“Eating designer” Marije Vogelzang creates sensory food experiences that stoke more than just the appetite.
A scene from this year's C2 Montreal Commerce + Creativity, where one of the main themes was food and innovation. Image courtesy of C2 Montreal.
Last week, Montreal, a city known both for its haute French-fusion cuisine and the decadent, gravy-filled side-dish poutine, hosted a multi-media exploration of the taste bud. This year’s C2 Montreal conference, a yearly creative event run by Cirque du Soleil that’s been described by some as “TED Talks with trapezes,” prominently featured food as one of the main themes. Events ranged from a series of workshops held by Keurig that explored smart appliances and even smarter small-business solutions, to start-up founder and farmer Sean McDonald espousing the virtues of crickets (both for livestock and human consumption). There was also the C2 Lab: Food Challenges, which included eating memory-activating popsicles, as well as experiments with virtual reality, suspension nets, and fog boxes, and the unfortunately titled “In The Mouth”—a curious series of workshops that let participants eat their way “inside the mind of a chef with a mixed-up sense of taste” via edible and audible experiments.