Eat Your Feelings for $35 Plus Tax

A new marketing stunt by Philadelphia Cream Cheese brings multi-sensory dining to NYC.

By Ella Quittner

Published on July 13, 2022

In the latest End-Stage Capitalism marketing stunt so bizarre that it’s bound to cause vertigo, cream cheese giant Philadelphia has teamed up with two of the most famed chefs in New York City—Jeremiah Stone and Fabián Von Hauske Valtierra of Contra and Wildair—to create “an immersive culinary experience” that sits squarely at the intersection of thick, blended dairy and… feelings?

From July 14 through July 16, diners will be able to visit this pop-up restaurant, aptly called Feeladelphia, for $35 a seat (reservations via OpenTable). Each course of the prix-fixe menu, curated by Stone and von Hauske Valtierra, is poised to elicit a specific emotion—such as the cream cheese–infused “Playfulness” course of chocolate, strawberry curd, and mousse, which has a menu description that promises to awaken one’s inner child. 

This event marries cream cheese with...feelings.

Other aspects of the dining experience (or, as the press release calls it, the “sensorial and experiential journey”) portend “captivating visuals, stimulating sounds and sensorial surprises to enhance each feeling.” Spoilers include a captivating checker-pattern on crackers, and the “pop” of caviar. 

This latest experiment in multi-sensory dining seems tangentially (if accidentally) related to the work pioneered by scientist Charles Spence, who runs the Crossmodal Research Lab at Oxford University. Spence has partnered with large food brands to incorporate ASMR triggers into products, and worked with fine-dining chefs to develop and track the ways in which inedible stimuli paired with meal courses might enhance or otherwise affect the eating experience. (Think: hearing through headphones the sound of a duck being shot as you take a bite of perfectly seared duck breast, or smelling salt water as you toss back a fresh oyster.)

As to whether New York City diners will in fact experience “allure” while tasting a dish of black truffle, caviar, garlic confit, and cream cheese this week, only time (and, presumably, reviews delivered via TikTok) will tell. If anyone could make a person feel feelings about mass-produced cream cheese though, it is Stone and von Hauske Valtierra, whose innovative Michelin-recognized restaurants have kept a steady stream of diners waiting for tables on the Orchard Street sidewalk since 2013. 

And at the very least, diners can rest easy after the meal, knowing that all proceeds will be donated to an as-yet-defined charity. Unless, of course, they are lactose intolerant.

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