Kitchen Theory: the psychology of taste

DEC 22, 2017

Jozef Youssef, the founder of an experimental gastronomy design studio, talks mindful eating and creating a multisensory dining experience

The more I learned about multisensory gastronomy, I couldn’t believe that more people in the industry weren’t talking about it. It all boils down to this one idea that we don’t perceive flavour in the mouth, we perceive flavour in the brain. It derives from the sensory stimulus provided by the foods we eat, the things we see, hear, touch, taste and smell. It’s these things that all come together in our brains that actually give us a perception of flavour.

When I started Kitchen Theory as a blog, it was mainly sharing knowledge of the industry on modernist cooking techniques and molecular gastronomy, which was popular at the time. I was working full-time as senior sous-chef at The Connaught and my wife Lulu, who is now also my business partner, was working full-time in digital marketing. In 2013, we started running it as a pop-up on the third floor at the House of Wolf in Highbury and Islington. We got a few people we knew together and it started to get a really good response. After about six months, I left The Connaught and we kept growing from there.