The 200 Club
A gastronomic exercise in abundance and excess
London, 2015: To promote Barclaycard's launch of 200 discounted dining opportunities for cardmembers, Bompas & Parr curated a world-beating 200-course menu, served over 24 hours. Behind the scenes, a team of eight international chefs laboured in shifts to produce a new course every 7 minutes and 14 seconds, creating a total of 1,600 plates.
This gastronomic marathon – arguably the world's most epic tasting menu – was broken down into 10 set-piece meals, allowing a total of 40 diners to dip in for two-hour slots, but with four hero diners staying the course for the full 24 hours. Each meal was colour-coded – both in terms of the foods prepared and the crockery they were presented on. It began with a Yellow Breakfast at 8am on 3rd September, ahead of White Elevenses, a Green Lunch and a Blue Afternoon Snack.
The afternoon session saw diners enjoy Purple Five O’clock Tiffin, then the evening kicked off with a Pink Dinner, a two-hour Red Party Time, before recovering with Orange Drunchies, and laying low in a Brown Blackout. The last course was aptly called the Final Countdown, bringing the epic banquet to a close with a multi-coloured spread at 7:59am on Friday 4th September.
Diners took only comfort breaks and participated in various activities between courses aimed at digestive easing, such as egg healing and stretching, as well as chewing handmade Earl Grey Tea Chewing Gum (to stimulate saliva) and Pineapple Leather (for its digestive enzyme bromelain). Gastroenterologist Dr Simon HC Anderson was on hand to ensure the food consumption during the gastro-odyssey was kept at a manageable level and did not place the participants’ bodies under any undue stress.
Photography by Mikael Buck and Ann Charlott Ommedal.