Intertwining experimental multi-sensory dining, art and education, Chef Jozef Youssef and his team distilled the essence of Mexico through this 3 month pop-up dining experience. Using modernist cooking techniques and an aromatic sensory journey guests were guided through a storytelling journey of mythology, sustainability, entomophagy, the origins and heritage of ingredients and expressions of art by way of food, aromas, audio visuals and explanation.
Kitchen Theory founder and Chef Patron Jozef Youssef spent two months touring the country sampling its flavours and forming the different aspects that made this concept a unique and memorable experience. Jozef also worked with Professor Charles Spence’s and his Cross Modal lab towards making this not only a great representation of Mexico but also a remarkable sensory dining experience as part of the mission of ‘the chef and the scientist’ to change the way we eat.
The Insects – Entomophagy
It just doesn’t seem right to talk about Mexican cuisine without mentioning insects, a culinary delicacy in this part of the world since ancient times. A 2013 report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization found that eating insects could be a more sustainable food option that would help boost nutrition and reduce pollution. Eating insects can be farmed at relatively low economic and environmental costs; farming insects use up to 50–90% less land per kg protein, 40–80% less feed per kg edible weight and produces 1000-2700 g less GHGEs (Greenhouse gas emissions) per kg mass gain than conventional livestock.
We are in support of the movement and thus explored insects to enhance some dishes; not in their natural form but in a way we hoped to appeal to even the less adventurous diner.
“A fascinating gastronomic trawl through the myths and marvels of Mexico and its food. This much-misunderstood cuisine’s vibrant flavours are brilliantly distilled onto the plate (and into the glass) by Kitchen Theory’s talented chef/patron Jozef Youssef: an unforgettable experience.” – Bill Knott, Food writer, How to Spend It
- The Holy Trinity – corn, beans, chilli
- Nopal – nopal, oaxacan cheese, fresh tortilla, salsa, lime, coriander
- Memories of Oaxaca – shellfish, octopus, corn, lime, epazote, coriander
- El Chapulín Colorado – hearts of palm, octopus, chapulines, cucumber, jalapeno, aguachile, avocado, tostadas
- An Offering for the Gods – venison, mole negro, pumpkin, spiced worm powder, burnt tortilla
- Mezcal – orange, mezcal, tajin, ant salt, coriander
- Vanilla and the bee – honey, vanilla, bee pollen, cinnamon, camomile