Hi, I’m Jozef Youssef, Founder and Creative Director of Kitchen Theory, a London (UK) based design studio with an award-winning Chef’s Table. After years of working in London’s most highly acclaimed Michelin Star restaurants and hotels, I have spent the last decade in collaboration with leading scientists & psychologists to research a broad range of food-related topics, from multi-sensory flavor perception and synaesthesia to the role of food in healthcare, all with the aim of improving well-being through innovations in gastronomy.
I consider gastronomy to be a perfect balance of both science and art. The growing interest in the science behind both cooking (molecular gastronomy and food science) and eating (psychology and gastrophysics) is allowing chefs to express their culinary creativity in ways previously unimaginable and create experiences that go far beyond just the plate. I also believe that the rich cross-disciplinary collaborations taking place between chefs, scientists, academics, artists and designers will help shape a more nutritious and sustainable future of food.
One of my main interests is the field of psychology, especially the sensory and psychological relationship we have with food and how this can be used to develop better food experiences in restaurants, but also for schools, care homes and hospitals. For ten years I have worked with Professor Charles Spence, an Experimental Psychologist at Oxford University. Together, we have been on a fascinating journey exploring the senses, and in particular the way our senses work together (cross-modality). This of course is closely linked to an interest in synaesthesia, which I began researching and eventually was our main theme for a Kitchen Theory 2015 pop-up dining experience (titled Synaesthesia) hosted in London and Mexico.
My vision for the culinary aspect of the Journey Through The Senses is to highlight the sensory pleasures of food using a mix of science, artistry and technology. I want this experience to excite the diners, transporting them to new places in their minds. Drawing on a range of disciplines, this truly immersive dining experience will be a thought-provoking and multi-sensory journey that will allow guests to both appreciate delicious dishes and learn about their own personal sensory relationship with food.