Welcome to Bistro in Vitro – the world’s first lab-grown meat restaurant and the future of fine dining. Its dishes may sound like the stuff of macabre fantasy – but according to the Dutch scientist and philosopher Koert van Mensvoort – we can expect to be eating meals like this in the not too distant future.
In 2028 – says Mr van Mensvoort – restaurant food will be ethical – sustainable – and cruelty-free. Much of it will be grown in laboratories – enabling chefs to devise playful fare such as brightly coloured magic meatballs – or a meat-berry tart.
At present Bistro in Vitro exists only online. But its concepts are based on real science; the object of the exercise is to encourage chefs and scientists to be creative in planning the future of gastronomy.
The first lab-grown beef burger – created from a calf’s foetal fluids – was cooked at a demonstration in London in 2013. The dish offered a glimpse of guilt-free sustainable meat consumption – but with a price tag of £215,000 it was not a dish for the masses. The team responsible for Bistro in Vitro predicts that the price of cultured meat will fall to €50 per kilo within the next six years.
‘That’s still a lot when you compare it with quality animal meat prices today’ said Mr van Mensvoort. But once environmental costs are added to the price of producing conventional meat – the lab-grown alternative starts to look viable’.