We arrived at The Crypt on the Green at St James Church eagerly awaiting the Innocent Inspires: A guide to good taste but hoping we would get inside before the heavens opened (which we just managed to). We walked into a beautifully decorated space with long white table cloth covered long tables, and were greeted with a wonderful mocktail of orange, raspberry, rose water and lime (which was just what we had needed after a long day at work). It was not too heavy on the rosewater; just a perfect hint that complemented the other fruity flavours.
During the evening they explained that it would be as if you had stepped into their kitchen and experience a sensory night out to discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about good taste.
As we settled into our seats we were served a selection of dips and canapes from The Dip Society.
We heard from 5 amazing culinary stars ranging from within the restaurant trade through to supper club hosts/ food bloggers.
First we heard from Florence Knight, head chef at Polpetto. She talked about the affect of spices used in dishes on your taste to help enhance other flavours within a dish. We were served a peach and pepper icecream during her talk.
We were then given marmite on toast and bloody marmitey cocktails linked to the next talk.
Next we heard from Kerstin Rogers (aka Ms Marmite Lover) [ @msmarmitelover ], the underground supper club queen. She explained how hormone production/ levels are affected by different types of foods and how it will effect your taste. She particularly emphasised the point of an increase in carbohydrates during a meal will increase the production in the stomach of serotonin (a monoamine neurotransmitter that affects nerve transmission / message transfer within the central nervous system).
This was followed by food chemistry artists/ jellymongers extraordinaire, non other than Bompas and Parr. Harry (Parr) is an architect by background, hence one aspect of their breathtaking food art/ stunts. They explained that the environment has a massive impact on your enjoyment of food. Samuel (Bompas) showed us some stunning food art/ stunts that they has done with some explaining that his favourite colour was floracene, such as the nighttime picture of the floracene coloured water around HMS Belfast. At the end we were served a pyramid of raspberry, blanche base with a Pernod (Absinthe) jelly to enjoy.
During the break we tucked into chocolate dipped waffle cones with beetroot sorbet with mint and honey (again from The Dip Society).
We were given a fig to enjoy and help us to look at the psychological aspect of taste.
Next Emilie Baltz [ @emilie_baltz ] gave us an insight into the life of a transatlantic food designer, and talked to us about her award winning cookbook that looked at the relationship between food and desire. She explained that from a psychological perspective that our sensory experiences (sight, smell, sound, and especially taste) are influenced by external factors including culture, architecture and history.
Finally, Ollie Dabbous (chef-owner of the game changing Dabbous) spoke to us about his culinary journey/ career to date and what food means to him and why taste is so important to a customer’s experience. He emphasised how important it is to test out dishes regarding temperature, visual appearance, fat content and acidity, and to continually refine the dish until you get the end result you have been searching for.
Ollie’s take home message, that has stays with me to this day from that event, was to remember the ‘importance of resilience and to have no fear of failing which would allow you to achieve your potential’.
Thanks Innocent Drinks and speakers for a truly thought provoking and inspiring culinary adventure thorough different thoughts, sounds, sights, smells and tastes! Also, we enjoyed the snacks and treats provided by The Dip Society during the evening.
Twitter: @innocentdrinks #innocentinspires @
Please see our Facebook photo album for photos from this event.