A select group of diners in the nation’s capital sat down to a historic meal of charcoal-grilled cultivated chicken, marking the first-ever sale of GOOD Meat in the United States. The landmark dinner at China Chilcano by José Andrés will honor the late Willem van Eelen, who is widely known as the “godfather of cultivated meat” and would have celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday, July 4, 2023.
Among the diners enjoying Andrés’ mouthwatering new dish, “Anticuchos de Pollo,” were van Eelen’s daughter Ira and his grandson, Kick. Willem was a Dutch researcher, entrepreneur and prisoner of war who made it his life’s mission to realize the promise of safe, sustainable meat production from cells instead of live animals. After his passing, Ira became a friend and advisor to GOOD Meat.
“I am proud that GOOD Meat is launching with José Andrés, beginning a new tradition of how Americans will eat meat in the many decades ahead. I am also humbled that our company can honor Willem van Eelen’s lasting legacy at this centennial celebration,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of GOOD Meat and Eat Just.
The dinner of cultivated chicken marinated with anticucho sauce, native potatoes and ají Amarillo chimichurri, came two weeks after GOOD Meat, the cultivated meat division of food technology company Eat Just, Inc., received full U.S. regulatory approval to sell its chicken to American consumers. The event preceded China Chilcano’s official menu debut of the dish, which will be served weekly in limited quantities, by reservation only, beginning later this summer.
“The big day is here, the chicken is here, and people are going to be talking. This is a first for the history of humanity,” said Andrés as he prepared China Chilcano’s new chicken dish in his test kitchen on June 30. Andrés added that he selected his award-winning Peruvian concept as the first to offer GOOD Meat because “Peru is a country of many civilizations at once.”
“I am grateful that a promise my father made decades ago has come true. I’m so happy we can stop talking about it and go eat it because tasting is believing. This is the meat we love and trust, just made in a better way,” said Ira van Eelen, who has continued in her father’s footsteps as a global champion for cultivated meat.
GOOD Meat remains the world’s first-to-market cultivated meat company, winning multiple regulatory approvals for its chicken in Singapore in 2020 and 2021. In January 2023, the firm received a key clearance that paves the way for greater scalability, lower manufacturing costs and a more sustainable product.
Reservations to experience the Anticuchos de Pollo opened July 25, with tables available as of July 31.