Whale’s vomit and more at the History of Food

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On a rainy summer’s evening, a derelict house in Belgrave square was transformed into a surreal time capsule that was called “The Complete History of Food”. Bompass and Parr, the Jellymongers, the hosts of this event had pulled together the talents of other creatives from the Courvoisier The Future 500. Expecting an total sensory extravagance, we eagerly embarked on the journey …..

We queued and queued as our alloted entry time had passed and a bunch of Z list celebrities were let in ahead of us. Meanwhile, Dr Sam (Bompass) “diagnosed” everyone’s humour and you each got a colour sticker, the purpose of which would soon become apparent. Eventually, we were let into the first room, the library where a recorded voice pierced the dark and eerie little altars of the participants were lit up as an intro to what we were to expect.

The Complete History of Food Bompass and Parr
The Complete History of Food

Medieval Zone
Next, down in the dark dungeons we entered the Medieval zone in the shape of the ship, where you had to walk on a gangplank over eel infested water to a ship where a pirate (Saf’s mixologist) was manning the bar. The red dot I was diagnosed with earlier now yielded a medicinal concoction of Courvoisier Exclusif Spiced meade and a fig with bbetroot, port and vanilla. The blue dots got a nicer drink of Courvoisier Exclusif pear and cardamon sidecar with a lemon popsicle.

The Complete History of Food Bompass and Parr

Completely disorientated now, we were bundled into a tiny backstairs service lift to the roof where we emerged on the Contemporary terrace where we were met with Alexis Guathier’s Ferrero Rocher, a ball of foie gras with a port reduction centre coated in caramelised almond and gold leaf, which was very similar to the magnum that Massimo Bottura had created. This was accompanied by a champagne cocktail made flat with a fizzy grape.

The Complete History of Food Bompass and Parr

The Complete History of Food Bompass and Parr

The 1950s was all about the TV dinners. We found ourself in a room set up like a 50s living room and a pile of TV dinner scratch and sniff cards which strangely made everyone giggle. The dark corridors were must have heightened the sensations and the senses.

The Complete History of Food Bompass and Parr

Directed to further explore the depths of this house by one of the massive team on hand, we were led to the 20th Century’s inflatable stomach. Have a bounce in this if you are going to this. Crazy but fun. As you might have noticed by now, not much food to be had but a lot of drink but this was soon to change.

The Complete History of Food Bompass and Parr

Following a brief interlude in the bar where copious amounts of very Courvoisier sidecar cocktails were being proferred, we progressed on the historical tour.

Victorian Fine Dining
The Victorian era and the Iguanadon dinner, via the central staircase and the projection of an early era dinosaur film. This is a recreation of a dinner party in 1853 which was held in a life size model of prehistoric dinosaurs.

The Complete History of Food Bompass and Parr

Our dinosaur came in the shape of Bostrotheque’s duck confit with puy lentils, beetroot and black champagne sauce. This was utterly rich dish but paired with a summer punch of Courvoisier Exclusif, green tea, apple juice and elderflower cordial.

The Complete History of Food Bompass and Parr

The finale….Whale’s Vomit

The Complete History of Food Bompass and Parr

The Renaissance Banquet in the sugar room was the highlight. A gingerbread sculpture of the Gherkin led the way to the last room.

The Complete History of Food Bompass and Parr

Festooned in the middle was a gauzy cake like curtain hiding a revolving cake structure with the jellies.

The Complete History of Food Bompass and Parr
The Complete History of Food Bompass and Parr

On this revolving cake thing, the jellies, Iris jellies with Candied Orange and Ambergris (Whale’s vomit) posset. Loved the jellies and was pleasantly surprised that the whale’s vomit was not unpleasant, a bit of a custard like consistency. The jelly’s flavours were selected to match the notes of the super smooth Courvoisier XO that was served in this room. By this stage, we have had about 5 strong cocktails an the XO just pushed it over the limit a bit.

Don’t miss the Jelly G Spot

An unassuming plate of jelly sits atop one of the tables in the room. Find the hole and put your finger in it, feel for the little knob and hold it for a few seconds. Wait and see what happens. It is some sort of bio feedback machine which is meant to measure physical state but something strange happens. Watch the video to see.

(Video on the way)

We all ended back at the bar where @eatlikeagirl @fernandeznleluu were propped up and fueled by even more brandy. The bartenders were very friendly and liberal with the drinks, that is until we had to get tokens to get drinks. That was an incredibly fun night and although there could have done with a few more foodie things to taste along the way, an experience not to be missed. Am now an avid fan of Sam and Harry and am waiting eagerly to hear when we can experience the levitating fondue and the other secret projects that he told me they were working on.

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  1. “propped up and fuelled” you hit the nail on the head!
    There wasn’t much to do with “food” was there except for the duck.
    Was lovely to meet you and really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the event. See you soon
    U & S

  2. Was a fun night – although I agree, more to do with loads of booze and silly fun stuff to do than food 😉 The scratch and sniff smelt monumentally bad, but I loved that biofeedback thingy with the wobbly jelly on top. Brilliant! Lovely to meet you 🙂

  3. Yeah I don’t seem to remember there being much food, it was a pretty interesting conveyor belt of things! It’s been nice to meet you on occasion I’m sure I’ll bump into you again hopefully : )
    Thought I’d add that Fernandez & Leluu now work independently!
    Simon Fernandez is now full time chef patron @ferdiesfoodlab and employs 8 people on a part-time basis. ferdiesfoodlab (a London supper club) is a social banquet where you can meet new people. It serves international cuisine in the east end of central London at the beautiful listed building Toynbee Hall. You can check it out at ferdiesfoodlab.co.uk

    1. London Food Blogger says:

      It’s been ages but must get down to your supperclub sometime soon.