Jozef Youssef: Kitchen Theorist

PORT visits the kitchen of experimental chef Jozef Youssef for a lesson in manipulating the senses.

More than a chef, Jozef Youssef is an ‘experimental chef’. What sounds like an inflated job title to some, may be the only accurate descriptor of a man who has gone from cooking at The Fat Duck to conducting research with Oxford University’s Crossmodal Department. “I have an interest in the art, science, philosophy and history of gastronomy in all its amazing regional and cultural forms,” Youssef explains in our interview.

Youssef believes the five senses should lead when choosing, cooking and eating food, and manipulating them can elevate the culinary experience to new heights. For his latest project, he has created a sensory guide for Scotch whisky Chivas Regal, to maximise the understanding of the character of its Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection First Fill American Oak release. In it, he suggests that picking the right light, drinking glass, and music, can accentuate or soften tastes we once thought we knew….