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How does virtual reality unleash creativity in the F&B sector?

A deciphering by DEPUR Experiences. On the occasion of the 2022 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, which took place from 1 to 3 December, the contemporary art gallery Superblue, in partnership with Michelin-starred chef Chintan Pandya, devised an experience involving the five senses.

The concept: To offer visitors the opportunity to taste a starred menu combining the real and the virtual.

The discovery of the different appetizers is made, equipped with a virtual reality headset that guides the tasting.

Consumers are invited to reflect, via animations and audio storytelling, on the perception and conceptualisation of the flavours and textures they discover.

The meal is fully dramatised and each dish served is presented accompanied by virtual scenes, all to a soundtrack by electronic music composer Martux M. The experience, in groups of sixteen, takes place in a futuristic dining room and lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.

The project began in 2017, and has already been presented in South Korea, China and New York. Beyond the artistic scope, the aim is, for the creator of "Aerobanquets RMX", Mattia Casalegno, to propose a whole new way of eating. The artist draws his inspiration from the futuristic cookbook The (in)famous Italian book of surreal recipes and fantastic dinners, published in 1932.

While the menu remains confidential, past editions of the project have included a 'Falooda on Ice', which consists of vermicelli, basil seeds and ice cream, and a 'Roasted Hope Mousse', which is supposed to evoke a lip-smacking feeling.

 The gist of the info:

  • Here, the notion of Eatertainment and the integration of leisure into F&B is pushed to its extreme with an immersive, multi-sensory experience that blends, in a totally innovative way cuisine, art and technology.
  •  F&B is conquering new grounds by integrating the world of art, proof of its strong cultural weight. Food is one of the foundations of our societies.
  • Since the Covid crisis, digital is slowly entering the restaurant. It offers an alternative to the physical experience and allows the customer to alternate between the real and the virtual, with, for example, online menus or ordering and payment via an application.
  • This is a new use of new technologies. They are integrated into the very moment of tasting. The real and the virtual combined are designed to work in synergy to create an augmented experience.
  • The artist also wanted to use this medium to represent what is hidden in our plates and, in so doing, to alert us to the environmental problems facing the food industry. 
  • This experiment serves as a field of study on the impact of light and sound on our perception of flavours. Elements outside the plate that should not be neglected when designing an F&B venue.
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