KEK Hawker


Singaporean hawker serves cultivated chicken satay. It’s the first time in the world the dish has been served.

Tiffany and Elliot Faber hoist their cultivated chicken satay skewers into the air, a toast to a dish that’s never before been served.

“Cheers,” the couple said to one another in May at Keng Eng Kee (KEK), a Singaporean hawker stall that’s serving the slaughter-free meat.

“It smells like chicken,” Tiffany said. “Let’s see if it tastes like chicken.”

The lunch she and her husband are having this May afternoon, GOOD Meat cultivated chicken satay, cucumber slaw, peanut sauce, Singapore bee hoon (stir fried rice vermicelli) and KEK’s signature tofu, is ordinary in every way – except one.

Lunch comes on an omnipresent plastic red tray. Families sit around them, eating KEK’s Michelin-plated food. Life outside is steamy and hot, the Singapore sun unforgiving as ever.

But inside, these little skewers of chicken satay, are changing everything.

Free from slaughter, free from the need to rase forests to grow food for animals, this cultivated chicken was grown from cells without harming a single animal.

And it, indeed, tasted like chicken.

“The chicken’s fantastic,” chef John Taube, who also dined on the satay that afternoon, said. “I mean, I would never have known. The flavor is incredible.”

Taube studies the meat on the skewer, pinching it off the wooden stick, eager to try more.

“Texture is, like, the most important thing, right?” he said. “So many people fall short with that. But this is really great.”

He popped another chunk of cultivated chicken in his mouth and smiled.

Taube wasn’t the only meat-loving chef in attendance that afternoon.

World-renowned Argentinean open-fire chef Francis Mallmann, long known for his focus on cooking meat outdoors and nicknamed the “Carnivore King” tasted the world’s first cultivated chicken satay, too.

After his first bite, the carnivore, who owns nine restaurants across the world and has written several best-selling meat-heavy cookbooks, smiled and offered a simple review.

“It is delicious.”

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