Japanese Inspired Experimental Pop-Up Series

KAISEKI by Kitchen Theory was a 9-course multisensory dining pop-up event held at the House of Wolf, London in collaboration with award-winning designer and calligrapher Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic.

Kaiseki, also known as kaiseki-ryōri, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner service which can be traced as the origins of the western concept of tasting menus. Steeped in philosophy, Kaiseki focuses on the multi-sensory aspects of dining which includes focusing on the colours, scents, and textures of the food as well as embracing the beauty of the surroundings. We had drawn on the philosophical, cultural, artistic and multi-sensory elements of Kaiseki as our framework while tying in our more western and modernist culinary experience to create a fusion experimental dining experience.

Having taken on the challenge of reinterpreting this highly esteemed dining experience, Chef Jozef Youssef took on the task by collaborating with artist Aerosyn-Lex, who has worked with the likes of Kanye West and Fashion house KENZO, to showcase touches of his art and film throughout the experience and drawing inspiration onto the plate.

The experience begins with a screening of Aerosyn-Lex’s directorial début short film titled SCRIPTURA VITAE, which was commissioned by Channel 4 and Protein London as part of the Random Acts platform. A poetic performance piece exploring duality, stars famed Japanese actress Miho Nikaido alongside Butoh performer and dancer Maki Shinagawa, features new and original music by Grammy nominated producer DIPLO. The 6 minute film serves as the opening act and the inspiration of the multi-course experimental dinner to follow.

These pop-up events were held at the House of Wolf, and feature visual elements invoking themes from SCRIPTURA VITAE, including traditional Noren screens and custom chef jackets with embroidered calligraphy. The artistically Japanese inspired menu featured an edible Japanese garden, an interesting array of pickles and a very long noodle piped into a consommé to represent eternal life amongst other art inspired dishes.

Click here to watch the SCRIPTURA VITAE film and the artist profile.

The Menu

Hassun- ‘Night garden’ selection of appetizers

Mukozuke-Sashimi with smoked dashi pearls

Owanomono- Mushroom consomme with Tofu noodles

Yakimono- Selection of Yakitori grills

Sunimono- Seaweed salad

Agimono- Tempura selection

Konomono-Nukazuke (Japanese style pickles)

Gohan- uruchimai (Japanese rice) squid ink risotto

Mizumonno- ‘Land of the rising sun’ dessert


Want to find out more about the origins of Kaiseki? Read our article about this spectacular dining tradition.

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