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L.A. Chefs Niki Nakayama and Jordan Kahn Create Dishes Inspired by Lyriq Electric Vehicle for 60 Second Docs

Niki Nakiyama Vespertine
Matthew Chernov

Los Angeles chefs Niki Nakayama and Jordan Kahn are some of the country’s most innovative chefs, and they put their creativity to the test for a recent collaboration featuring the new all-electric Lyriq, with their efforts showcased in two mini-documentaries on the 60 Second Docs platform.

Nakayama, whose kaiseki restaurant N/Naka has won international attention, and Kahn, whose Culver City restaurant Vespertine is at the cutting edge of experiential tasting menus, created a series of delicately exquisite tastes inspired by Cadillac’s first all-electric vehicle.

Branded content has become a major source of funding and sponsorship for documentary creators, who are bringing high production values and top talent to the field.

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“Turbo” turbot fish with tapioca and Szechuan chili crisp IRINA LOGRA

At a Sunday event to unveil the Lyriq and the tasting menu, guests started off on the first floor of Vespertine’s sculptural building with a melon and kohlrabi appetizer inspired by the futuristic lighting design. On the roof, diners tried a painterly dish incorporating tomatoes and ripe gooseberries marinated with salted cherry blossoms, while coins of radish recalled the wheels of the car.

“For me, food is much more than what’s on the plate,” said Kahn, “Food is the earth, creation, and transformation. It’s engagement of all five senses and a meeting of the past, present and future. A dining experience at Vespertine defies typical expectations and just as importantly connects people to themselves and others in an intimate and unforgettable way. This can also be said about the passion for driving, especially among brands like Cadillac, and their desire to reshape the future of electric vehicles to focus on the sensorial connection between car and driver.”

Nakayama, who appeared on Netflix’s “Chef’s Table,” said in the doc that although her dishes are usually inspired by nature, the Lyriq collaboration is the first time she’s created food based on an inanimate object.

The 2023 Lyriq is a futuristic SUV that gets more than 300 miles to a charge, with a show-stopping interior and exterior lighting design. All of Cadillac’s new models will be electric going forward.

Indigenous Media’s 60 Second Docs series has produced more than 800 short but informative films on a wide range of subjects. Some of the other branded efforts have included content for Focus Features, Marvel Television and Red Bull.