No, this is not an Onion story. At the Michelin three-star Italian restaurant Quince in San Francisco, diners have been supping on a $220 prix-fixe that includes a white truffle croquette served atop of a shiny new iPad. Entitled “A Dog in Search of Gold”, the starter course—a white truffle, celeriac and ricotta fritter dusted with porcini powder—arrives at the table while a video of truffle-hunting dogs sniffing around for the coveted spoils plays underneath the food.
The other day, local chef and avid Twitter user Ritchie Nakano tweeted out an image of the dish, prompting it to go viral and generating a refrain of “kids today!” and inevitable jokes about the One Percent's absurd habits. But rather than take the heat, Quince chef-owner Michael Tusk took to his Facebook page and the local media to defend himself from the ridicule, insisting he was simply having a little fun and demystifying the truffle harvesting process for his guests. “Living in San Francisco for over twenty years I have witnessed the tech boom,” Tusk told the San Francisco Chronicle, “and I wanted to combine a little bit of gastronomy with technology and a little bit of education.”
This isn’t the first time iPads have been used as a culinary prop. Famed Spanish chef Elena Arzak has been incorporating them into her namesake restaurant since 2013, and Tusk himself points out this is the second year in a row he has presented truffles in this manner.
Sadly, even members of the clean-plate club did not get to keep the iPads after finishing their high-priced snack. The tablets, which are encased in custom-designed walnut boxes with Plexiglas covers that protect the screens, were promptly sanitized and recycled after each use.
You can watch chef Tusk plating the controversial dish here.
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