This confirms it, we are in The End of Times. French chef Pierre Gagnaire at Hong Kong's Mandarin Oriental has created what he's calling the first entirely food-free restaurant dish, at least according to the PR the hotel is sending out. The recipe for "Le Note a Note", just one course in an 11-course synthetic tasting menu, is comprised of ascorbic acid, citric acid, glucose, and maltitol. Isn't that the exact recipe for chewable C tablets? Reports say the dish looks like little pearls and tastes a bit like apple and lemon. Or like a Flintstones vitamin, take your pick.
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Can I just put this out there -- isn't there enough synthetic food on our grocery store shelves that we don't necessarily want a kitchen lab approximation of Cocoa Krispies or Fruity Pebbles when we book a table at some high-end restaurant? Am I being a hopeless curmudgeon? I mean, I'm sure Gagnaire and his sous chefs are having a blast back there playing mad scientist, but I can't imagine that his customers are similarly enthralled. The dish below, for example, looks like a pickled pig's testicle set alongside a souvenir model of the World's Fair, interesting....but edible?