UPSIDE Foods announces its whole-cut, cell-cultivated chicken is launching at Chef Dominique Crenn’s acclaimed Bar Crenn restaurant on July 1st – in what UPSIDE believes is the first-ever consumer sale of cultivated meat in the US. The first customers will be several winners selected from a social media contest held by UPSIDE.
“The chicken was juicy, delicious and better than any supermarket chicken breast I had eaten”
The event follows a historic month for UPSIDE, which recently gained regulatory approval from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to sell its cell-cultivated chicken to chefs, restaurants, and consumers. UPSIDE’s chicken is also the first meat product Chef Crenn will offer on her menu since 2018 – when the Crenn Dining Group stopped serving conventional meat out of concern for its environmental impact.
The July 1st event will feature UPSIDE’s cultivated chicken fried in a tempura batter accompanied by burnt chili aioli. The dish will be served in a black ceramic vessel and garnished with edible flowers and greens from Chef Crenn’s Bleu Belle Farm.
“It was important to be able to showcase the chicken, and to recognize that this is a whole-cut piece of chicken,” Amy Chen, UPSIDE Food’s chief operating officer, told Food & Wine Magazine. “So that is featured prominently in the recipe, and at the same time, it’s surrounded by different ingredients from her farm. [The recipe] really fit into that broader story about sustainability and artisanship and stewardship. Everything about it is just exquisite.”
For their meal, the inaugural diners will only be charged $1 – a symbolic gesture meant to commemorate the significance of the first cultivated meat served in the US. In addition to the lunch event, tasters will also receive a tour of UPSIDE’s Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center (EPIC).
Better than chicken
The UPSIDE team reportedly placed its first order for cultivated chicken on June 21, following the receipt of its grant of inspection (GOI) from the USDA, and delivered its first product to Bar Crenn on June 27th.
Chef Crenn initially connected with UPSIDE CEO Uma Valeti when he was a customer at one of her restaurants, and says she felt inspired by his vision to transform the food system. “The taste and quality were also what I was focused on,” she added. “To my surprise and excitement, the chicken was juicy, delicious and better than any supermarket chicken breast I had eaten. I was sold.”