Gastrophysics trips the sauce fantastic

Darren Smith heads to High Barnet for multi-sensory jellyfish, edible ears and lashings of cross-modal chatter…

Multi-sensory experience is the trendiest thing in food at the moment. It might be a bit over-exposed, but there’s no doubt that the science behind it is thought-provoking . It’s based on a relatively unexplored understanding of the way our senses work, which is to say, rather than our sense activity being focused on discrete areas of the brain – sound lighting up this part, touch lighting up that – these areas interact in endlessly complex ways.

I’m in a warehouse in the unremarkable London district of High Barnet, where I am eating jellyfish with tweezers while wearing a big pair of headphones. In my ears is some intriguingly textured ambient ‘music’ which, had I not already been told was specially made by research team in Nashville to go with this unexpectedly crunchy dish, I would have assumed was the latest album from electronica duo Autechre.

The warehouse is the venue for Kitchen Theory, where chef Jozef Youssef, late of the Connaught and the Dorchester, is attempting to make his guests more mindful about food through his Gastrophysics Chef’s Table.