Lab-Grown Chicken Meat Will Make Its Restaurant Debut This Saturday
For cultured meat—which has gone by many names including lab-grown meat, clean meat, or slaughter-free meat—the question has not been “if” but “when.” The development of growing animal cells into edible meat has continued, only the timeline was uncertain. Back in 2016, an Israeli company called SuperMeat even took a guess, suggesting their lab-grown chicken would be available by July 2021. Turns out they weren’t far off, but they also weren’t the first ones to get there.
This weekend, Eat Just—which until recently was best known for its plant-based Just Egg—will become the first company in the world to have their cultured meat served commercially at a restaurant. Earlier this month, Eat Just claimed a world’s first after getting regulatory approval to sell its Good Meat Cultured Chicken in Singapore. Now, that cell-cultured meat will debut at Singapore’s 1880 restaurant on Saturday to a handful of select diners: “young people age 14 to 18 who have shown, through their consistent actions, a commitment to building a better planet.”
“This historic step, the first-ever commercial sale of cultured meat, moves us closer to a world where the majority of meat we eat will not require tearing down a single forest, displacing a single animal’s habitat or using a single drop of antibiotics,” Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just, stated. “We’re thrilled to partner with 1880 to launch a product that will someday be served on the dinner tables of families living in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama, to the skyscrapers of Shanghai.”
Eat Just explains that this inaugural event—offered to about 40 total guests in five-person seatings from December 19 to 22—will feature four-course meals prepared by 1880 Executive Chef Colin Buchan, who’s previously worked at a number of Michelin-starred restaurants.
To help tell Good Meat’s story, the meal is intended as “an immersive journey through the past, present and future of our food system.” But the final course is the star of the show: “three cultured chicken dishes, each bite influenced by a top chicken-producing country in the world: China, Brazil and the United States.”
Specifically, the Chinese-influenced dish will feature a bao bun, crispy sesame cultured chicken, spring onion, and pickled cucumber; Brazil will be represented by phyllo puff pastry, cultured chicken, black bean puree, crispy garlic, and lime; and the U.S. dish will have Southern flair with a crispy maple waffle and cultured chicken with spices and hot sauce.”
“This is a very exciting collaboration for me,” explained Buchan, who worked alongside Eat Just’s team in creating the dishes. “It's working with new ingredients, something very creative, something we've never quite seen before and I think people are going to love it.”
After this initial event, cultured meat will take a short break while 1880 serves its planned Christmas menu. But Eat Just states that, when the new year arrives, Good Meat Cultured Chicken will be on the menu, with dishes slated to sell for about $23, or “what one would expect to pay for a premium chicken dish” at 1880 usually. In the announcement, Chef Nate Park, Eat Just’s director of product development, simply stated, “We look forward to sharing [cultured chicken] with 1880’s clientele in the coming weeks and months.”