Upside’s Cultivated Chicken Debuts at Bar Crenn: ‘The First Meat That I Feel Good About Serving’
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Making good on its promise following its USDA approval last month, California’s Upside Foods has debuted its cultivated chicken at Bar Crenn in San Francisco.
Upside Foods, along with fellow California-based cultivated meat producer Good Meat, received the first USDA approval to sell cultivated meat last month. Diners got their first taste of Upside’s cultivated meat on Saturday in partnership with chef Dominique Crenn’s Michelin-starred Bar Crenn in San Francisco.
First cultivated meat served in the U.S.
To celebrate the USDA approval, Upside Foods held a contest last month, inviting the winners to attend the tasting. In addition to the historic meal, contest winners also got a tour of Upside’s Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center (EPIC), which it says it can produce 400,000 pounds of cultivated meat annually. The dinner was hosted by Chef Dominique Crenn and Upside Founder and CEO Dr. Uma Valeti. The event showcased the potential of cultivated chicken to revolutionize the way we consume meat.
Upside says its cultivated chicken will be regularly available at Bar Crenn through a series of ongoing Upside dinner services, scheduled to commence later this year. This partnership between Upside Foods and Chef Crenn represents a shared vision for a more sustainable and conscientious future of food.
“The landmark sale of Upside’s cultivated chicken at Bar Crenn officially marks cultivated meat’s debut into the U.S. market,” Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and Founder of Upside Foods, said in a statement. “It represents a giant leap towards a world where people no longer have to choose between the foods they love and a thriving planet. I can’t wait for more people to get their first bite – it’s a magical moment that inspires an exciting world of new possibilities.”
‘The first meat that I feel good about serving’
For Chef Crenn, the event holds particular significance as it marks the reintroduction of meat to her menu since its removal from Crenn Dining Group’s restaurants in 2018. At that time, she took a stand against the detrimental effects of conventional meat production on the planet.
“It’s truly an honor to serve Upside’s cultivated chicken at Bar Crenn and introduce cultivated meat to the U.S.,” Crenn said. “It’s the first time meat has made it back on my menu since 2018 because Upside Chicken is the first meat that I feel good about serving.”
During the historic meal, guests enjoyed Upside Foods’ cultivated chicken fried in a Recado Negro-infused tempura batter, accompanied by a burnt chili aioli. The dish was served in a handmade black ceramic vessel adorned with Mexican motifs and Crenn’s logo and was garnished with edible flowers and greens sourced from nearby Bleu Belle Farm.
Crenn says the dish reflected the global benefit that Chef Crenn sees in cultivated meat. “From its exquisite flavor and texture to its aroma and the way it cooks, Upside Chicken is simply delicious, and it represents a significant step towards a more sustainable and compassionate food system,” she said.
Cultivated meat will also be available on the East Coast as chef José Andrés is expected to serve Good Meat’s cultivated chicken in his Washington D.C. restaurant soon.