Working as a server at Imposter Kitchen’s Space:illi branch was an incredible experience that allowed me to be a part of a restaurant that was pushing the boundaries of what a dining experience could be. From the unique and interactive dining experience to the restaurant’s commitment to sustainability, every aspect of the restaurant was designed to create a one-of-a-kind dining experience for guests.
Imposter Kitchen is a futuristic restaurant chain that combines cutting-edge technology, sustainable practices, and artistic expression to redefine the traditional dining experience. It has opened a new branch at Space:illi in Seoul, South Korea (2022.12.20-2023.01.14). The restaurant was a part of Inhwa Yeom‘s solo exhibition, showcasing the intersection of bioart, biotech, aging, and food.
One of the chain’s most innovative branches was located at Space:illi, a cultural complex in Seoul, South Korea. In this article, we will explore what makes Imposter Kitchen’s branch at Space:illi unique and how it provides a memorable gastronomic experience.
Imposter Kitchen’s Space:illi Branch
Space:illi was a cultural hub located in Gugi-dong(now moved to Segeomjeong), Seoul, bringing together artists and creators from different fields to showcase their work and collaborate on new projects. The space features a gallery and performance spac, making it an ideal location for Imposter Kitchen’s latest venture. Sukyung Hwang, the director of Space:illi, is known for her innovative approach to arts curation, making the collaboration with Imposter Kitchen a perfect fit.
Imposter Kitchen’s Space:illi branch ran on an RSVP basis. This system was adds an exclusive element to the dining experience, allowing guests to feel like they are part of a special event. It also ensures that the restaurant can manage its resources efficiently and minimize food waste.
Having Inhwa Yeom, the CPO of Imposter Kitchen, preside at the Kitchen is a unique touch that adds to the overall experience. Her presence and explanation of the restaurant’s concept and history add to the immersive experience and give guests a deeper understanding of the restaurant’s values and mission.
Performing as Server
At Imposter Kitchen, the core concept is to provide an immersive dining experience that challenges guests to step outside their comfort zones and try something new. From the server’s point of view, this means more than just delivering food to tables – it means actively engaging with guests and participating in the dining experience.
At Imposter Kitchen’s Space:illi branch, servers were not just servers – they were an integral part of the restaurant’s interactive dining experience. Servers were trained to guide guests through the cooking process, providing them with the knowledge and tools they needed to create their own meals.
Training and Preparation
Before I began my shift at Imposter Kitchen, I underwent training and preparation with the help of CPO. I was given a thorough explanation of the restaurant’s concept and values, and I was trained on the specific dishes and ingredients used in the restaurant. I was also trained on how to utilize the PC-based virtual reality and how to interact with guests in a way that aligned with the restaurant’s values.
The training and preparation were crucial in ensuring that I was able to provide the best possible service to the restaurant’s guests. It also allowed me to fully understand and appreciate the restaurant’s values and mission, which made me feel even more connected to the restaurant’s vision.
Interacting with Guests
Imposter Kitchen’s policy of allowing guests to perform as servers also added a unique element to the dining experience. It allowed guests to participate in the restaurant’s mission of promoting sustainability and discourses on “aging” experiences, and it provided a unique opportunity for them to engage with the restaurant’s staff and learn more about the behind-the-scenes operations.
Interacting with guests at Imposter Kitchen itself was a unique experience, too. The restaurant’s use of technology, such as the 3D performative apparatus-environment which encompasses a PC-based virutal reality, allowed me to engage with guests on a deeper level, providing a more immersive and interactive serving experience. It also allowed me to showcase the restaurant’s commitment to innovation and creativity.
As a server, I was also responsible for providing guests with a thorough explanation of the dishes and ingredients used in the restaurant. This was an opportunity to educate guests about the restaurant’s values and mission, and it allowed me to engage with them in a more meaningful way.
This interactive experience not only engaged guests on a personal level, but it also reinforced the restaurant’s commitment to sustainability and transparency. By allowing guests to participate in the pseudo-surgical aging process, Imposter Kitchen was able to provide, at the same time, a spectable to enjoy with, and a transprency in preparing the meals.
In addition to guiding guests through the aging process, servers at Imposter Kitchen were also trained to perform as actors, playing specific roles to enhance the immersive dining experience. For example, servers might play the role of as they are adding personal interpretations on the ingredients and where they came from, or they might play the role of a food critic, offering feedback on the chefs’ creations.
This performance aspect of the servers’ role added an additional layer of excitement and engagement to the dining experience. By immersing guests in a fully-realized dining environment, Imposter Kitchen was able to create a truly unique and memorable dining experience that left guests feeling inspired and satisfied.
The Interactive Dining Experience
The interactive dining experience at Imposter Kitchen’s Space:illi branch was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Instead of a traditional restaurant where chefs worked in a closed kitchen, at Imposter Kitchen, servers were encouraged to engage in the cooking process and even serve their own meals.
As a server, this was a unique and exciting challenge. Instead of simply serving for guests, I had to guide them through the cooking process, providing them with the knowledge and tools they needed to create a delicious and sustainable meal. This interactive experience not only engaged guests on a personal level, but it also reinforced the restaurant’s commitment to sustainability and reflection on our everday aging experiences.
Even from the server’s point of view, I believe the dining experience at Imposter Kitchen was truly one-of-a-kind. The restaurant’s interior design was a work of art, incorporating various installations and artworks that created a unique and immersive environment for guests to explore. The use of lighting and sound also added to the overall experience, creating a sensory experience that was both engaging and memorable.
The dishes themselves were a celebration of innovation and creativity, utilizing unique flavor combinations and techniques to create dishes that were both delicious and visually stunning. The restaurant’s commitment to sustainability was also evident in the way that the dishes were prepared, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and minimization of food waste.
As a server, I was able to witness firsthand the guests’ reactions to the food and the overall experience. It was clear that the restaurant’s commitment to innovation and creativity had paid off, as guests were amazed and delighted by the unique dining experience.
My experience as a server at Imposter Kitchen’s Space:illi branch was truly unforgettable. The restaurant’s commitment to sustainability, innovation, and creativity was evident in every aspect of its operation, and as a server, I was able to play a small part in bringing that vision to life.
Interacting with guests and showcasing the restaurant’s values and mission was a unique and rewarding experience. It allowed me to engage with guests on a deeper level, and it made me feel even more connected to the restaurant’s vision.
Overall, Imposter Kitchen’s Space:illi branch provides a unique and immersive dining experience that engages guests on multiple levels. It is a celebration of art and culinary innovation, pushing the boundaries of what a dining experience can be. As a server, I am grateful to have been a part of it, and I look forward to seeing how the restaurant continues to innovate and inspire in the future.
Headquarters & Branches
- 2022 Imposter Kitchen – Artience Daejeon Headquarter, Daejeon
- N022 Imposter Kitchen – Koko Killing Island Branch, Koko Killing Island, previewed in Seoul, 2022
- 2022 Imposter Kitchen – Space:illi Branch, Seoul
- 2023 Imposter Kitchen – Platform-L Branch, Seoul
- Production Supports : Daejeon Cultural Foundation, Daejeon Metropolitan City
- Production Collaboration : Korea Research Institute of Biotechnology and Bioscience (KRIBB)
- Artist: Inhwa Yeom with Youngjeon Lee (KRIBB) collaborating on Brain, Neuroscience, DNA
- Solo Exhibition Supports: Space:illi
<Imposter Kitchen> was produced with supports from Daejeon Cultural Foundation and in colllaboration with Korea Research Institute of Biotechnology and Bioscience (KRIBB)