giovedì 14 aprile 2011

Meet my husband/3: The Photosynthetic Restaurant

The Photosynthetic Restaurant's sign

These days we are staying in Sacramento, where Jonathon is installing his "latest conceptual-art effort", as Bruce Sterling writes in the Wired blog Beyond the Beyond (where he also says, "*We should be running banner-ads for this guy"). Here are some excerpts from the article:
 "Consumed by humans in salads and stir fries for generations, plants will finally attain a cuisine of their own with the debut of the world’s first photosynthetic restaurant in Sacramento this month. Situated in the luxuriant 19th Century gardens of the Crocker Art Museum, under the supervision of executive chef Jonathon Keats, the photosynthetic restaurant will provide botanical patrons with healthful and appetizing meals freshly prepared by filtering and mixing the full spectrum of sunlight. 
'Honestly I’m surprised that nobody else has done this,' says Mr. Keats, an experimental philosopher who has never operated a restaurant before.  'For nearly a half billion years, plants have subsisted on a diet of photons haphazardly served up by the sun and indiscriminately consumed, without the least thought given to culinary enjoyment. Frankly, it’s barbaric.' (((That’s really a great paragraph. There’s something Stanislaw Lem about it.)))
(...) Despite his want of kitchen experience, experts agree that Mr. Keats is uniquely suited to operate a photosynthetic restaurant. 'Jonathon has a long history of catering to other species,' notes Dr. Shields. For instance, Mr. Keats has choreographed ballet for honeybees at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts by selectively planting flowers around San Francisco hives.  He has also produced pornography for house plants by projecting videos of pollination onto their foliage in a darkened theater at the Armand Hammer Museum. 'Jonathon’s efforts to share aspects of human culture with other species encourage us to scrutinize our own cultural values,' Dr. Shields observes."
(Read the full article here)

The Recipe Book

 Yesterday, the online edition of Wired Magazine published the article Photosynthetic Restaurant Puts Green Spin on Food Porn. Again, here are some excerpts:
“'My recipes are all based on the scientific study of plant physiology, applied to the fine art of cuisine,' Keats told 'I’m publishing the recipe book so gardeners everywhere can prepare gourmet sunlight for their plants at home. For people who are lazier, or keep only a few plants indoors, I packaged my signature recipes for easy consumption by videotaping select wavelengths of natural sunlight and editing them into a quick and convenient TV dinner.
'I tried it out on my plants at home, and as far as I can tell, they responded well to my delectable mixtures of orange, violet and yellow, although I can’t be certain,' he added. 'Cuisine is a form of communication, and mine won’t be complete until plants evolve a mechanism for food criticism.'"

 In the same article you can also find a 3-minute video with a Tv dinner for plants, in case you want to try it out on you potted green friends at home.
Here's the link to the video.
(Read the full article here.)
Tv dinner for plants (Image courtesy Crocker Art Museum)

The Photosynthetic Restaurant will be open daily from April 16 to July 17, 2011 in the floral plantings of the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA. For more information, see

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