Food is a Multisensory Experience: AV Systems for Restaurants and Bars
Food has always been about more than just the taste. There is artistic and expressive potential found within food beyond its nourishment. It offers a rich multisensory experience that involves all our senses.
Our five traditional senses are intertwined in the way we perceive food. Smells and tastes can be colorful, with texture and shapes that can alter a food’s taste profile. Sound also plays a crucial role in manipulating food for expressive effect.
Our five senses complement each other to deliver individual, meaningful sensory experiences. Taste and sound, sight and smell, all of these combinations provide an eating experience that enhances our flavor perception of food.
Restaurateurs are now exploring the effects of neurogastronomy, the science of taste perception, to discover how certain sensory elements play a role in our perception of flavor.
Beyond the taste
From Australia and Spain to parts of the United States and Dubai, restaurants are developing multisensory dining experiences for its guests. Indeed, in Shanghai, at Ultraviolet, guests are offered an “avant-garde 20-course menu” that features an immersive experience beyond the plate.
Helmed by French chef Paul Pairet, Ultraviolet takes guests through a meticulously controlled dining atmosphere complete with 360-degree wall projections and a multi-layered sound system to set a unique tone. Guests are guided on a journey of bespoke scents that wonderfully complement the 20-course meal.
“Dining in the dark” was a restaurant trend that swept throughout Europe in the early 2000s before finding homes in other parts of the culinary world. The experience of enjoying a meal in complete darkness supposedly enhances one’s gastronomical pleasures. Sight deprivation during dining heightens our other senses, enhancing a diner’s sensitivity to aspects of the meal.
When technology is brought to bear in the world of gastronomy, our dining experience is transformed. From enhancing flavor to providing entertainment, light does more than illuminate our dining experience.
But lighting does more than livening up a dull room. In restaurants around the world, chefs are experimenting with the way food is being presented. In Switzerland, chef Andreas Caminada, along with video artist Peter Diem, light encourages the convergence of art and technology and their role in the culinary world.
By presenting Caminada’s food on specially illuminated plates, light weaves into the dining experience to accentuate emotions subtly hidden within the food. Diem hopes that this experiment changes our perception on the everyday edible experience.
Beyond gastronomical endeavors, the right light serves a functional purpose. Its atmospheric properties can differentiate space within an establishment. This makes each ancillary zone within bars and restaurants purposeful.
When Milan-inspired restaurant Al Grissino wanted to shine a light on their stunning dishes, they turned to our team for audio visual lighting services. Despite the Al Grissino’s grand venue, Pulse’s understanding of the transformative nature of light created an atmosphere that is cozy and inviting.
The venue elicits an evocative response from its diners. The venue’s ambient lighting cultivates elemental charm found throughout southern Europe. In fact, Al Grissino looks and feels like a Renaissance painting, only bested by the spectacular views of Dubai and Burj Khalifa.
The flavor of sound
When it comes to the dining experience, sound is often a forgotten flavor sense. Indeed, sight, taste, and smell play a more predominant role in the traditional dining experience. But, sound plays an important role in allowing diners to experience a multisensory perception of flavor.
A professional audio visual system has the ability to influence the dining atmosphere. Auditory contributions to a restaurant or bar can improve a dining experience according to space’s aesthetic. A bar will require more emphasis on greater volumes to properly convey the exciting and stimulating venue. A fine-dining high-end restaurant may require backgrounding audio visual systems.
This will create a venue that’s cozy, warm, and ultimately, inviting.
According to researchers, the future landscape of food requires sound to play a more prominent role. The right soundtrack, after all, is a potent manipulator of food. It can complete morph flavors and increase our interest in certain flavor profiles.
Sound’s ability to modulate taste can create unique dining experiences, influenced by aural triggers prompted through sound. Gastronomical wonder Heston Blumenthal provided a platform to prove sound’s importance to how we perceive taste. Blumenthal’s dish, “Sound of the Sea,” features an array of seafood complete with edible sand and an iPod.
This distinctive technological side dish elicits a certain memory or response. The sounds of the ocean coupled with the seafood-inspired dish rated higher among diners participating in the experiment.
The collusion between science and the culinary world presents extraordinarily fantastic results. The inclusion of multisensory dining experiences, in part brought forth by collaborative technological advancements, will increasingly come to augment our perception of flavor. While our enjoyment of food and drink continues to reside within our palate, our other senses will continue to create memorable dining experiences.
Get in touch with us if you’re looking to give your customers a multisensory experience.