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Expo 2020 Dubaï : travel through time with culinary art!

On 1 October, the Expo 2020 Dubai will open its doors. For 182 days, the eyes of the world will turn to new ways of understanding how to build the world of tomorrow through sustainability, mobility and opportunity. In the “Food and Livelihoods” category, among the countless discoveries to be made, be prepared to travel back in time and enjoy a culinary experience set in … 2321!

On the menu? The world’s lightest dessert

The London agency Bompas & Parr is taking on a daring challenge: to give visitors a new multi-sensory experience of food through culinary art. While the company was thinking of creating edible fireworks, or presenting an entirely blue menu, its founders finally decided to create the world’s lightest dessert!

Created using aerogel, a material where liquid is replaced by gas and which makes it possible to create the world’s lightest dessert, this dessert will be one of the other mysterious dishes that guests in Dubai will probably have the opportunity to taste.

According to Sam Bompas, co-founder of the agency, “One of the dishes on the Expo 2020 menu is made from aerogels treated with supercritical dryers to create an egg albumen. This forms a meringue-like base that feels almost drying on the tongue”. In particular, he insists that while “this may sound strange, there is a lot of research showing that humans can enjoy eating almost anything when presented in the right context”.


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Combining artificial intelligence and human capabilities

Technology-infused dishes, inspired not only by space and microbiology, but by artificial intelligence and hyper-intelligence, will be at the heart of the two-hour culinary experience to be launched in conjunction with Expo 2020 Dubai.

“The experience will start with an aperitif, and then guests will travel to a culinary universe, 300 years into the future” explain the company’s founders. “The entire meal is structured around scientist James Lovelock’s vision of the evolving relationship between humanity, plants and artificial intelligence.” In short, Lovelock’s hypothesis states that in 300 years, artificial intelligence will think 10,000 times faster than humans, which is roughly the same as the speed difference between humans and plants.*

These artificial intelligence ‘beings’ will look at us the way we look at plants, but they will be just as dependent on the health of the planet and, according to Lovelock, will have to join with humans to defend it.

It is with this alliance in mind that the culinary experience proposed by the English company will explore how humans and technological advances can combine to sustainably feed a growing population and fight food waste, as well as being involved in the nutrition of the future.

Finding the plants we’ll be eating in 300 years

And their research continues as the new goal of the founders of Bompas and Parr is now to project what the environment might be like in 300 years’ time, and then try to create the herbs that can be found and eaten in those conditions.


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If all these experiments and projects still seem mysterious to future guests of the World Expo, one thing is certain: this gastronomic experience will be, above all, about delicious food and gracious hospitality. This is confirmed by his hosts: “There is nothing we put on the table without having done at least five tastings. The way to think about this production is that we are putting on a restaurant, a theatrical meal, a play, a museum and hopefully the best night of your life”.

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