Culinary Storytelling for the Senses

May 25, 2022

Culinary experiences can reach new heights with imaginative products and menu items that engage all the senses. By connecting flavours, textures, temperatures and aromas with visually appealing presentations, food can transport consumers on a captivating and unforgettable journey that builds brand loyalty.
The shift from having it all to experiencing it all serves the food industry well. And with current social platforms and technological capabilities, operators should take full advantage of creating immersive experiences, promotions, and events to thrill customers. Playing with color, presentation, texture, and temperature not only excites consumers in the moment, but can live on thanks to image and video-centric platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.
We’re eager to see where operators go next with surprising, unpredictable, and alluring elements both on and off the plate.  



Have you considered how your serving dish might affect peoples’ perception?

More angular shaped dishes are associated with spice and citrus or acidic flavours, whilst more rounded dishes are linked with fat, cream, dairy and sweet notes.


The surrounding ambience can affect how you determine a food product.

You are much more likely to opt for a sweet and indulgent dish when listening to classical music whereas jazz would subconsciously make you more likely to choose a healthier option.

Around 80% of what most people would consider to be flavour actually stems from our nose.

Whilst you may think flavour is detected in the mouth, our tongue and palate are only capable of detecting the 5 basic tastes and whether something is warming or cooling.

A Culinary-Crafted Sensory Journey

When it comes to the sensory adventure trend, expect the unexpected! Here Chef Eugeni's creation - Monkfish tournedos, a dish that showcases texture, temperature and eye appeal with ingredients such as monkfish, cured pork belly, roasted beef sauce and vegetables.

Monkfish Tournedos - Monkfish fillet wrapped with Spanish cured pork belly, roasted beef sauce and vegetables.

Mediterranean cuisine is tipically inspired by the proximity of the sea to the first line mountains, that’s why we have a huge tradition on what we call “sea and mountain” food, where we mix meat (normally white meat) with sea product. In this case, the monkfish provides the perfect texture for this dish, as it is very similar to white meat, and combines perfectly with a roasted beef sauce. To make the roasted beef sauce, you can use our Custom Culinary® Gold Label Roast Beef Fond.


Last summer, a KFC-themed hotel opened in London offering unlimited fried chicken to guests with all proceeds going to the KFC Foundation.

The House of Harland, named after the founder of KFC Colonel Sanders’ middle name, was open for 11 nights and cost £111 per night which all relate to the 11 spices used in KFC’s original recipe.

Tacos de Lyon (France) launched a Taco in partnership with Doritos, it can be topped with either Nacho Cheese sauce or Hot Salsa sauce . The presence of the famous cheese triangles guarantees an inimitable sensation on the tacos.

“From snout to tail, meet the pig in all its versions, flavours, colors and textures.” A Casa do Porco in São Paulo, Brazil uses every part of the pig to create both traditional and unexpected dining experiences. 

The flagship dish is Pork San Ze, pork that is roasted for 6 to 9 hours and served with typical Brazilian side dishes. To add to the experience, the restaurant literally shows diners how the sausage gets made.

A clear example of triggering all the senses is Sublimotion. An immersive dining experience dreamt up and prepared by Paco Roncero of two-Michelin-starred Paco Roncero Restaurante in Madrid.


The room is surrounded by 360-degree projections to truly immerse diners into the theatrical performances. Actors pose as waiters to create unexpected twists with each carefully designed course.


Creativity and quality run throughout the meal, with each course more fantastical than the next.

Exploring Sensory Science

The sensory science team at Custom Culinary® uses a rigorous quantitative process for evaluating how ingredients and products are perceived, using the five senses. Their work plays a key role throughout the development process, helping our customers confirm that their product offerings meet consumer needs. Our team applies an array of sensory techniques to ensure that the defining characteristics of a product—including taste, texture, aroma and appearance—are quantifiably superior, reducing risk and accelerating speed to market for new items. By examining the subtleties among products, we can pinpoint the sensory attributes that may drive consumer preferences. That critical information helps us create unique solutions that provide value for our partners, while satisfying consumers’ preferences and expectations.

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*Custom Culinary® is part of the Griffith Foods family of companies.