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Brief Published: 15 Aug 2014

Colour-Coded Dining

The Colour Palate

London-based pop-up dining company The Art of Dining is investigating the impact that colour can have on taste and flavour perception in its new dining experience, the Colour Palate.

To create a multisensory experience, Art of Dining co-founder and set designer Alice Hodge will use lighting, paper, glass and fabric to produce an environment that changes as each of the meal's five courses arrive.

Fellow co-founder and chef Ellen Parr will create colour-themed food – for example, one of the courses, Tandoori bass, cumin chickpeas, saffron yogurt and raw courgette salad, will be served on a yellow plate. Music, provided by DJ Gemma Cairney, will also be used to enhance the dining experience, changing as each course is delivered. Read about other innovative tasting menus in New Rules for Fine Dining.

The idea that colour can effect taste has spurred a number of recent research projects. Last year, researchers from the UK's University of Oxford demonstrated that the weight, shape and colour of cutlery could influence the perception of how food tastes. Meanwhile, an earlier study by Oxford University and the Polytechnic University of Valencia suggested that the colour of crockery could significantly alter flavour sensation.

For more on how colour can affect taste, see Edible Hues and Tableware as Sensorial Stimuli. For more on tech-fuelled sensory dining experiences, see Digital Dining as well as New Food Styling, which spotlights sensory food-styling treatments.