New museums to think about food

The first exhibition devoted entirely to food, the British Museum of Food, opened its doors on 23rd October 2015. Five days later, the second, the Museum of Food and Drink, opened its facilities in New York. Two examples of the consolidation of a trend, which, in order to take the next step, seeks to educate and entertain the public.

"From the farm to the table, the mouth... and beyond" is the motto of the first museum, which has food as the main theme. Curated by Bompas & Parr, a food and drink studio that holds records like the fastest cheese cart in the world and the first grill cooked on melted lava at 2,100°C, the British Museum of Food (BMoF), opened its doors on 23rd October 2015. For three months they used the facilities of Borough Market in London, and from 24th January 2016 they will look for a permanent site.

The market's 2,500 square metres were home to the two routes that aimed to attract visitors. First, Be the Bolus, a journey inside the body that followed food to the stomach and intestines, and then Choco-phonica, a multisensory experience that combined music and chocolate on a tour through four different rooms.

Five days after the inauguration in the British capital,  a second museum dedicated to food and drink opened in New York, the Museum of Food and Drink (Mofad).

The preparation and fundraising lasted about a decade, in which they held a campaign for online donations, which in 2013 allowed them to produce their first travelling exhibition: a machine to inflate grains to produce breakfast cereals.

They currently have 5,000 square metres in a design studio, the MOFAD Lab, located in Brooklyn where they create and show their ideas. "Our goal is to show how exciting it is to learn about the culture, history, science, production, and commerce of food and drink" they explain on their website.

Dave Arnold, founder and president, created and directed the Department of culinary technology of the French Culinary Institute in New York. Hence they have the support of experts and personalities from the world of American gastronomy. On the advisory council are the chef Mario Batali, the scientist Harold McGee, historian and writer Jessica Harris, musician and entrepreneur Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and director of the Centre for the future of museums, Elizabeth Merritt.

The first exhibition they have installed, Flavor: Making It and Faking It, will run until 28th February 2016. While in parallel they organise a series of events including educational workshops such as a children's course with Dominique Ansel on 30th January 2016 and another on 2nd April, with Wylie Dufresne.