UPSIDE Foods Hosts Cultivated Meat Tasting in Miami Ahead of Florida’s Cultivated Meat Ban

Chef Mika Leon cooking UPSIDE Foods' cultivated chicken.

Company hosts “Freedom of Food” pop-up event featuring UPSIDE’s cultivated chicken in Miami, FL before the statewide ban took effect on July 1, 2024

BERKELEY, Calif. — Cultivated meat was officially banned in Florida. Days before this ban took effect, UPSIDE Foods, the leading cultivated meat company, hosted a “Freedom of Food” pop-up event on The Annex rooftop in Miami. The event celebrated and advocated for food freedom and innovation that can help build a better future. It also marked the first time cultivated meat was available for the public to taste free of charge.

At UPSIDE Foods’ “Freedom of Food” pop-up, guests enjoyed delicious cultivated chicken prepared and served by renowned Miami chef, restaurateur, and TV personality Mika Leon. Chef Mika Leon crafted delicious tostadas featuring UPSIDE cultivated chicken, prepared a la plancha con sazón, garnished with avocado, chipotle crema, beet sprouts, and fresh lime zest. This culinary experience was complemented by drinks from Miami mixologist Gio Gutierrez.

“We believe that cultivated meat is essential for the future of food, and people should have the right to choose what they eat,” said Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods. “The purpose of this event was to give Floridians a taste of cultivated meat – something the state is unfortunately preventing them from enjoying and benefiting from, both in terms of innovation and economics. Despite Florida’s ban, events like this highlight the increasing interest in cultivated meat and its crucial role in shaping a more sustainable future of food.”

Cultivated meat, grown directly from animal cells, has the potential to help meet the world’s growing demand for meat in a way that’s more safe, humane and sustainable than conventional methods. However, on May 1, 2024, Governor DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1084 into law, criminalizing the production and sale of cultivated meat in Florida – a move that disregards food safety experts, limits consumer choice, stifles American innovation, and hampers Florida’s ability to participate in this burgeoning industry.

Having had the opportunity to work with UPSIDE’s cultivated chicken, I can attest that their products are delicious,” said Chef Mika Leon. “From appearance to aroma and taste, their products provide the same experience you’d expect from chicken. As a chef, I love the idea of preserving the foods we love while using innovation to figure out ways to create a better future of food.”

The event attracted a diverse crowd, including Florida residents, families, professionals, food enthusiasts, and curious consumers. Over 100 guests gathered to get a taste of cultivated meat and engage in discussions about the future of food.

For more photos from the pop-up, please visit UPSIDE Foods’ event press kit here.

About UPSIDE Foods
Based in Berkeley, CA, UPSIDE Foods grows meat, poultry and seafood directly from real animal cells. These products are not vegan or vegetarian—they are delicious meat, made without the need to raise and slaughter billions of animals. Founded as the world’s first cultivated meat company in 2015, UPSIDE Foods has achieved numerous industry-defining milestones, including being granted approval to sell cultivated meat in the United States in June 2023 and completing the first consumer sale of cultivated meat in the U.S. The company believes that people shouldn’t have to choose between the foods they love and a thriving planet, and is working to build a better food system with access to delicious, humane, and sustainable meat, poultry, and seafood. UPSIDE Foods has won various industry awards, including New York Times’ Good Tech Awards, FastCo’s Next Big Thing in Tech, and the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation by the National Association for Business Resources. UPSIDE Foods has raised a total of $608 million, including from the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG), Baillie Gifford, Bill Gates, Cargill, Future Ventures, John Doerr, John Mackey, Kimbal and Christiana Musk, Norwest, Richard Branson, Softbank, Temasek, Threshold, Tyson Foods, and others. For more information, please visit