Is it possible for a meal to be too foodie? My friends, I am here to tell you that the answer is yes. I do not know exactly what I was expecting from a five-course dinner provided by the Nordic Food Lab, but this experience took foodie fine dining to the next level.
The chefs from five local restaurants in the Research Triangle Park area teamed up with NOMA, the number one restaurant in the world, to provide a once-in-a-lifetime meal based on the concepts of culinary subnature.
Wait, so what the heck is subnature? Historian David Gissen coined the word in referring to objects and concepts that evoke negative associations such as mold, darkness, pigeons, mud and weeds. In short, it is an experiment in fine dining that comes from putting things together that you would never want to see on your dinner plate. And what an experiment it was…
The night kicked off with blood sausage bruschetta canapés, aka appetizers. Even the courses had foodie names.
The blood sausage was paired with a ginger non-alcoholic beer that I may or may not have mistaken for orange apple cider. Okay, not bad, I thought. I can do this foodie thing.
This plate looked non-threatening enough. Okay, maybe it was air dried beef heart and fermented peach pits, but I took it in stride.
By the second course, things started to get interesting. I mean, I know we are in North Carolina, but was it REALLY necessary to wrap a beet in tobacco and combine it with the needles of our state tree? One bite, and I was satisfied that this was a dish that I would never attempt to recreate. I gave it bonus points for presentation and glamor though.
This fish is one that should have been left in the sea: Sturgeon with a side of bone marrow and collagen. That’s right, collagen–the stuff hollywood actresses get injected into their faces to keep them looking young. I think I’ll pass.
Now THIS, is where I drew the line. When I read “Parking Lot Fowl” on the menu, I thought it had to be a joke. I was definitely not laughing when they placed quail legs with feet fully intact in front of me.
Is that a toenail?!?
Right when I was ready to call it quits, they brought out dessert. Ah, it is really hard to mess up a sweet treat. Alas, this was the first time that I EVER passed on dessert. Fermented milk curd paired with coffee grinds and dirt. Please, just make it stop.
What I was expecting to be one of the greatest meals of my life left me somewhat traumatized and craving a Cook-Out milkshake. There are just some things that are better left off the dinner plate. Fortunately, the night was saved by a box of Oreos.
Next time, I’ll stick to dirt cake made with these little beauties.
The photographs in this article were brought to you via iPhone. #nofilter