All images courtesy of Platinum Scotch Broth Events
Bored with Friday brunches? A food events company that offers “multi-sensory eating experiences” is launching in the Middle East this week with three events at hotels in Qatar.
Billed as “Derren Brown meets Heston Blumenthal meets Dining in the Dark,” Platinum Scotch Broth Events’ foodie nights use science to underpin their explanations and tastings.
The Scotland-based company, which has organized similar events in the UK, China and Hong Kong, holds its first Qatar event tonight with a three-course “multi-sensory science supper” at the recently-opened Westin Hotel in Bin Mahmoud.
On Wednesday, drinks night Molecularly matched molecules will be held at the hotel’s Mix Bar, delving into the technical elements behind mixing a great cocktail.
The launch week closes with a six-course private dining event at Nobu, which markets itself at the “exclusive” end of the market, with tickets priced at QR975 per person.
These, and the firm’s other events, explore how the taste of food and drink can be enhanced – or completely changed – by triggering other senses and the surrounding environment.
This is done through music, color, texture and temperature.
‘Underpinned with science’
The events are run by Qatar-based private chef David Buchanan and Ewan Henderson, a food expert and professional events speaker based in Scotland.
“We do food and drinks events which are very different to the standard ‘cheese and wine’ of yesteryear. Everything we present our guests with is underpinned with science,” Buchanan told Doha News.
“We can prime a guest to taste something in a certain way – we put a blindfold on them, then give them a soft silk scarf to hold, which can help to give them a positive experience of the food.
“But then we use the same food while they hold something rough, which negatively impacts the way something tastes,” he added.
Buchanan and Henderson have worked with Glasgow University’s Polyomics department to study in more detail the chemical compounds found in food and drink, and to come up with unusual pairings.
They have also taken part in science festivals in the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
“There are lots of foods which have similar chemical compounds and work well together but you might not think of combining – like white chocolate and caviar, coffee and garlic or banana and parsley. We explore these in some of our tastings,” Buchanan said.
While the inaugural events include alcohol, Buchanan said he is in talks with IDAM restaurant at the Museum of Islamic Art to organize a Qatar-themed event with mocktails in May.
“We want to incorporate elements from Qatar and Persian culture, which you can find in the artifacts at the museum,” he added.
They are also planning future events at other restaurants around town for later in the year ahead of Ramadan, although details of these have yet to be confirmed.
Buchanan has worked for nearly 20 years as a private chef around the world, including a stint at Holyrood House – Queen Elizabeth’s residence in Scotland. He’s currently working in Doha for members of the ruling family.
While the first Doha events will make use of existing products in the Qatar market, Buchanan said he hopes to soon import luxury Scottish food and drink in the future, creating combinations such as laban with smoked sea salt from Scotland’s Hebridean Islands.
You can find more information on the events, which require pre-registration, and future events at the company’s website here.
Who’s going? Thoughts?