Mindful Meal

May 7th + 8th, 2015

Mindful Meal is an eating experience where we examine and enjoy food through the lens of time. The five course dinner highlights ingredients at various stages of life and evolves from fast to slow, young to old, light to complex.


Food is immediate in our culture. We simply go to the store and buy fresh produce. We have learned to be more conscious about seasonal, locally grown, and organic foods, but one thing we give little thought to is the life span of ingredients -- specifically, the time it takes for food to grow, develop, and mature. How long does it take to harvest a single carrot or to raise a pig?


The window displays in the Taste Workshop were used to showcase ingredients. In the first window we highlighted an assortment of vegetables, each with it’s age attached to it (i.e. a chicken egg takes 25 hours to develop). The second window displayed old and fermented ingredients used for dessert (i.e. dried Japanese persimmons, 20 year old balsamic vinegar, and 35 year old oolong).


The dinner was designed with interactive activities that engaged guests with their senses. First, participants created their own curry blend for the SEED course by selecting a mixture of spices presented in test tubes. After toasting then grinding in a mortar and pestle, guests sprinkled the spices onto their own bowl of slow cooked egg in grain broth.


To accompany the SPROUT course, each guest customized their own cocktail, made with a base of gin, green chartreuse, and lime. We made fresh wheatgrass juice, which many incorporated for an added grassy flavor, and experimented with adding fruit juices, cucumbers, lime, and mint.


SEEDegg, seeds, peas, grain broth  


SPROUTmicrogreens, fungus, weeds, soil  


BLOOMquail, asparagus, thistles & nettles, flowers


MATUREbeef short ribs, golden turnips, potatoes, carrot & radish pickles


DECOMPOSEaged Gouda, Saikyo miso, hoshigaki, 20y balsamic, umeshu, 35y Tung Ting Oolong


Collaboration with: Leif HedendalLeif Hedendal is a chef and artist whose work focuses on eating design, underground dining, health, agriculture and food politics. Having trained at noma, Chez Panisse and Greens, his cuisine focuses on micro-seasonality, humanely raised meat, under–utilized vegetables and wild forage.


Video and Photography by Sergey Kolivayko