Food & Drink

From the latest openings to new ingredients, a deep-dive into the landscape of food and drink

Need to Know
14 : 04 : 22

A restaurant putting one-ingredient dining on the map, hospitality arrives in the metaverse, and women on low wages are skipping meals.

A restaurant dedicated to single-ingredient cooking

Brutalisten by Carsten Höller. Photography by Pierre Björk, Sweden Brutalisten by Carsten Höller. Photography by Pierre Björk, Sweden
Brutalisten by Carsten Höller. Photography by Pierre Björk, Sweden Brutalisten by Carsten Höller. Photography by Pierre Björk, Sweden
Brutalisten by Carsten Höller. Photography by Pierre Björk, Sweden Brutalisten by Carsten Höller. Photography by Pierre Björk, Sweden

Stockholm – After writing the Brutalist Kitchen Manifesto in 2018, visual artist Carsten Höller is opening a restaurant dedicated to the concept in Sweden. At Brutalisten, diners will be served dishes that adhere to the principles of one-ingredient cooking, where ingredients, not recipes, take centre stage.

Named after Brutalism, an architecture style famed for its severe minimalism and lack of ornamentation, the restaurant strives to adopt the same doctrine of simplicity. As such, the menu is divided into three sections, including Semi-Brutalist dishes, which refer to plates that can have a drizzle of olive oil and Orthodox-Brutalist dishes that can have no additional seasoning or ingredients. ‘The aim is to dig vertically into the taste of a given ingredient and clear it of the background noise,’ explains Carsten Höller, founder of Brutalisten.

Recently, similar extreme eating experiences have taken off in Saudi Arabia, where Bompas & Parr served food cooked on a molten stream of lava. The resurgence of such attractions points to a broader trend for hospitality spaces that bring adventurous eating to the fore.

Strategic opportunity

Restaurants should consider collaborating with visual artists or musicians to create limited-edition dishes that put forward innovative and experimental ideas

Prado museum uplifts paintings through customised scents

The Sense of Smell: An Olfactory Exhibition at the Prado Museum in collaboration with Puig, Spain The Sense of Smell: An Olfactory Exhibition at the Prado Museum in collaboration with Puig, Spain
The Sense of Smell by Jan Brueghel and Peter Paul Rubens (1617-1618). Courtesy of the Prado Museum, Spain The Sense of Smell by Jan Brueghel and Peter Paul Rubens (1617-1618). Courtesy of the Prado Museum, Spain

Madrid – The museum is opening an exhibition that draws on olfactory cues to bring the works of 17th-century painter Jan Brueghel to life. For its latest show, the museum is working with curators, researchers – and the Puig perfume house – to recreate the fragrances of 10 items that appear in Brueghel’s The Sense of Smell painting.

To create the scents, researchers identified 80 different plant and flower species seen in the painting. Each of the 10 fragrances can be experienced by visitors through AirParfum technology, which diffuses scents via touchscreen monitors. Through this concept, the exhibition elevates conventional interactions with visual artworks. Gregorio Sola, senior perfumer at Puig, says: ‘Our olfactory memory is stronger than our visual or auditory memory: the memory of our mother’s perfume, of our first kiss, of our first car or of the first day at school with the smell of new pencils and paints.’

While we’ve previously explored the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to investigate scent’s influence on cultural heritage, Puig’s input here points to a future when fragrance brands will be able to mutually benefit from involvement with creative institutions.

Strategic opportunity

Looking ahead, fragrance brands can continue to bolster their reach and influence by partnering with creative individuals and cultural spaces

The first hotel in the metaverse

Amsterdam – Hospitality group CitizenM is building a hotel in the gaming platform The Sandbox, a virtual realm where players can build, own and monetise their creations. The digital hotel will be used to reward consumers for their loyalty and to involve customers in the company's plans.

To finance the digital hotel, CitizenM will auction 2,000 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that come with randomly assigned attributes. Of these tokens, 1,500 will be reserved for ‘regular citizens’, 450 will go to ‘special citizens’ and the remaining 50 will be earmarked for ‘legendary citizens’. Depending on which NFT the consumer possesses, the tokens will grant access to perks that can be redeemed at any of CitizenM's real locations, such as discounts, free drinks and more.

In addition to offering rewards, the NFTs will also be used to fund a real, physical property where token-holders will be able to vote on the location. As a result, the project embraces the concepts we explored in Digital Twin Cities, in which a digital environment is used to empower citizens and consumers to explore and engage with their real-life surroundings.

CitizenM CitizenM

Strategic opportunity

How can hospitality companies use metaverse platforms to give consumers a clearer picture of their offerings and services? Hotels could develop digital rooms that allow customers to experience a suite before checking in

Stat: Women are going hungry amid the cost of living crisis

Community kitchen Nourish Hub has opened in the London borough with the highest dependence on food banks, UK Community kitchen Nourish Hub has opened in the London borough with the highest dependence on food banks, UK

While citizens across the UK are being hit by the cost of living crisis, a study by the Living Wage Foundation reveals that women are being disproportionately affected. According to its research, women are also taking more drastic measures to cope with this crisis – with 35% of low-paid women having skipped meals regularly for financial reasons.

The report also reveals that women are more likely to be in low-paid jobs in the first place, with almost 60% of all jobs paid below the Living Wage held by women. Katherine Chapman, director of Living Wage Foundation, says: ‘Our research demonstrates yet again the harsh impact of low pay on the millions of women that make up the bulk of many low-paid industries such as health and social care.’

With these findings in mind, there is an evident need for innovative food solutions that support people living under austerity.

Strategic opportunity

From apps to supermarkets and community spaces, brands can offer solutions that provide food access to people facing financial hardship

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