Nordic Food Lab x Pestival

Six-Legged Delicacies Tantalize Foodies at London's Wellcome Collection

Moth mousse whipped with hazelnut milk, cricket broth with a side of grasshopper garum sauce and a liquorice-glazed ant stick reveal their unexpectedly delicious side in this still-life series by photographer Joss McKinley. Served up by cutting-edge culinary research institute Nordic Food Lab, the experimental menu is part of the Wellcome Collection's Who’s the Pest? season, a collaboration with a mobile arts “Pestival” in celebration of all things six-legged. Paving the way for a new ethical - and aesthetic - code for food, the Copenhagen-based kitchen-cum-laboratory is the brainchild of Noma super-chef René Redzepi, and sits in a houseboat across the harbor from his two Michelin-starred sensation. Born out of Redzepi’s quest to tap into more local and underused ingredients, it is a forum in which chefs meet scientists, chemists and academics on a shared mission to explore the 1,400 untapped wholesome crawling creatures that are edible to man. “Roasted grasshoppers are a great place to start,” says Ben Reade, head of research and development, of introducing the food's full-bodied natural flavors to more squeamish Western palates. "They're simple to make and are an excellent beer snack served with mayonnaise." It may not be long before we see them filtering into the kitchens of world-renowned restaurants, either, with Noma making waves by serving a bed of ants at their pop-up at London's Claridge’s last year. “I think in 2023," adds Reade, “we’ll be asking ourselves why we didn’t eat more insects in 2013.”

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  • Today's Extra
    Today's Extra

    Punk: Chaos to Couture

    Gideon Ponte Takes Us Behind His Designs For This Year's Controversial Met Fashion Extravaganza

    The Metropolitan Museum's new exhibition Punk: Chaos to Couture, which was fêted earlier this week at the infamous annual Met Ball, explores the ongoing sartorial influence of the counter cultural movement that sprang to life in the 1970s. Grounded in the examination of punk’s history, the show includes full-on recreations of two of the scene's most legendary hubs: namely, the bathroom of the NY club CBGB, and the interior of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s London shop, Seditionaries. Set and production designer Gideon Ponte, who has worked with photographers like Mario Testino, Steven Meisel and Nick Knight as well as designing for feature films such as Buffalo 66 and American Psycho, was charged with creating backdrops that both emulated and elevated the genre. “I was trying to figure out how to paint the movement of punk through culture from low to high architecturally,” explains Ponte of today's images. “We 'chaosed' the architecture of the Met itself with the idea of a destroyed museum or sculpture gallery. It's actually made of polystyrene so it's fragile, and will decay over the run of the show.” 

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    Noma: Staff Meal

    What the Band of Chefs at the World’s Best Restaurant Cook for Each Other

    Danish photographer and filmmaker Simon Ladefoged captures a never-before-documented dimension of Noma, revealing what the chefs at the award-winning eatery cook for their own pre-service meal. Famed for artful Nordic dishes involving delicate, laborious work such as preening deep-fried moss and drying wafers of scallop, Copenhagen's gastronomic mecca re-energizes its chefs with the daily ritual of a boisterous communal staff lunch, held at 5pm before the evening’s guests start pouring in. Granted exclusive access to the Noma kitchens, Ladefoged produced an aesthetic portrait of the 37-strong team, culled from 22 countries, carefully preparing what founder René Redzepi calls their “family meal.” “While filming I was amazed by two things—the number of chefs in the kitchen and the amount of energy they put into their staff lunch,” says the director. “Other restaurants will just grab something for lunch, but this is a really big thing at Noma, which shows a lot about the people who work there, the mentality and the way it’s run.” The family meal varies wildly depending on the nationality of the chef preparing it, ranging from burgers with home-made buns to traditional Israeli dishes or a Danish classic: frikadeller (AKA meatballs).

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