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Munchies

Virtual Reality Is About to Meet Experimental Fine Dining

Heston Blumenthal and Marshmallow Laser Feast are to combine puppeteers, tracking technology, and real-time motion capture for some multisensory, mixed-reality cuisine.

by Kevin Holmes
Apr 19 2016, 1:10pm


Image courtesy of Marshmallow Laser Feast 

Experimental cooking teams up with virtual reality in an upcoming event by Marshmallow Laser Feast and Heston Blumenthal. Exactly what will take place and when is being kept under wraps, but it's promising some mixed-reality dining, where food science meets props and puppeteers—along with tracking tech, sound design, and performance.

"There's a couple of questions at the core of our investigation: Can people taste in their dreams? If so, can we add flavor to them?" Marshmallow Laser Feast's creative director Robin McNicholas tells The Creators Project. "What I can say is we're working with realtime mocap and it's pretty next level."

"Immersing guests into a surreal and multisensory world, the groundbreaking project explores our sensory relationship with food and drink like never before, combining neurology and synesthesia to create a mesmerising journey," runs the press release.

Blumenthal is known for his avant-garde cooking experiments and for his Heston's Feasts series, for which he created meals based on certain historical periods using food recipes, themes, and techniques of the times. It included a Victorian feast which replicated Alice in Wonderland on the dinner table and featured an edible insect garden. While in the Medieval feast, diners tucked into meat fruit and edible cutlery, napkins, and candles. So he knows how to do spectacle.

Marshmallow Laser Feast have been working a lot with VR, in music vids, in forests, in nightclubs, creating real-time visuals and animations. They've also turned chewing on a marshmallow into a laser show. So it should make for an interesting collaboration.

"My ethos is to question everything and this latest project truly pushes the boundaries of the possible and impossible," Heston Blumenthal says. "2016 is the year VR will change the way in which we see the world and our place within it, so I’m very excited to be working with the leaders in this space. Together we will create an unparalleled experience in a parallel world. The experience will be at once satisfying, surprising and subversive—I can’t wait!" 

Find out more about Marshmallow Laser Feast's work in our documentary below.

Click here to check out some recipes from Heston Blumenthal. 

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