Celebrated chef forms cultured meat joint venture


In Japan, Michelin Star chef Shimamura Masaharu has launched a cultured meat startup.  

The award-winning creator and owner of Osaka’s Unkaku restaurant has launched DiverseFarm as a joint venture with TissueByNet, a company developing cultured cellular tissue technology for producing lab-grown organs. DiverseFarms hopes that TussueByNet’s process, which uses spheroids and Net Molds to allow tissue to grow without the biomaterial scaffolding employed by most cell-culture processes, can be used to produce meat for human consumption as well. 

DiverseFarm’s website even envisions a menu based on lab-grown meat, such as deep-fried domyoji of cultured duck meat with seasonal bean paste and Dashi chazuke of cultured duck meat. 

Unkaku notes on its website that Japanese cuisine is particularly known for not being wasteful. “[Q]uality ingredients are used carefully and prudently,” it adds. Even Unkaku’s signature sea bream dish is prepared so that the entire thing can be eaten—including the bones. 

According to The Spoon, the joint venture makes sense given Masaharu’s past statements that as a child he felt torn between studying science or culinary arts.