On Monday, the already unappetizing Michelin Guide UK’s Twitter account felt it prudent to scar the internet’s eyeballs with a heinous photo. The image in question is a dish from Alchemist, a fine-dining Copenhagen restaurant that reopened last summer to the awe, amusement, and incredulity of food media.
The restaurant lead by chef Rasmus Munk, seems hellbent on making a statement, though what kind of statement isn’t exactly clear. It’s aesthetic seems to be maximalism applied to a tasting menu that consists of “up to 50 impressions” (AKA dishes) for around $370 plus a minimum $222 wine pairing. According to the website, the meal lasts between three and five hours.
It is, to put it mildly, over the top and the dishes are extreme. In an Esquire article last October, Jeff Gordinier pondered whether Alchemist represented a “decline-of-the-Roman-Empire” pinnacle of decadence in restaurants. The piece described some pretty bizarre items, like “Think Outside the Box,” a cherry juice-tinted lamb brain sliced tableside. Another dish titled “Food for Thought” had customers eat foie gras out of a dish in the shape of a human cranium. The meal sounded more like a $15 million psychological experiment designed by a high school student to dupe wealthy people out of their money with food puns or a joke from an Ali Wong movie, rather than something from a real restaurant.
But back to the Michelin Guide, an organization known for celebrating decadence and pricey European tasting menus. In a Tweet today, the guide introduced followers to Alchemist’s “50 course dinner of ground-breakingly creative dishes that stimulate the senses” with a picture of “Tongue Kiss.” As Michelin’s social media manager puts it, the dish invites “you to lick the topping off of a disconcertingly realistic tongue.”
A 50 course dinner of ground-breakingly creative dishes that stimulate the senses. This is ‘Tongue Kiss’ – where you lick the topping off a disconcertingly realistic tongue #Alchemist #Copenhagen #Denmark pic.twitter.com/AbMuKvyOmi— The MICHELIN Guide (@MichelinGuideUK) February 3, 2020
“Tongue Kiss” raises a lot of questions, though maybe not the ones that Alchemist is going for. For one thing: What exactly is this made of? It looks like a popsicle frozen onto a spoon. Food vlogger Mark Wiens shed some light on this makeout session in November, describing the dish as a huge silicone tongue with a beetroot and a “tongue texture on the bottom.” Another question: Has anyone at the Alchemist ever French kissed — like really played tongue hockey with another human being? Because licking food out of another person’s mouth or sucking on their tongue until you gag isn’t exactly how that gesture works, at least once you get the hang of it.
Likewise, the state of this tongue raises some serious concerns about the oral health of the organ’s owner. Why are there little black specks everywhere? I understand spinach gets stuck in teeth from time to time, but why are there flowers sprouting up in this mouth? Someone get this tongue some mouthwash, stat!
Seriously, who would make out with this tongue?
keep it https://t.co/vs6CFlLl1d— Soleil Ho (@hooleil) February 3, 2020