Bompas and Par, a pair of chefs known for pushing the limits of cooking and cuisine, have turned up the heat, creating a barbecue from molten lava. The gastronomic partners grilled steak and corn above the molten earth.
Sakurajima, an active volcano in Japan, was the first location Bompas ever tried cooking with lava. After jumping a fence, the adventurous chef roasted marshmallows over the red-hot magma.
"Cooking with lava is simply to most spectacular way to grill a 10-ounce rib-eye steak," Sam Bompas, one half of the culinary pair, told the press.
Bompas wanted to share his experience of foods prepared over lava, with a surface temperature of around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Since he could not realistically bring customers to a volcano, he made a decision to seek out an artificial source of lava.
Robert Wysocki and Jeffrey Karson of Syracuse University have created an artificial volcano at the school. Karon is a geologist, while Wysocki is a sculpter. Their creation heats basalt to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point it turns into magma. This device was employed for the culinary experiment.
The steaks charred on the outside while remaining red and juicy on the inside, according to the chef.
In some ways, the artificial volcano used for the barbecue resembles a larger version of a crock pot, except this cooking utensil is about the size of a compact car. The device uses an inner segment designed to absorb heat, contained within a metal vessel, providing containment.
Unlike the 2,000 degrees of heat provided by lava, most professional ovens in restaurants have maximum temperatures around 750 degrees F. Cooking with liquid rock also provides heat absent fumes or gases that can alter the flavor of the meat in the same way as wood or charcoal.
Cooking over molten lava is not likely to become a popular method of food production. Although the steak and corn was prepared soon after being placed over the heat, the rocks took between 60 and 70 hours to prepare.
The group has devised a way to transport the artificial volcano to London. They are attempting to found a new business, providing lava grilling services to large groups.
"Founded by Sam Bompas and Harry Parr in 2007 the early work of the studio used jelly as a vehicle to research the crossmodal correspondences of the senses and the relationship between food and architecture," the pair wrote on their website.
Bompas is planning on requiring a minimum group of 500 guests and a month lead-time to prepare lava-cooked dinners.