A gourmet menu… in virtual reality!

Every December, the art world meets in Miami for its famous week dedicated to art. The opportunity to discover artistic performances, each more original than the next. One of them is particularly exciting since it combines art, gastronomy and virtual reality.

This is Aerobanquets RMX, an immersive experience created by artist Mattia Casalegno in collaboration with Michelin-starred chef Chintan Pandya. It offers gourmets a way to visualize taste through mixed reality, this technology that allows them to interact with the real world while viewing things that are not there.

Mattia Casalegno and Chintan Pandya were inspired by a 1932 cookbook by FT Marinetti, “The Futurist Cookbook”, to imagine a gastronomic experience in which textures and flavors seem to come to life. Aerobanquets RMX participants are invited to taste a selection of appetizers with figurative names, imagined by Chintan Pandya. According to ARTnews, there is a “mousse of roasted hopes”, “a pearl that tastes like the first time you bit your lip” or even a pie that evokes the “whistle that the wind makes through a door lock on a cold autumn afternoon.

These dishes take on their full meaning thanks to the Meta Quest 2 VR headset worn by the participants of the experience during the tasting. These devices propel them into a virtual universe in which they are guided by the voice of cookbook author and presenter of the American edition of “Top Chef”, Gail Simmons. They can also let themselves be carried away during their meal by a soundtrack composed by the Italian musician Martux_M especially for Aerobanquets RMX.

As disconcerting as it is, this multisensory gastronomic experience aims to invite diners to take a different look at what is on their plate. “We currently live in a world where industrial agriculture, overfishing, chemical pollution and land degradation are jeopardizing the livelihoods of millions of people by depleting our environment. We live in a culture where speed and economy come before health and quality. Through this project, I want to draw attention to our dangerous practices while celebrating the pleasure of eating,” said Mattia Casalegno.

The visual artist designed Aerobanquets RMX in 2018 thanks to a research grant from the Chronus Art Center. He inaugurated it the same year in Shanghai in collaboration with chef Flavio G. Carestia, who runs the restaurant Domenica in Amsterdam; before presenting it to the American public at the James Beard House in New York. Collectors and art lovers can now discover it until December 4 at Superblue Miami, an experiential art venue imagined by the company of the same name.

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A gourmet menu… in virtual reality!

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