José Andrés Serves Up Cultivated Chicken in Honor of Willem van Eelen, The ‘Godfather of Cultivated Meat’

A couple of days after the first sale of cultivated meat this weekend in San Francisco, news of José Andrés serving up GOOD Meat on the opposite coast landed in my inbox.

According to the release, Andrés served charcoal-grilled cultivated chicken last night to a hand-picked group of diners. The dinner included cultivated chicken marinated with anticucho sauce, native potatoes, and ají Amarillo chimichurri, and precedes China Chilcano’s menu debut of the dish, which will be served weekly in limited quantities and by reservation only later this summer.

The meal was served in honor of the late Willem van Eelen, known as the “godfather of cultivated meat,” on what would have been his 100th birthday yesterday, July 4, 2023. After hearing a lecture on preserving meat, van Eelen, a WW2 prisoner of war, came up with the idea of creating meat outside of the body of an animal. Over the following decades, van Eelen would start businesses to save money to pursue this idea while working on it and filing for patents. He would pass away in 2015 at the age of 91, just two years after Dutch startup Mosa Meat would be the first to realize his idea with their cultured meat hamburger.

GOOD Meat invited van Eelen’s daughter Ira and his grandson Kick (both pictured above) to the tasting.

“I am grateful that a promise my father made decades ago has come true. I’m so happy we can stop talking about it and go eat it, because tasting is believing,” said Ira van Eelen. “This is the meat we love and trust, just made in a better way.”

The sale of GOOD Meat’s cultivated chicken a day after his birthday was not the only synchronous event for the van Eelen family this week. On the same day, the government of his home country approved a ‘code of practice’ to allow tastings of cultivated meat to occur within tightly regulated environments.

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.