1 / 6

Lava flows down the "tunnel ramp"

The project was completed with the help of Professor Robert Wysock of Syracuse University, who is the "only man in the world who creates synthetic lava," Bompas said. "He’s really interested in the crossover of art and science."

This Is How You Cook with Lava

Rachel Tepper Paley

A few years ago, London-based artist Sam Bompas visited Japan and trekked to a lava stream that flowed from Kirishima, a grouping of 18 volcanos that are among the island nation's most active. Though the sight of molten lava would have most people nervously inching backward, Bompas thought, "Hey, I can cook with that!"

"I climbed across the safety barriers to roast some marshmallows I had brought with me," he told us. The experience left an impression, and Bompas resolved to recreate the brazen feat with Bompas & Parr, the company he owns with partner Harry Parr. The artistic food design oufit is known for its quirky sense of whimsy—previous projects include glow-in-the-dark ice cream and intricate jelly molds—but cooking a meal with one of the hottest substances known to man was something new entirely.

"It’s possibly a very dangerous way of cooking, but it’s also very delightful," Bompas said. "Our mission is doing something that hasn’t been done before with food."

Click through the slides to see Bompas go where no man has gone before... with steak and corn.