Food
by Allison Carruth 




Planetary Sculpture Supper Club: PDX, 2013 #3

August 13, 2013

Our final Supper Club event in Portland was held at the beautiful Good Mod on July 13th. Photos by Ryan Fish.











1 5 6 7 8 9 18


October 24 - November 21, 2019
ClimATE, Aalto University, Espoo, FI.
March 1, 2018
Climate Fiction PT
October 21 - 29, 2017
Dutch Design Week: Embassy of Food
October 19 - 21, 2017
Experiencing Food (Lisbon)
Nov. 5 - Apr. 2, 2016
2116: Forecast of the Next Century
Nov. 5th, 2016
KiKK Festival Workshop