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How will we experience innovation in the future

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#1 Gavin Jones

Gavin Jones
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Posted 14 October 2002 - 05:24 AM

Do you think that the innovations of haute-cuisine chefs are most likely to be widely experienced through the attempts of ordinary cooks to imitate them or through industrial processes & thence through the supermarket?

For example the number of people who make their own ice cream is small, but the audience for savoury ice creams is probably large.

Does this represent a change in role for haute-cuisine chefs into something akin to haute-couturiers for fashion houses.

(i.e. run a loss-leading 3* restaurant and make money on your diffusion lines which pick up simplified versions of the high-end lines.)
Wilma squawks no more

#2 Heston Blumenthal

Heston Blumenthal
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Posted 22 October 2002 - 02:48 PM

Hello Gavin,

I really do believe that there is a huge untapped potential for haute cuisine chefs to work with industrial food processing companies. These companies can bring great expertise in techniques and food psychology whilst the chefs can bring creativity and detailed technical skill.
There will obviously be areas that are not common ground. The two main differences are that the food companies need to produce massive quantities at a price and that these foods need to be able to be transported all over the world and to have a long shelf life
These food companies are in the business of making money and up until now, to bring a new food to production, they have to justify sales that put the more haut couture style of food out of the equation.

I have a feeling though that over the next five years, things will change. These food companies are far more eager to try and become more inventive.

Speaking from my own experience, I have had quite a lot of interest from several food companies and a supermarket chain wanting to move forward and become more inventive with products. The problem is however, that they are still nervous about how far they can go so for the moment are very cautious.

In fact, on this subject, we are involved in a new EEC project called INNICON, which I think that I have mentioned in one of my other answers.

This project involves four restaurants around Europe along with a cookery school in Paris, an engineering company, a flavour company and a food technology company. The idea is that by all working together, we can come up wit new techniques, produce new pieces of equipment and even look at manufacturing new ingredients both to make life in the kitchen easier, saving time, improving cooking techniques and coming up with new dishes.

So, in answer to your question, I think that haute-cuisine chefs could become akin to haute-couturiers for fasion houses but in a slightly less direct way.

One thing that I am sure about however, is that the next five years will see major changes in food developement.
Heston Blumenthal
The Fat Duck
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