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Cooking with molten lava in the ancient desert of AlUla Forces of Nature –a culinary world-first

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In a remote desert canyon 40 minutes’ drive from the ancient desert city of AlUla sits Forces of Nature, a pop-up restaurant that for 10 days only will use the raw power of the nature that surrounds it to create a unique dining event.

The first of its kind, the event forms part of the AlUla Moments festival season in AlUla, a remote but globally significant heritage destination located in an extraordinary geological setting in Saudi Arabia.

Experiential gastronomy specialists, Bompas & Parr, has developed the concept driven by the black lunar-esque volcanic plateaus that contrast with the ochre sandstone and lush green oasis of the AlUla region.

The dining experience for those lucky enough to get tickets offers an incredible opportunity to eat sumptuous local produce, cooked across a stream of molten lava heated to a staggering 1350 degrees Celsius. Lava technicians pour out the molten rocks in a performance spectacle, where guests’ dinner is cooked, seared to perfection in mere seconds, or smoked, roasted and grilled over three roaring fire pits. This immersive experience features a phenomenal set menu featuring whole, salt-baked celeriac, charred fillets of beef finished across molten lava, and pit-roasted saddles of goat grilled across fire pits. Desserts include a decadent chocolate lava cake, oozing in the middle of course. The finest of local ingredientssourced from regional suppliers and bringing the heart of the volcano to the table.

Drink offerings include smoked, flamed and charred mocktails, as well as coffee and tea, heated tableside.

The venture builds on the ground-breaking work of one of the world’s foremost experts in molten rock, Prof. Robert Wysocki from Syracuse University in New York. The lava furnace has been especially designed for the event and shipped to AlUla for construction.

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