In the workshop Guest Xperience organized by Fiturtech I had the pleasure to meet Paco Roncero, an innovative chef of Casino de Madrid. He put forward the idea of creating unique experiences in restaurants. He showed us how to present dishes in restaurants in a different way, considering all the senses and not just taste.
We were showed an example of a menu designed at his restaurant.
- It started with “Paella” showing some images as if we were under an orange tree and next to a fire (Sight). Then a video of the process of elaboration, based on olive oil and creating every grain of rice individually. A cushion with the aroma of fire and barbecue under the plate (smell). The table heated under the plate to leave the feeling that there was a fire underneath (touch). At the end it created a unique experience, making us feel as if we were in the “albufera in Valencia” enjoying a local “paella”.
- The second plate was a deer hamburger and he indicated that the experience doesn’t always have to be sweet and tender; it can also be brutal and shocking. It began with a video of a bloody seen based on de TV series “Dexter” to introduce us in to the hunting meat (sight). This was accompanied by the music “the beast in me” (Hear) and at the end there where images on the table (Sight), creating the experience that we had to hunt what we were about to eat.
- The dessert was focused as a game. Be creative, loose the fear and be a child again. It started with a video of some artists that are experimenting with some different fluids and textures and how by letting these fluids drip at different heights on top of a cube they could create different geometrical forms as they moved at different speeds. The dessert used the same idea with a chocolate cube and different textures of caramels.
- Paco explained how at the beginning it was very difficult for them to achieve this and when they were about to give up the inspiration came from the mixture of different profiles working at the same time. The innovation comes in the most unexpected time. It was actually a day that a technician was fixing an oven in the kitchen as when he saw them he said that the problem was the surface tension; something the chefs would have never guessed. They were using a cube made of cupcake and it did not let the fluids move in a smooth way, so they changed it for chocolate and where able to get the expected result.
This is a very good example of how things can be done in a different way. This is an example of a restaurant but it can be applied to other sectors. The idea that I would stand out is that quality is the most important thing but once we have a recognized product we need something unique, to make us differ from the competitors. Technology can be a good ally but there are also other ways to be innovative. The most important thing is to change the way we do things. To have a team with diverse experiences and profiles which is something very common in the tourism industry is a great potential to create innovation and should be promoted. Different point of view will help in being more creative and seeing things from another point of view.
There is an African expression which I think could be uses to show; what is the most important issue when working in a collaborative environment with different profiles and to be able to be sustainable in time.
“If you want to go quick go alone but if you want to go far go together”