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How sweet can yellow taste?

9 Nov 2023

Colours determine our everyday life, influence our mood or affect our feelings. But what effect do they have on our sense of taste? Celebrity chef Jozef Youssef is addressing this question and conducting an exclusive survey as part of Ambiente 2024. On Hoteliers' Day, he will share his findings with industry participants and invite them to a get-together with a finger food menu.

You eat with your eyes – the eating experience is by no means limited to the sense of taste: the type of food prepared, how the food is presented on the plate and the tableware used all play a decisive role. Studies show that even the colours of the food can have a strong influence on the perceived taste of a dish.1 But does this effect also apply to the colour of the tableware? Jozef Youssef, the award-winning celebrity chef and creative force behind the design studio Kitchen Theory, conducted a survey exclusively for Ambiente, entitled "The power of colour: a survey on how coloured tableware influences the perception of food". Using an online survey, he shines a light on how the colour of plates affects the perception of desserts.

Cake on different coloured plates
The power of colour: celebrity chef Jozef Youssef conducts a survey exclusively for Ambiente. Photos: Kitchen Theory.

The celebrity chef selected three desserts that are familiar and recognisable in different cultures: Granola with fruit and yoghurt, fruit salad with ice cream and a slice of chocolate tart with ice cream. For the colourful plates he used products from exhibitors. Youssef carefully prepared the dishes, arranged them attractively on the brightly coloured plates and photographed them. Participants from four continents were recruited for the online survey using a crowdsourcing tool. Based on the photos of the desserts, they rated the colourful plates for each dish according to appetite, health and sweetness. The celebrity chef and his team are now analysing the responses from several hundred international respondents. Jozef Youssef will present the extent to which the coloured plates stimulate the appetite, influence the healthiness of the food and the perception of sweetness on Hotelier's Day at Ambiente. At the HoReCa Academy, he invites industry participants to the following get-together with a specially designed finger food menu. "Multi-sensory experiences play a major role. It's not just about flavour, but about being surprised and experiencing with all your senses. We are delighted that Jozef Youssef is our guest at Ambiente for the second time and is conducting an exclusive survey on a current hospitality topic. We are very much looking forward to the results," explains Thomas Kastl, Director Ambiente Dining.

1 (Smith et al., 2015; Spence, 2020).

Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld will continue to be held simultaneously at the Frankfurt exhibition center:

  • Ambiente/Christmasworld: 26 to 30 January 2024
  • Creativeworld: 27 to 30 January 2024

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