Over the summer of 2015 Chef Jozef Youssef and our Development Chef Stefano De Costanzo combined their passion, creativity and Stefanos remarkable pastry techniques, drawing from his experience of working with Giorgio Locatelli and Gordon Ramsay to bring you a sensual and sensory 6 course dining extravaganza.
Guests were invited to dive in with a strawberry and tomato gaspacho and finish with taking a bite of Sophia’s lips…
chicken liver pate with cherry jelly, kirsch spheres & bitter almond crumble
strawberry, tomato and bazil gazpacho, marinated prawns, cucumber foam, balsamic pearls & garlic ice cream
peaches, almonds, lemon & seabass
braised veal cheek terrine, chocolate millefeuille, frais de bois & cherries
Pick me up
gorgonzola & ricotta cheese praline, hazelnut, blackcurrant & elderflower
whipped Tonka & milk chocolate ganache, soft salt caramel filling, strawberry and rasberry lipstick, white chocolate crumble, coconut air
Stefano’s creativity, culinary flair and slight eccentricity led to a very quick rapport being developed between himself and Kitchen Theory founder Jozef Youssef. Earlier in the year Stefano had expressed his desire to create a dessert based dining concept, which would draw on traditional and modernist pastry techniques and ingredients, used in both savoury and sweet dishes on the menu.
So both Jozef and Stefano began looking at how they could bring this to life. The first question was; how does all this come together? Other than developing great flavours and dishes, how can we bring these dishes to life and take our guests on a sensory gastronomic journey through this multi-course pastry inspired menu?
The Sensual Act of Eating
It didn’t take long for the concept of sensuality to come about. Desserts are of the most sensual of dishes, and sensuality is closely linked with food and the senses. In fact other than dining, its hard to think of an activity which engages all our senses quite like sexual and sensual interactions with another person. In fact this definition of sensuality captures the sentiment perfectly.. “Sensuality is, in essence, how in tune you are with your senses. Do you notice smells, textures, sounds? How sensual you are plays a key role not only in your sex life but in your overall ability to derive pleasure from life as a whole”
Now given Stefano’s Italian background, and how well connected Italy is with the concept of sensuality, this just had to become the filter through which we explored the concept.
“A pure, unadulterated lust for life is what Italy exports best to the rest of the world. The Italians gave us the Renaissance, then followed that up with the world’s finest cars, women and cuisine – all of which pleasures are linked. Ferraris demand a beauteous co-driver, while the curves of Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Claudia Cardinale and Monica Bellucci suggest both an Alfa Romeo’s flanks and a spot of peasant cuisine. When the Naples-born Loren was asked the secret of her figure, she replied: “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” No wonder Italy became the first country to ban size-zero models in 2006: this is a nation that worships food, flesh and sensuality“. Telegraph