“It will be a meal that shakes you by the shoulders and makes you question your relationship with food,” said Bompas And Parr co-founder Sam Bompas.
The Bermondsey-based food company is behind the menu for Dinner At The Twits , inspired by the Roald Dahl classic and set to start its run at The Vaults in Waterloo on Sunday, September 4, just shy of what would have been the author’s 100th birthday.
While Sam has been compared to another Dahl character – Willy Wonka – after creating chocolate fountains and flavour changing gum in tandem with his business partner Harry Parr, he said nothing compared to the challenge of dreaming up a gloriously gruesome banquet for the immersive, adult show.
“We have brought some of Dahl’s food to life already but I think what we are creating now goes far beyond what he conceived,” said the 33-year-old from Southwark. “For us it is the ultimate project to work on.
“My first cook book was the wonderful Dahl’s Revolting Recipes .
“As a kid I would make stickjaw toffee to gum up your mouth and Mr Twit’s beard from chips.
“This project gives us a chance to do something more disgusting but also more delicious than anything else.”
The show, created by Les Enfants Terribles theatre company and Ebp, will see guests invited to dine at Mr (Chris Barlow) and Mrs (Lizzy Dive) Twit’s house in celebration of their anniversary.
The food will include curious canapes and nettle and thistle cocktails served in the Twits’ ghastly garden, glowing hug tight glue, treasures of the compost heap, smoking chocolate and a “savage” bird pie.
Sam said his favourite part of the project was working with Dalston’s 40FT Brewery to create Mr Twit’s Odious Ale. Dahl’s estate allowed the brewers to swab the author’s writing chair and cultivate the resulting yeast in the lab so it could be used to brew the one-off drink.
“The beer is infused with Dahl,” said Sam. “So you can actually take him into you and his genius can infuse your world.”
The former political researcher and escort agency boss and his partner, have a weird and wonderful track record of doing unusual things with food.
Sam said: “We have gone to areas we thought food would never travel, from cooking with lava to creating alcoholic architecture with a breathable cloud of gin and tonic and doing a 200-course banquet for Michelin chefs where they had a dish arriving every seven minutes and 14 seconds for 24 hours.”
Bompas and Parr is currently creating an Aladdin’s cave of honey in Soho to launch in October.
As for the show’s menu Sam said: “Everyone has a different idea of what the food might be like or taste like so you have to be quite bold and pin your colours to the mast to come up with your special interpretation that goes far beyond the normal experience and is almost like a punch in the mouth in a good way.
“Everything will taste good, but then again when you had your first sip of coffee or beer it was probably challenging, even though you grew to love it.
“We are hoping to take people on that same journey of revulsion before lingering delight.”
And yes, there will be worms.
Dinner At The Twits , Sunday, September 4-October 30, from £76.50, The Vaults, Waterloo