A Recipe for Decay is a food-based event centered around decay and fermentation. Commissioned by NEW INC for the Creative Science Popup, “Biophilic Cities” at Pioneer Works in June 2021.

Fermentation is decay under a different name, when its results become edible or delightfully intoxicating to humans. This sensory event plays on the duality and indeterminate zones between stages of living and dying. It highlights locally-grown urban produce from New York City, as well as flavors of springtime. The menu plays on springtime cycles of regeneration, juxtaposing them against the “rotting” cycles of fermentation.

To compliment the edible aspects, we created original artist prints and poems inspired by the fermented dishes. 

This event is part of our ongoing explorations into themes of decay, transformation and renewal. Much of the produce used was grown on New York City rooftop farms by Brooklyn Grange. Accompanying beverages were provided by Enlightenment Wines, a local meadery focused on spontaneous ferments and “wild” mead-making.

Image: Decompose Lexicon with Memento Mori - dandelion wine from Enlightenment Wines. Photo by Xinyi Li.