At last month’s food-themed Nicer Tuesdays our first speaker was Caroline Till from multi-disciplinary design studio FranklinTill, which curated the Sensory Suppers at London Design Festival 2011. The idea was born, Caroline said, from a reaction she was hearing among designers, journalists and visitors to LDF that they wanted “no more chairs.” She explained: “There’s a rise for intangible experiences – we wanted to redesign how you interact with food.”
Each night a different studio was brought in to create a thoroughly all-consuming evening of food and sensorial delights at the Andaz hotel, each focussing on a different sense. Bompas & Parr tackled sight, paring a dining experience with a visual one through a screening of Jodorowsky’s surreal masterpiece The Holy Mountain. This involved, naturally, a four-feet-tall ice penis. “It was paraded round the tables, and guests hacked at it with an ice-pick”, Caroline said. “There were audible groans from the men in the audience.” Food blog Stirring with Knives looked at touch, and had each guest blindfolded and fed by a personal servant; while Silent Studios orchestrated a Masonic supper, exploring how sound affected taste by bringing in a string quartet and making guests play a handbell to form a Mozart symphony to “sing” for their suppers.
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