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La Cocina De Los Sentidos

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First of all, thank you for the remarkable amount of time and thought you have put into this Q&A. I am not sure if you are still reading these questions, but just in case, I would love to hear your opinion

I recently made a flying visit to Barcelona and was taken by clients to the restaurant of Miquel Sanchez Romera which is located some 30 mins from the city.

Miquel is a Neurosurgeon by day and chef by night and predicates his cooking on the effect of different ingredients have on the senses and the synaptic responses foods engender.

The meal was remarkable and, despite my worst fears that such a meal would just be a work of artifice, it held together very well indeed. More than that in fact being one of the most memorable meals I have ever had

He has also published a book called ( as in the title of this question ) La Cocina De Los Sentidos which expands both on his culinary and scientific principals.

While cooking having an affect on the five senses is not new, I wondered if you

a) Knew of him and his work

b) had done any study yourself into the synaptic effect of ingredients.

Forgive me if you have touched on this (or indeed answered it totally ) in other parts of the Q&A, I am still working my way through them.

Thanks in advance


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Hello Simon,

I do know of Miguels work. In fact, he has bottled and branded a gelling agent made from manioc, extracted from the edoe, a root vegetable.

This product is great as it stabalises fatty emulsions when heated and is called "Micri". At the moment, the only people that I know sell it is "Valrhona"

We have been doing some work on the synaptic work of foodstuffs.

The trouble is with these related topics is that it is not like answering a question on a recipe or the state of British gastronomy, it requires pages of text.

There are several aspects to this new approach to cooking, the molecular make up of foods, the science of cooking, brain to palate connection (including the psychology of taste) and actual effects on the mind and body from foods.

In this q and a session, I have touched on most of these topics, although not as much as I would have liked to but the one that has not been spoken about is the effect on our minds and bodies of the foods that we could eat.

I am trying to work on a menu that will cause mind and body response while eating. This idea was sparked off by a friend of mine, Dr Paul Clayton, whose book Health for life has caused quite a stir.

The idea is that the courses will be comprised of foods that will induce physical-mental responses.

It is very early days yet and this is the first time that I have spoken about it so please be a bit patient.

We are lucky in this country in that we have some of the best people in the world when it comes to flavour psychiology and the study of the mind and emotion. Dr Charles Spence, at Oxford University has written a paper called "The ICI report on the secrets of the senses " and is available at a mere £200.00.

It is however, one of the most definitive reports ever made on the senses and fits perfectly into our approach to cooking. This report has only just been released but it heralds a new approach to the way that the senses are looked at and is well worth looking at.

Heston Blumenthal

The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck website

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