Mulus Guide (2023)

Dish of Fertility (Deer Antler and Oyster Main Dish) from Mulus Guide(2023)

Mulus Guide (2023)

Food Design (Fine Dining) / Critical and Speculative Design / Ceramic Art

Collaboration with Food Ceramist Fo (Ying Li)


Director/Designer: Leyu Li
Ceramist: Fo (Ying Li)
Chef Consltancy: Tony Fleming
Cook: Letian Zhang
Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor:  Dr Zhuang

Supported by and Funded by
Tong Global

Project website:

The Mulus Guide project redesigns the fine dining Bible, the Michelin Guide, redefining Michelin star criteria based on Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM), rebrands “Food as Medicine”, and explores the integration of “food remedy” from TCM into the world of fine dining, focusing on the alternative dishes themselves and their customised tablewares.

The project has amassed collective insights from diverse disciplines. Directed by Leyu Li, It engaged in collaboration with food ceramist Fo and support from professional chef Tony Fleming, skilled cook Letian, and Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor Dr Zhuang. Inspired by three key ingredients considered luxury staples in French culinary culture (caviar, truffle and foie gras), we selected three French cuisine dishes, reformed and designed these into three new courses based on three Chinese food/medicine ingredients: Cordyceps, Deer Antler, and Donkey-hide Gelatine, which have equivalent status and luxury values in the Chinese food/medicine system. Following the Chinese medicinal cuisine principles, the dishes are aiming to invigorate Qi, enhance fertility and nourish the blood.

Correspondingly, food ceramist Fo has designed and crafted unique tableware for the dishes based on the aforementioned three ingredients. The design and form of the tableware are derived from the functions and visual characteristics of Cordyceps, Deer Antler, and Donkey-hide Gelatine. The tablewares create a harmonious and immersive dining experience that seamlessly integrates the culinary and aesthetic aspects of the dishes.

Mulus Guide endeavors to challenge the prevailing influence of French cuisine in the realm of exquisite dining by establishing innovative standards and introducing alternative, symbolic ingredients. This project serves as a critical reflection on the cultural colonialism entrenched within gastronomy, seeking to dismantle traditional hierarchies and broaden the horizons of fine culinary culture. By deviating from the conventional norms, Mulus Guide aims to foster a more inclusive and diverse representation of culinary excellence, embracing influences from various global traditions, especially Chinese tradition. The project's mission extends beyond the mere act of culinary innovation, as it aspires to initiate a broader dialogue on cultural diversity and redefine the narrative surrounding fine dining. Through this approach, Mulus Guide strives to create a gastronomic landscape that is not only visually and gastronomically captivating but also socially and culturally transformative.

Mulus Guide (Redefined Michelin Guide based on TCM)


Dish of Qi (Cordyceps Appetizer)

Dish of Blood (Donkey-hide Gelatine Dessrt)

Close-up of Dish of Fertility (Deer Antler and Oyster Main Dish)

Close-up of Dish of Qi (Cordyceps Appetizer)

Close-up of Dish of Blood (Donkey-hide Gelatine Dessrt)

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