SPOT THE MEAT: Chef Creates Visually Identical Meals For Vegetarians And Omnivores

Last week, Mike Lee of Studiofeast, who long-time Edible Geography readers might remember from the Landscapes of Quarantine dinner team, served a seemingly identical seven-course dinner to 20 vegetarians and 20 omnivores.

And, although the meat-eaters ate meat, and the non-meat-eaters didn’t, the vegetarian dishes were interchangeable with their meat all the way from tartare to marrow on toast.

What’s more, the vegetarians didn’t have to make do with substitutes—Quorn, Tofurky, Texturised Vegetable Protein, and the like. And, just to make this Doppelgänger Dinner into a real challenge, Lee and his partners did not allow themselves to repeat ingredients across pairs, so “if we used basil puree in the veggie dish, then we had to use parsley puree in the meat dish.”

In other words, for each course, Lee composed a dish, and then used completely different ingredients to assemble its equally delicious visual analogue. This is cookery as the counterfeiter’s art: dietary restrictions reframed as sensory surrogates.

The pair of dishes served at each course is shown below, although it’s up to you to decide which is which.

food doppelgangerThe amuses-bouche: Vegetarians enjoyed spherified apricot puree in a coconut soup with mint; and ominvores were served salmon roe in Vichyssoise.

Photo: Edible Geography


food doppelgangerThe twin tartares: For vegetarians, a spherified yellow pepper puree on a tomato, with a smudge of basil puree; for omnivores, smoked egg with beef and parsley.

Photo: Edible Geography


food doppelgangerMarrow on toast: An incredible 45 hand-carved Yukon Gold potatoes filled with caramelised onions and miso butter on the vegetarians’ plates; the omnivores got real beef bones, with duckfat.

Photo: Edible Geography


food doppelgangerA noodle soup, and this time it is the omnivores who have the stand-in, with the vaguely alarming-sounding Activa-bonded shrimp paste extruded through squeeze bottles to create their version of the vegetarian’s hand-pulled La Mian noodles.

Photo: Edible Geography


food doppelgangerDuck breasts served with celery and sweet potato; watermelon, compressed, cooked sous-vide, and grilled, with fennel and carrot.

Photo: Edible Geography


food doppelgangerVegetarians were served carved tofu-cylinders with green beans and kimchi; for omnivores, sea scallops with garlic scape and red pepper.

Photo: Edible Geography


food doppelgangerDesserts by Micah Phillips of Compose: Uni, lobster, corn, and licorice for omnivores; blueberry, frikeh, woodruff, and birch for veggies.

Photo: Edible Geography

This post originally appeared at Edible Geography.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.