Friends of the Earth Extraordinary Banquet

Yesterday I blogged about My Secret Kitchen and their fabulous ingredients for the home, today is about fabulous in a restaurant, all thanks to Sir Paul McCartney on behalf of Friends of the Earth.  NOT one to be missed.  Edible sand?  Whats that all about?
Banquet invite_EmailFriends of the Earth is thrilled to announce its forthcoming Extraordinary Banquet event; a unique evening of experimental food and performances inspired by the life and principles of Linda McCartney, with support from friends Dame Vivienne Westwood and Jo Wood and compered by Clive Anderson.

The evening will feature a one-off UK performance from Grammy-nominated classical musician Julian Wachner; a special live performance from critically acclaimed soul and blues singer Natalie Duncan; unique beat-boxing collaborations live on stage and a multi-sensory, experimental menu to tease the senses, selected by Sir Paul McCartney and brought to life by Zafferano.
The magical menu will include edible sand and soil, pistachio trees, passion fruit caviar, jewelled quail eggs, glow-in-the-dark cucumber, agave nectar, and strawberry and cream mushrooms.
Linda saw things differently; she saw the well-being of people and the planet as hand in hand. Friends of the Earth shares this vision and for forty years has secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, and acted to keep our climate stable. I encourage you to join me and lend your support to Friends of the Earth. Sir Paul McCartney
Auction prizes include: VIP tickets to an upcoming Sir Paul McCartney concert; private rowing experience with Olympic Gold Medallist Alex Gregory; photography by Julian Lennon and Mike Figgis; chartered yacht for 10 people for a day, and a bespoke artwork by David Shillinglaw.
An entirely vegetarian menu at Sir Paul McCartneys request.  Jon Gilbert  is creating the incredible menu, the brief was to see things differently, each meal gets back to nature, hence the edible garden/seashore courses. Not much molecular gastronomy used, but the edible sand is made from Maltosec.

Its quite an elaborate process which Jon has detailed for me here:

We have made a very savoury oil by infusing fermented black beans in a light pomace oil. We then mix the oil with a Sosa product called Maltosec, a starch based powder that can soak up vast quantities of fat whilst still remaining dry. This intensely savoury powder is then mixed with ground seaweed and sea salt. To this we add a mixture of Wholemeal flour, buckwheat flour, malt extract and Guiness that has been dehydrated over night, which gives the sand texture, colour and a mildly sweet nuttiness and crunch. Now that may sound revolting, but the finished product taste surprisingly good, and complements the other flavours on the dish nicely.

As you can see, this process is quite labour intensive and difficult to describe in few words.

Another exciting element of the menu is the fresh cheese. Daylesford Organics are supplying us with 40 litres of full fat, unhomogenised organic milk, that they will produce on Monday. They will turn this in to cheese on Tuesday and let it hang for 1 further day before serving on Thursday.

Friends of the Earth’s Extraordinary Banquet
14 March 2013 – One Mayfair, North Audley St, W1K 6ZA

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