How a Mushroom Farm Grows in a Manhattan Restaurant

Nina Sparling for Vogue:  Walking into Mission Chinese Food on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a mix of textures provide plenty to look at. The pink chairs and robin’s-egg blue tabletops contrast with the stark reds, whites, and blacks of the walls and wainscoting. A chandelier glitters above, sparkling against the stock of bottles behind the bar, itself electric with aqua-hued lights.

But the most alluring sight is an overhead box at the entrance that glows neon blue. Clear plastic bags tied at the top and stretched taut sit inside. Abstract and intricate forms protrude from them—some pink, others bright yellow, a third variety bluish in hue, they look as though they have been pulled from the ocean deep.

“A lot of people think it is art,” says Danny Bowien, the chef and owner of Mission Chinese Food. “It doesn’t look like anything you’d see in any other Chinese restaurant.” Though intentionally futuristic in design, the installation is more than aesthetic—it’s a miniature mushroom farm. A far cry from the tired and bruised portobello, cremini, and shitake that frequent grocery store shelves, the fungi here radiate life.  Full Article:

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