Last week, an entirely new concept in food hit Toronto – and it’s designed to stimulate all your senses.
But if you’ve been downtown lately, you’ve probably already heard the buzz surrounding the Stella Artois Sensorium.
Hosted in a massive white dome on King Street West, the multi-sensory dining experience is nothing like you’ve experienced before.
Trust us. Actually, you don’t have to, ‘cause we’re giving away two tickets.
Internationally renowned chef Richie Farina united with team of ‘sensorial experts’ to create this unforgettable meal that’s complete with sensory experiences. The 360-degree event is filled with video and interactive elements that stimulate all the senses. The experience unfolds over five-courses; each dish is inspired by one of the five senses, and paired (obviously) with Stella Artois.
So it’s not just the amazing taste of the food you’re taking in, but musical compositions, aromas, visual cues, and custom touches that all come together to complete a, well, complete experience.
The event was inspired by the Belgian brewery’s iconic glass chalice. “Crafted with thought, care and intent, the chalice engages all five senses for a superior beer experience,” said Todd Allen, Global VP, Stella Artois.
One of the sensory experts is Dr. Irwin Adam who runs a food science laboratory, Future Food Studio in Liberty Village. His specialty is in redefining food experiences by creating unprecedented ways of encountering flavours through items such as his famous eating clouds, flavour cannons, and edible packages.
“We explore the intersection of food, design, and technology. I lead a multidisciplinary team made up of engineers, scientists, designers, a computer programmer, a social worker, and a photographer,” says Adam. “We want people to experience food as more than just what you eat – in everything from interaction to engagement.”
His services range from product design and idea conceptualization and design, to the creation of packaged consumer goods that you may see on a shelf as a new retail concept. He says they’re currently designing utensils that allow you to taste things that aren’t there.
We told you this was some cool sh*t.
He and his team also create experiential pieces and technology plays for brand activations and events. Past clients have included Pepsico, Kraft, and Campbell’s.
“Our most infamous piece is the edible cloud. It was one of the first things we worked on and it looks at the deconstruction of a beverage,” says Adam. “The question was, how do we completely deconstruct a product to get people to experience it in a way they’ve never experienced it?” It’s a reverse engineering of it, where you take it apart in terms of basic components and flavours. We wanted to break it down into something more primitive, or another form. So we looked at breaking down the liquid to a cloud or gas phase. In this case, it’s actually a vapour.”
And that vapour makes for a little more exciting happy hour. You can pour it, drink it, put it on other beverages, and combine flavour clouds together. The edible cloud is also incorporated into other pieces, like the cloud cannon, which shoots flavour clouds at people from across the room in a hit of flavour.
Crazy, fun, amazing – these are the words you’re looking for right now.
“We’re all about creating cool experiences that make people think a little bit,” says Adam. That’s why he fills the dome with aromas that engage our most primal sense, triggering memory, emotion, and pure pleasure. For Sensorium, edible cloud flavours include caramel and citrus.
Adam is joined by four other sensory experts. This includes filmmaker Jamie Webster, Director of Common Good, whose original 360-degree film is projected inside the dome, reinventing diners’ sense of space. Guests also enjoy the sounds of Nyles Miszczyk, Head Producer and Engineer at Royal Mountain Records and his five-course set list, including original compositions.
Of course, the food itself is something to email home about. Interactive menu items include a salad option that’s liquefied and served in shooter-style test tubes, a second course of scallops and poached halibut that’s accompanied by coastal scents, a soup course alongside a live drumming performance that causes the broth to move with the music (literally), and braised beef cheek and mushrooms as a main, complete with a side of apple wood smoke.
As for dessert, guests are given skewers of chocolate ganache and graham cracker encased in marshmallow and invited to make s’mores at the table via the flame-lit centerpieces.
Basically, we’re still dreaming of our meal.
It didn’t only stimulate our senses – it also changed the way we look at food.
If you’re looking to try something new, you may want to beg a friend to sell you his or her ticket – the event is completely sold out – or sign up below and hope that you’re lucky enough to win the experience and become someone’s new best friend when you decide to take them with you…