Theatrical dining pop-ups promise to feed our imaginations and appetites | Food & Drink newsCultureFood & Drinks
London’s Pimlico Gardens is to become the stage for a unique one-day production. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has enlisted experiential dining gurus Shuttlecock Inc., to create The Last Frontier, a pop-up celebration of Alaskan seafood, set during the 1899 gold rush in Nome, Alaska.
Visitors to the event, on June 21, can pan for gold and enjoy seafood tastings against a backdrop of ramshackle wagons, lean-tos, wooden huts, and, of course, a saloon. Nome’s history will be relayed through “townsfolk” and the family-friendly pop-up will feature live music, treasure hunts and food workshops. An evening banquet will cater for 80 diners, with a menu including Wild Alaska King Crab on Toast and Confit Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon.
Such elements of theatre have become increasingly prevalent within the pop-up dining sector. Feeding imaginations is as paramount as feeding appetites, and interaction, celebration and feasting is the triumvirate which has come to define the ultimate pop-up event. Companies and organisations are savvy to its success as a marketing tool and a number of brands are spearheading innovation through interactive food “experiences”.
Edible Stories, a company specialising in the delivery of theatrical dining events, recently delivered Edible Book Launch – a six course dinner version of Sarah Holt’s debut novel, “Love and Eskimo Snow”. The narrative unfolded through the stimulation of different senses via evocative scents, unexpected textures and “shape-shifting” cocktails. The announcement of an interactive dining pop-up carried the message beyond the inboxes of book reviewers to listings editors, food writers, news desks and millions of social media users.
Cookware brand Tefal achieved similar publicity earlier this year, with a UK first rooted in performance and theatre: a pop-up pancake restaurant in the window of a John Lewis store. Frozen food brand, Bird’s Eye, has gone a step further with the world’s first pop-up restaurant accepting photo-sharing across social media as payment. It’s an inspired marketing concept: the word-of-mouth from those Tweeting and “Instagramming” their Bird’s Eye dinner will help to reposition the dated image of the brand.
These pop-ups may be marketing ploys but they have a pivotal role in expanding our dining options and imaginations. The symbiotic relationship between competition and innovation has inspired trends to sate our hunger for not only food but also originality, entertainment and social interaction. The UK’s dining sector is rapidly evolving as a result, teasing yet more exciting experiences for food lovers.
For further information about The Last Frontier, or to book tickets, visit here.