Cuisine goes multi-sensorial – Arzak

Eindhoven/Madrid, the Netherlands/Spain – During the 8th international gastronomy summit, madridfusión, Arzak and Philips Design present a series of concepts intended not only to delight palates, but also evoke emotion and stimulate the senses. The latest project from the Philips Design Probes program is a multi-sensorial concept using an integration of sensory stimuli that subtly affect the dining experience of which light is the most visible component. The bone china series – Lunar Eclipse (bowl), Fama (long plate) and Tapa da Luz (serving plate) – is designed to react when food is placed on the plate or liquid is poured into the bowl.

Juan Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak, of the famous Arzak restaurant in Spain, are pioneering innovators in molecular gastronomy, a cooking method that improves and creates new experiences in the cerebral and sensorial interpretation of food. Philips Design approached Arzak for a creative collaboration employing multi-sensorial gastronomy, design and technology to explore ways in which sensory experience can be enhanced during a meal.

Clive van Heerden, Senior Director Design-led innovation at Philips Design: “Sensorial design takes into account all the senses as well as the subliminal and indirect aspects of our relationship to objects and environments. Arzak’s knowledge of the Basque and Spanish cuisine and the in-depth understanding of guests’ needs made them the perfect partner for the project.”

Juan Mari Arzak, Chef of Arzak:”Molecular gastronomy has developed from a handful of exponents into a global phenomenon. It has led to the adaptation of scientific laboratory equipment and the invention of new kitchen technology, which makes it a small step to explore the presentation of dishes. The combination of our food creations on the multi-sensorial bone china concepts adds an extra dimension to the dining experience.”

“Fama” – was named for the moment you step into the limelight for a few minutes of fame – responds to touch. There are 4 zones which become illuminated when touched or when objects are placed on them or removed from the plate. As the food is eaten the “limelights” disappear.

“Bocado da luz” – a bite of light – is a dinner plate with moiré patterns glazed onto the inside of the bone china and an extensive animated led array creating a subtle pulsed light effect around the plate. The pattern density changes which has the effect of diffusing the point source of the led’s. We wanted a subtle lighting effect which would enhance the appearance and drama of the dish without overshadowing it. The intensity, colour and animation can be “choreographed” for different food compositions. As specific frequencies of light can affect our physiological and psychological state, the selection of colour can be more than an aesthetic choice – we can be soothed or stimulated by light.

“Lunar eclipse” is a soup bowl which responds as liquid is poured into the dish. As the soup is eaten the light fades out.

About Philips Design
Philips Design, with 8 branch studios in Europe, the USA and Asia Pacific, is one of the largest and longest-established design organizations of its kind in the world. Its creative force of some 500 professionals, representing more than 35 different nationalities, embraces disciplines as diverse as psychology, cultural sociology, anthropology and trend research in addition to the more ‘conventional’ design-related skills. The mission of these professionals is to create solutions that satisfy people’s needs, empower them and make them happier, all of this without destroying the world in which we live. For more information, please visit:

About Arzak
Arzak, one the world’s best restaurant is based in San Sebastian in Spain
Juan Mari Arzak serves dishes to amaze and amuse the senses. His family have occupied the same site in San Sebastian since 1897, and it remains a family affair with his talented daughter Elena at his side now. Together they offer a modern interpretation of classic Basque cuisine. For more information, please visit:

About madridfusión
Madrid fusion, theatre of ideas, is a three days culinary event in Madrid, Spain that peep into the future and main styles in haute cuisine and business models in which trends, creativity and talented new chefs will be present. For more information, please visit:


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: