foto1

  4 min

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A look at the Culinary Code

Pairing the feeling with food

Jelle Steenbergen  Xiao Er Kong

Food is more than flavor. Especially in a foodservice setting guests are there for more than a good meal. Food is an experience. It’s emotion. To create a memorable experience you need to take into account all these nebulous and intensely personal things. But how do you do that? The people at Salomon FoodWorld developed a Culinary Code that aims to do exactly that. They hope to pair the right feeling, with the right food.

dish.jpg

What is the Culinary Code?

In essence, the Culinary Code takes into account every element that goes into making up a dish, from the dish itself, to the plating, the design, shapes, colors, materials, and every other detail that is often skipped over. Why? Because all those elements invoke an emotional response. A subtle one, to be sure, one you won’t even know you’re making. But those split-second associations can play a critical role in making food choices. If you can map each element of a dish to a specific emotion, you can create an unmatched sense of harmony on a plate, and guide your guests’ choices in a way you never realized you could.

Which is the more expensive glass? Can you think of why?

wijnglas1.jpg
wijnglas2.jpg

Was this dish ordered by a man or a woman? What makes you have that association?

The Limbic System

The Culinary Code is based on neuroscience, and speaks to specifically the limbic system in our brain. The limbic system is responsible for lower order emotional processing, learning, and memory. If you’ve ever looked at a dish that made your mouth water, and made you instantly want to eat it, that’s the limbic system at work. Whenever we make spontaneous emotional decisions we’re relying on this part of our brain. More often than not, you won’t even know you’re making them, and that’s exactly why they’re so important.

steak.jpg

Inspiration, Domination, Comfort

The Culinary Code categorizes three main emotional areas that you can speak to with the right presentation of your dishes: Inspiration, Domination, and Comfort. But people aren’t that simple, there’s an entire spectrum in between these areas. Still, you can generalize a little. A dish hitting the sweet spot between inspiration and domination evokes adventure and sensation. Between domination and comfort you find discipline and control, and between comfort and inspiration you find imagination and pleasure. These terms are vague, because they’re describing something that mostly happens subconsciously. However, because most of these emotions happen subconsciously in a split second, it’s very easy to tell if you’ve gotten it right or wrong.

dish2.jpg

Example: tableware
What does the Culinary Code actually look like on a plate? Let’s look at the how Salomon categorizes tableware according to the Culinary Code. To help you, Inspiration is coded in Orange, Domination in Red, and Comfort in Green

inspiring_tableware.png

Design

Shape

Color

Materials

  • Creative, imaginative, and somewhat extravagant designs

  • Unusual or strange elements, like exotic patterns

  • Combining differing styles

  • Common designs framed in a modern way, like a handmade, imperfect look that’s surprising.

  • Possibly asymmetry 
  • Individual, ‘homemade’ shapes
  • Curved, free, and innovative shapes
  • Bright, saturated and expressive colors

  • Color blocks

  • Modern, uncommon or exotic materials.
  • Mix of materials

Does the knife look weird in this picture? That’s because everything else has been coded differently. The simple wine glass, the rustic wooden table, the roasted vine tomatoes, the wooden chair and soft lighting all seem to suggest this dish belongs in Comfort. Except for the skewered burger with the knife, which implies Domination. The result is a dish in discord.

Food and Science

It’s clear the Culinary Code goes a little ways beyond putting a farmhouse burger on a cutting board. Salomon hopes to carefully compose every dish to create a sense of harmony that resonates with the target audience. Using the Culinary Code, they can make a summer greens salad appeal to the most fervent carnivore. It’s clear that neuroscience might have more to offer to the food industry than one would expect.

burger.jpg
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foto1

  4 min

A look at the Culinary Code

Pairing the feeling with food

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.

Jelle Steenbergen  Xiao Er Kong

Food is more than flavor. Especially in a foodservice setting guests are there for more than a good meal. Food is an experience. It’s emotion. To create a memorable experience you need to take into account all these nebulous and intensely personal things. But how do you do that? The people at Salomon FoodWorld developed a Culinary Code that aims to do exactly that. They hope to pair the right feeling, with the right food.

What is the Culinary Code?

In essence, the Culinary Code takes into account every element that goes into making up a dish, from the dish itself, to the plating, the design, shapes, colors, materials, and every other detail that is often skipped over. Why? Because all those elements invoke an emotional response. A subtle one, to be sure, one you won’t even know you’re making. But those split-second associations can play a critical role in making food choices. If you can map each element of a dish to a specific emotion, you can create an unmatched sense of harmony on a plate, and guide your guests’ choices in a way you never realized you could.

Which is the more expensive glass? Can you think of why?

wijnglas1.jpg
wijnglas2.jpg

Was this dish ordered by a man or a woman? What makes you have that association?

The Limbic System

The Culinary Code is based on neuroscience, and speaks to specifically the limbic system in our brain. The limbic system is responsible for lower order emotional processing, learning, and memory. If you’ve ever looked at a dish that made your mouth water, and made you instantly want to eat it, that’s the limbic system at work. Whenever we make spontaneous emotional decisions we’re relying on this part of our brain. More often than not, you won’t even know you’re making them, and that’s exactly why they’re so important.

steak.jpg

Inspiration, Domination, Comfort

The Culinary Code categorizes three main emotional areas that you can speak to with the right presentation of your dishes: Inspiration, Domination, and Comfort. But people aren’t that simple, there’s an entire spectrum in between these areas. Still, you can generalize a little. A dish hitting the sweet spot between inspiration and domination evokes adventure and sensation. Between domination and comfort you find discipline and control, and between comfort and inspiration you find imagination and pleasure. These terms are vague, because they’re describing something that mostly happens subconsciously. However, because most of these emotions happen subconsciously in a split second, it’s very easy to tell if you’ve gotten it right or wrong.

dish2.jpg

Example: tableware
What does the Culinary Code actually look like on a plate? Let’s look at the how Salomon categorizes tableware according to the Culinary Code. To help you, Inspiration is coded in Orange, Domination in Red, and Comfort in Green

inspiring_tableware.png

Design

Shape

Color

Materials

  • Creative, imaginative, and somewhat extravagant designs

  • Unusual or strange elements, like exotic patterns

  • Combining differing styles

  • Common designs framed in a modern way, like a handmade, imperfect look that’s surprising.

  • Possibly asymmetry 
  • Individual, ‘homemade’ shapes
  • Curved, free, and innovative shapes
  • Bright, saturated and expressive colors

  • Color blocks

  • Modern, uncommon or exotic materials.
  • Mix of materials
inspiring_tableware.png (copy1)

Design

Shape

Color

Materials

  • Beautiful, stylish, and exclusive designs 

  • Modern or classic layouts, framed to an exceptional standard

  • Unconventional

  • Angular, pointy 
  • Symmetrical
  • Clear, precise lines and structure
  • Refined with gold or silver elements 

  • Contrast can work

  • Accent in black, red, antracite or carbon 

  • High saturation and low brightness. Opulent instead of colorful

  • High quality and expensive materials (marble, crystal, bone)
  • Heavy and cold materials like steel or granite
inspiring_tableware.png (copy)

Design

Shape

Color

Materials

  • Classic, discrete, and ‘ordinary’ designs
  • Rustic, low contrast
  • Delicate ornaments
  • Naturalistic and nostalgic elements
  • Handpainted look
  • Soft, organic and well-known shapes

  • Symmetry

  • Harmonious transitions, rounded corners

  • Subtle, muted shades you could find in nature
  • Earthy, warm colors
  • Low saturation
  • No trending colors
  • Natural materials like wood

  • Sturdy, durable materials that exude quality 

Does the knife look weird in this picture? That’s because everything else has been coded differently. The simple wine glass, the rustic wooden table, the roasted vine tomatoes, the wooden chair and soft lighting all seem to suggest this dish belongs in Comfort. Except for the skewered burger with the knife, which implies Domination. The result is a dish in discord.

Food and Science

It’s clear the Culinary Code goes a little ways beyond putting a farmhouse burger on a cutting board. Salomon hopes to carefully compose every dish to create a sense of harmony that resonates with the target audience. Using the Culinary Code, they can make a summer greens salad appeal to the most fervent carnivore. It’s clear that neuroscience might have more to offer to the food industry than one would expect.

burger.jpg

Overview magazines

Food Inspiration Magazine is the online magazine for foodservice professionals in search of inspiration and innovation. With the magazine we collect, enrich and spread inspiration. The free subscription magazine is published eight times per year and is an abundant source of inspiration for food and hospitality professionals. Our readers can be found in the U.S., Northern Europe, Latin America and Asia.
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