Those for whom fine-dining nirvana combines performance and gastronomic pyrotechnics might like to book for the extraordinarily experimental gastronomic, performance and sound-art experience known as The Waldorf Project. Orchestrated by shock-haired video and performance artist Sean Rogg, whose work has been showcased at London’s ICA and The Wapping Project, among many eminent art institutions, February’s seven evening events (February 5-11, at 7.30pm, £160 per person) are the latest in a genre-defying series that’s anything but bound to haute-cuisine convention.
“Chapter One: Muskmelon was called ‘one of the most cutting-edge restaurants in the world’,” Rogg says proudly, “which was flattering, but in Chapter Two: Colour we’ve pushed the boundaries of perception and consumption much further. We’ve taken food to the point that it can barely be recognised as food at all. Dining tables are being left behind altogether. Guests will ingest ‘colour’ through all their senses. I truly believe that nothing close to this has ever been staged before.”
And mere theatrical flourish hardly does Rogg’s style of presentation justice. Seven rooms in east London’s lofty Oval Space are to be kitted out with immersive soundscapes to match the colourful illuminations of the Chapter’s title, and there will be seven “courses” of cubic intrigue – described as “extremely future-thinking ‘food objects’” (pictured). Darkly costumed dancers will serve and guide the strictly limited assembly of 48 guests through the experience, which we are told will continually and elliptically refer to “the omnipresent Cube”.
As before, Rogg has assembled a team of creative virtuosos to help realise his ideas. French chefs and patisserie experts Vanessa Krycève and Bruno Viala are charged with making real this unorthodox approach to cuisine (which may not look like food, but, we are promised, will taste unforgettably delicious). Sound designer Alessio Natalizia is responsible for imagining what orange, blue and red might sound like, while Aoi Nakamura and Estéban Fourmi from the Jasmin Vardimon Company are choreographing the all-important performing guides/servers.
The Waldorf Project’s conceptually challenging Chapter Two may not mean a straightforward ride to a full stomach, but it will be an adventure to get there, that’s for sure.