Insect-oriented experimental kitchen

15 Oct 2015
2 min read
A London-based experimental kitchen is challenging conventions of food with an insect-oriented culinary adventure that introduces diners to the delights of Mexican critters.

Sordid yet scrumptious, the Mexico by Kitchen Theory experience is crawling with new tastes and textures that bring the excitement of entomophagy to the UK capital.

Inspired by a newfound interest in entomophagy combined with a love of Mexican fare, Kitchen Theory founder chef and gastronaut Jozef Youssefbegan toying with the idea of raising awareness of edible insects. As well as seeing insects as a high-end restaurant trend, Youssef was infatuated with the idea of entomophagy as a sustainable and eco-friendly solution to global malnutrition and hunger. When just days later the UNFood and Agriculture Organisation released a high profilenew report arguing that diets should include more insects, Youssefwas categorically convinced.

Together with Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory ProfessorCharles Spence, as well as the Mexican Embassy and Mexican Ambassador H.E. Diego Gomez Pickering, Youssef got to work, developing a scuttling new menu featuring a handful of the UNs 1,900 insect species that have been officially identified as human food.

The result is a brand new Mexico by Kitchen Theory experience curated to dispel the myths that Mexican food is all about meat, chillies and guacamole. In fact, Mexico is one of the most mega-diverse countries on the planet. Mexico by Kitchen Theory is a celebration of this culinary colour and aims to help Londoners fathom the thrill of the country’s flavours.

“What we have in store for our guests isa refined modernist interpretation of Mexican ingredients and gastronomy. We want to enlighten our guests as to what modern day Mexico signifies; its cuisine, art and the rich cultural culinary history,” says Youssef.

While Kitchen Theory does bring a luxurious approach to the art of eating insects Youssefis quick to stress that it’s not all about the novelty. Insects are packed full or nutrients, protein, fat and mineral content and are considered a hugely valuable source of nutrition for malnourishment. Insects are also incredibly efficient at converting feed into edible meat, with crickets requiring 12 times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein. Thus insect rearing slashes greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions, as well as the demand for land and water.

Don’t expect the confronting insect kebabs and deep fried critters seen on South East Asian streets. Mexico by Kitchen Theory has been created to help the Western world understand just how environmentally beneficial, and tantalisingly delicious, entomophagy can be. Our chefs will be using insects to subtly enhance dishes in a way that’s easy on the eye yet seriously appealing to the taste buds, explains Youssef.

Following in the footsteps of entomophagy trailblazers such as D.O.M’s Alex Atala and Noma’s Rene Redzepi, Youssef has now launched the concept and will be welcoming diners every week from October onwards. The themed experiences have already received rave reviews from critics, with the New Yorker describing the past Synaesthesia by Kitchen Theory as “More than a gastronomic gimmick, these meals illuminate a key truth about the mind: the senses do not work in isolation but in concert.”

The Mexico dinners series will run every weekend until the end of December.

7 course dinner tasting menu is £65

3 course lunch tasting menu is £32

To find out more about the Kitchen Theory Mexico experience and make a reservation, go