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Dans le Noir finally in Madrid

I’ve lived for 10 years in Milan, and always wish to visit the “Dialogo nel buio” (means “Chat in the dark”)  project at the blind institute in the center of the city.

I’ve also work in that street for several years, but I never had the chance to experience life as a blind person, like how to perceive the spaces and with hearing and touching in the total darkness.

Thanks to “Dans le noir” here in Madrid I had the chance to dine in the darkness, without seeing the dimensions of the room and of course the way food is serves, so don’t wonder for the classic pictures, forget the phones, this is a unique unforgettable experience.

We are so lucky that this international format, born in Paris in 2004, has finally arrived in Madrid, after opening in Paris, Nantes, London, Barcelona, Saint Petersburg with permanent restaurants and in many other cities like New York, Varsavia, Geneva and Bangkok as a temporary restaurant.

“Dans le Noir” if you don’t know the project (or French) means “Inside the darkness” and it’s a more complex project than a blind dinner.

This restaurant, which is really not just a restaurant, has a clear purpose, not just to sell blind meals, but to introduce blind people to food service, and let them be your guides during the dinner.

The feelings will fearyou  are a lot, while entering the total dark room, you won’t wear any blindfold, your eyes will be wide open but you won’t see nothing at all, they keyword of the this experience is trust.

You will need to trust those guys serving you when you will be seated, but most of all, when entering and exiting you will trust their path and feel that little slow walking as the most dangerous of your life.

I mean, I didn’t have any idea of where the walls were, where the persona in front or besides me were walking, and this was really scary, that kind of scary where you start laughing like an idiot.

I was lucky enough to meet at the table a new friend and it was so funny to share this weird moments with her, even if I didn’t know her.

It’s interesting to do this experience with a friend or to talk with someone about what you are experiencing because we all feel the same feelings in the end.

What is even more interesting is guess what you are eating and what you are drinking. I won’t spoiler nothing, I am just saying that the menu presented by chef Manuel Nuñez are so tricky that I really went very far from the actual ingredients while guessing at the end of the dinner.

It’s a texture game, every dish is composed by different elements with different textures, it’s like a game with a strong conceptual identity.

But what surprised me the most that none was actually able to distinguish if the wines we were drinking were white or red.

I guess that experience a blind dinner would be better without talking with none, just mentalizing all the informations not to be confused or influenced by others. To me it always happen for example guessing the ingredients of a plate that some spare ingredients I don’t get it and when someone tell them I start tasting those ingredients and then it’s like if there is only that specific ingredients in my mind and I don’t taste the others.

So it will be wonderful to try the blind dinner experience alone, or in a more silent space, but on the other side I guess it will be deadly scaring, because talking gives a better idea of the space that you are taking up.

The fact that the 50% at least of the staff has discapacities makes this experience even more valuable in respect to a traditional restaurant experience, and the trust relation that need to be built during the dinner is something really special, because the guest is eating as if has discapacities while the staff that knows how to deal with those discapacities is helping the most creating a secure path along the dinner, with calm and self control.

Dans le noir restaurant in Madrid is in the center of the city, really close to Plaza Mayor, in the corner of a very tiny square that offers a great escape from the chaos and the noise of the city.

 

More information:Dans le Noir Madrid

Selecta San Miguel

Exploring San Minguel Selecta

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This article will take you 1 minutes 55 seconds to read – written by Enzo Lauretta

Try to imagine a dinner with a great chef from a very special tavern in Madrid Retiro, a unique menu, an impressive location and a lovely blonde girl serving your favourite beer every time you sip the last drop.

It’s a true story that San Miguel made happen last week, organizing a dinner inside the Museo del Ferrocarril, discovering why the Selecta is the greatest beer.

I drank lots of different beers in my life, from several countries, but I do believe that you don’t need to be a beer specialist to understand and taste the difference of the San Miguel ingredients compared to all the other beers on the market.

And after that which was already an incredible once in a lifetime experience I also had the chance to meet David with a tiny group of friends on the occasion of a degustation of San Miguel Selecta in a very characteristic bar of Las Letras, called Kaixo.

I discovered that San Miguel comes from Manila, Philippines, which is a city I love and I have been to 4 times. It really surprised me.

And I learn a lot during these two events, because the only way to learn is to explore, to be in the front row enjoying the experience with all the senses.

Johann, who was our storyteller at the Exploratorium dinner, all his talk along the dinner was focused on the tastes (sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, umami or savoriness) and how Chef José Luis Martínez from Taberna y Media has developed the menu of the dinner in order to match the Selecta tastes with his premium quality food.

José Luis Martínez taberna y media

After a talk with Chef José Luis Martínez  I understood why San Miguel has chosen him. First of all for his passion, it really seems to me that I was full of joy when talking about the preparation of his creations, second because he’s an explorer so that this melting’ pot of different countries, tastes, ingredients and culture was crucial point of the dinner, mixing and matching top quality food with the exclusivity of San Miguel Selecta.

I mean it is not just a matter of matching food with beer, all the courses were cooked or marinated with San Miguel Selecta.

And you know you is a great fan of the beer foam for cooking?

Ferran Adria, one of the most famous chef in the world, a revolutionary man for the cuisine and restaurant world s widely credited with starting the trend of foam on food, always preferring beer or sparkling wines to the still once.

First Course

Fattened hen chicken pickled with foie and ras el hanout.

Roasted scallops with confit artichokes from Tudela.

Second Course

Roasted beef cheek and venezuelan cocoa.

Dessert

Chocolate mousse with gianduia.

With David few days after all the attention was on San Miguel Selecta, the history of San Miguel, the development of Selecta, taking into consideration all the ingredients with a five senses approach, from the hearing to the taste, analysing the smell of hops and of more complex tastes like chocolate, galleta and cinnamon.

We admired the color of the beer with the sight, and did a three tasting phases analysis on how different they were one between each other.

It was a blast. Stop thinking about everything else and just turn on the focus on what we were drinking and the sensations that we felt.

You can only reach excellence with knowledge and what’s better than exploring for accumulating more and more knowledge. This is the spirit and the vision of the Exploratorium project that we had the chance to live twice, first with the “mesa nomada” inside the Museo del Ferrocarril and than with the cata viajera at Kaixo in Las Letras.

There are lots of “mesas nomadas” you can participate, unfortunately not in Madrid, but that’s that’s an explorer challenge, to move forward.