Taste of Tomorrow: Australia’s First AI-Generated Pop-Up Restaurant

Australia's culinary scene embraced an avant-garde twist with the launch of the first AI-designed pop-up restaurant. Drawing inspiration from the intrinsic elements of nature, this extraordinary dining establishment transformed ambiance through a captivating fusion of lighting, haze, and LED technology.

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ai pop up restaurant

Illustration: Lenka T.

In a world where artificial intelligence (AI) is progressively permeating diverse sectors, the realm of gastronomy embarked on a tech-infused journey to redefine the art of dining. Sydney-based culinary consultant Applejack Hospitality ignited this culinary revolution by unveiling the “Create Your Dream Restaurant” competition in March 2023. The goal was to beckon the integration of AI into the dining experience. 

Spanning from March to April 2023, the competition encouraged innovators to submit visionary restaurant concepts powered by AI. Applejack Hospitality pledged to bring the winning concept to life. 

Amidst a sea of entries, Stefanie Wee, a Perth native, clinched victory with her AI-conceived brainchild, christened Luminary. This extraordinary concept materialized at Sydney’s RAFI, gracing the culinary scene from July 29 to August 5, 2023. 

Let there be light 

The brilliance of Luminary emanated from its focus on the four elemental forces—air, water, fire, and earth. These quintessential aspects of nature were meticulously woven into the fabric of the restaurant’s design, its culinary repertoire, and most notably, its immersive lighting compositions. 

The Luminary experience was a symphony of light, taste, and atmosphere. AI tools including ChatGPT and Canva AI helped construct the overall avant-garde ambiance.  

Using prompts such as “high-end,” “experimental,” and “unique,” Wee harnessed ChatGPT’s creative prowess to actualize her vision—a manifestation of the “art of illumination,” as aptly themed. Subsequently, Canva AI lent its talents to generate mock images that breathed life into the concept. 

Under the sea 

A mesmerizing ‘under the sea’ motif enveloped the restaurant. Luminous orange lamps resembling coral and suspended potted plants added to the entire vibe, evoking the delicate grace of seaweed. Upon entering, guests will find themselves within a realm where light, culinary delights, and libations coalesced to craft an unforgettable sensory odyssey. 

This ethereal concept of Luminary reaches its pinnacle when experienced under the cloak of night. At that time, the menu features an array of gastronomic marvels aligned with Wee’s AI-driven narrative. Collaborating in culinary synergy, dishes are curated to celebrate the four elemental forces. At the same time, they encapsulate the vibrant, seasonal flavors synonymous with Sydney’s coastline. 

As diners indulged in Luminary’s unparalleled offerings, they bore witness to a confluence of technology, nature, and culinary finesse, embarking on a journey that transcended conventional dining norms. 

"Ever tried. Ever failed. Never mind. Try again. Fail better."