Chef Chuck George, videographer Jimmy Pham, and photographer Henry Hargreaves have teamed up to give some of the most unappealing food available the Michelin star treatment. MRE—Meals Ready to Eat—keep troops going strong around the globe, but their unpalatable contents have earned them nicknames like “meals rejected by everyone.”
For George, whose father was a serviceman, MRE reminded him of sampling the contents as a child. “I like to think my father brought them home for me as a declaration to explore and be outdoors,” writes George. Wishing to revisit his childhood and give reverence to the meals that run the military, George joined Pham and Hargreaves in creating From MRE to Michelin.
After sourcing MRE from different armies around the globe, each course was artfully arranged in the manner of a Michelin star restaurant. “With this project we wanted to reimagine the meals and plate in a manner of a Michelin starred meal,” Hargreaves tells us in an email. “In essence, taking the worst food, provided to the bravest people and visually elevate it as if it were being served in one of the world’s most revered restaurants.”
From Lithuania and Russia to the United States and South Korea, From MRE to Michelin is an interesting look at how cultures feed the troops that defend their nations. With desserts like muesli in chocolate with shaved cacao and jam and main courses like noodles with tuna and sweet chili lime sauce, the offerings aren’t as bad as you may think. Certainly, George’s artful plating and Hargreaves glossy photography elevate these military meals to a level worthy of the mouths they feed.