Eat Eat Eat
Eat Like What You Eat

Based on the idiom ‘You Are What You Eat,’ this thesis project is a thematic dining experience that guides the invited guests through the process of food production, in particular, to take on the perspective of the food they are enjoying at that moment.

This meal is about chicken, being told through an industrialized farm setting. A four-course meal is designed to reference various stages of the production process. Iconic farm tools like an automatic bird feeders and drinkers are articulated and rendered in high-end tabletop-ware materials to be used as serving apparatuses during the thematic meal. This meal is designed to evoke a story of the food’s production-journey in the sole-diner of the meal and audience of the documentation.

(video below)



This thematic meal was performed in an industrial warehouse space in Sunset Park Brooklyn on May 5th, 2013. Two guests (Ms. Amanda McDonald Crowley and Mr. Ted Conover) were invited to experience this meal and take part as a performer. Prior to the event, much of the details of this meal were intensionally concealed in hopes to capture a genuine expression from each diner. More importantly, this re-defines the host-diner relationship into something more akin to a farmer-animal relationship where the experience is prescribed to them, rather than of their choosing. Several details were shared as part of the invitation. Such as: chicken will be served, the meal is in collaboration with two professional chefs(chef Anna Hopkins of lucullanfoods.com and chef Elizabeth Kalin of bettybrooklyn.com), it is a sole dining experience, to be recorded as an art-performance/thesis project. The address was provided which is located in an industrial part of Sunset Park Brooklyn. Also we’ve noted that both diners didn’t have any dietary restrictions.

A rhetorical question is proposed as we look beyond the performance of this meal. When presented with details of industrialized farm innovations, what thoughts are evoked/provoked? Given this(unsolicited) information does it effect our food choices differently? IF some of these details of factory farming is concerning, how do we negotiate between the benefits of industrialized productivities and the unattractive costs of the process?

The larger intension of this thesis project is to bring an added level of conscious, for all, to look at food in curious and investigative ways. For those who have the monetary flexibilities in making their food choices, food can be a nutritional choice as well as environmental, political and business fostering choices. I believe curiosity brings insight and knowledge which can be employed to making demands for positive changes. Regardless of socioeconomic disparities I feel FOOD is one powerful topic that we can all engage in to foster healthy living in a sustainable healthy environment.





A closer look at the Design/Built process: (click on the image tabs below for more information.)
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Amuse Bouche, Chicken Consommé served in an egg-shaped glass bowl held inside a chicken-wire incubation tray. This references the incubation period where many chicks are hatched inside a tray in a climate controlled room.
Design/built of the Incubation Tray.

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Appetizer, Chicken Croquettes served out of an automated bird feeders accompanied by four sauces, dill buttermilk, sweet tomato, hot mustard and shoyu. The sauces are dispensed out of blood-vein shaped glass tubes with the actual metal water droppers from a factory farm supplier. This course references the automated feeding apparatuses to dispense their special diet.
Design/built of the Automated Feeder.

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Main-Course, Reconstructed Brick Chicken served inside a bird cage. The chicken is re-imagined into a cubic shape, taken on the constrained interior of a battery cage. It is served inside a bird cage for the diner to experience eating through a barrier.
Design/built of the Bird Cage.

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Dessert, Chicken Ice Cream inside a sculpted white chocolate chicken head. It is served on top of a pedestal referencing a kill cone turned upside-down.
Design/built of the Kill Cone.




Post-meal thoughts and reflections from both diners.IMG_6183-TTT
Conversation with Mr. Ted Conover.

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Conversation with Ms. Amanda McDonald Crowley.





Below are more links to the developments of this thesis project:
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The Process and Road Traveled.

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The Culinary Exploration.

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During the Performance.

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Credit and Appreciations.


‘Eat Like What You Eat’ is Tak Cheung’s graduate thesis project at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, May 14th, 2013.

All content © 2017 by Tak Cheung