The James Beard House is a circa-1844 townhouse in the West Village, its creaky floors filled with oil paintings and homages to the greatness of the culinary center’s namesake food writer and cook, who once lived there. The historic setting, where chefs from all over the country come to prepare their finest cuisine, is an unlikely yet fitting place for a futuristic, trippy art-meets-dining meal. Through Dec. 29, the Beard House is hosting Aerobanquets RMX, a virtual reality experience wherein diners don headgear that transports them to a Dali-esque landscape, where they encounter food in ways that feel stranger than Alice in Wonderland stumbling across a tea party. The exhibit, by Italian artist Mattia Casalegno in partnership with restaurateur Roni Mazumdar and chef Chintan Pandya of New York restaurants Rahi and Adda, raises questions that linger long after you experience it: Was that a meal or performance art? Is this the future of dining out? And an even more fundamental one: What is eating all about, anyway? All the uncertainty starts when you and several other diners are seated in a darkened room on spinnable chairs, goggles strapped to your head. You’ve been coached on how to eat in the… Read full this story
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