Rumination on Mastication

by Victoria Shennan

‘Rumination on Mastication’ invited dinner guests to chew the cud with oral cavity experts over a few tasty morsels to get the juices flowing. 

At the pop-up restaurant in Borough Market, diners ‘broke bread’ with experts, indulging in one of the vital performances of the body, chewing and exploring themes and subjects that have been delved into during the MOUTHY season. The menu was curated by visual artist and speculative designer, Victoria Shennan, in collaboration with food designers Blanch and Shock and researchers from the Dental Institute at King’s College London. It celebrated the mouth’s most quotidian motions and each course guided participants to Breathe, Taste, Cleanse and Chew.

The evening also featured a live performance by Gobsmacked winner Munya Chawawa of his poem ‘The Cave’.

The menu




Victoria Shennan is a Visual Artist and a Speculative Designer, whose work lies at the interstice between art, science and technology, as she questions the performances of the body and processes of life.

Victoria specialises in collaborative projects, working with academics and research teams and making their innovative research engaging and inspiring for the public. Her recent work has focused on the invisible world of the human microbiome as she is drawn to the unseen things that underpin our existence and shape our world – our health, our cravings and perceptions.

Twitter: @vickishennan


Saoirse O’Toole, Researcher and Clinical Teacher, Dental Institute, King’s College London and Curatorial Advisor for MOUTHY.

Jack Houghton is a Postgraduate Research Student working under the supervision of Prof Gordon Proctor and Dr Guy Carpenter. His research is focused on how chemicals that stimulate particular proteins on the surface on cells affect the salivary glands. It is anticipated that this will lead to the identification of products that can alter mouthfeel and salivary secretion. Before his PhD, Jack worked as a Research Assistant in the Salivary Research Unit and as a Bioinformatician for the Proteomics Unit. He earned his degree in Biochemistry from the University of Liverpool, where he worked on the improvement of salivary analysis.

Lucy Blandford studied Biochemistry at the University of Bath. Following her degree, she completed an MSc at The University of Reading in Nutrition and Food Science, where she furthered her interest in gastrointestinal microbes and their relation to health and disease. Before starting her PhD at King’s College London, she worked for a year at a biotechnology company (ImmBio) in Cambridge. Lucy’s PhD project focused on the the role of carcinogenic bacteria Bacteroides fragilis and Fusobacterium nucleatum in colorectal cancer.

Matt Blakely studied Biomedical Science at University of Warwick, with a final year project studying the factors influencing the emergence of diseases spread by animals such as mosquitoes. After graduation he worked in pharmaceutical quality assurance in microbiology at AstraZeneca.  Matt’s PhD project is focused on looking into the role of vitamin-binding proteins in human saliva, and determining the impact that oral health may have on vitamin status throughout the body.

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