Aug 2, 2023 - Food and Drink

Lab-grown chicken now available for order at China Chilcano in D.C.

A plate of lab-grown chicken next to roasted vegetables.

A dish made with Good Meat's cultivated chicken in Alameda, Calif. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

D.C. diners can for the first time get a taste of lab-grown chicken at José Andrés' China Chilcano this week.

Why it matters: Proponents of human-made meat argue it's better for the environment but many unknowns remain.

State of play: China Chilcano is one of two high-end restaurants in the U.S. where meat grown from animal cells is available.

The big picture: Purveyors of lab-grown meat — who prefer the term "cell-cultivated," to avoid the mad-scientist-with-a-test-tube image — foresee a world where our plates are full of steak but animal slaughter is largely a thing of the past, Axios' Jennifer A. Kingson writes.

  • Chicken is the first proof-of-concept product, and while the taste is familiar, the texture is a work in progress.
  • It remains to be seen if the technology to "grow" meat at scale will prove economical — and if consumers will welcome the results.

Zoom in: Our Axios San Francisco colleague Megan Rose Dickey got a chance to taste lab-grown chicken at producer Good Meat's facility in Alameda, California. Her review?

  • "It tasted like chicken and I'd eat it again! But it could definitely be juicier and more tender, something the company said it's working on addressing," she writes.

Thought bubble: Andrés' preparation sounds intentionally flavorful: Peruvian-style chicken skewers with chimichurri sauce cooked over charcoal.

  • A good call if it's naturally a little dry!

Go deeper: Good Meat's no-kill chicken tastes like … chicken


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