The Periodic Table, the world’s first combination of a ferris wheel and dining room, made its debut on Sept. 11 at Beakerhead in Fort Calgary.
The ferris wheel is run by Sustainival, a green carnival that uses biodiesel made from cooking oil to fuel all of its rides.
“As far as we know, this is the only one [Periodic Table] in the world,” said Jay Ingram, co-founder of Beakerhead.
Nicole Gomes, a Top Chef Canada contestant, created the periodic table-based menu along with her team. She said she was “more than elated” when she was asked to take on the event.
“It was a challenge and it taught me a lot,” she said.
“It really taught my team and I to think outside the box of food.”
Guests could choose to attend for either lunch or dinner, and were treated to a cocktail lounge experience, two courses on the ferris wheel, and a banana ‘k’otton kandy potassium atom, a treat Gomes created and named based on the periodic table.
“It is a little cake pop with candy floss,” said Gomes.
Sarah Deveau, a Calgary resident who was looking for an original place to celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary, said the Periodic Table “was perfect.”
“It was freezing,” she said. “But, despite the cold, we had a lovely evening.
“We loved the live musician, appreciated the hot cider and heaters, and thought the food was exceptional.”
The hosts of the event were Rocket House members Zoë Klintberg, a robot, and Steve Nagy, an astronaut.
Deveau said Klintberg and Nagy added “that sense of fantasy that made things special.”
Joan Crockatt, the Conservative MP for Calgary Centre, also attended the event and said that she loves Beakerhead.
“We know that Beakerhead is going to be a key part of Canada moving forward, because it is this kind of thing that we need in society,” she said.
“It [arts and culture] helps create $8 billion in economic spinoffs, and when we put artists, musicians, and dancers together with scientists and engineers, that is when we really start to see the confluence of these minds that is going to take us to the future.”
Crockatt also announced that the federal government is giving Beakherhead an $86,000 funding grant from the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program.
In addition to the periodic table event, there was also an interactive art piece at Fort Calgary created by Lisa Brawn, entitled Invasion of the Space Ponies.
“It is a complex story of alien horses landing on earth, disembarking from the UFO, and meeting RCMP horses who are there to intercept them,” Ingram said in an interview.
“It is a fantastic installation and has represented honestly hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of work.”
Visit the Beakerhead website to see other events that took place throughout the city.