When I was approached by PostX with the proposition to create food for an erotic, sensual dinner event I didn't really know where to start. It was on short notice, and with all the complicated production tasks there wasn’t much time for research. The information that I did find on internet about erotic food and ingredients was not so inspiring. Such things as the colour red and spicy flavours were always referred to, along with very cliched presentations.
One thing was clear to me: this should be an event where guests are carried trough a deep experience where slowness, a mix of fragrances, abstract sound and a long, comforting, “sticky” aftertaste in the mouth should play a key roll. I made a list of colours, smells, forms, textures, tastes and ingredients and started puzzling out dishes from there. Ingredients where chosen mainly for their colours and potency either as aphrodisiacs or libido enhancers.
We decided to call the whole evening Deep Sweet. Somehow this title suggests slowing down and puts smile on your face.
When people arrived on the night, they where a little nervous and didn't really know what to expect. The only thing we sent out before was a very general menu and instructions for the dress code.
The first part of mingling and playing very silly banal ballades and shlaagers confused visitors even more. But not for long. The lights whent out and the guests were escorted to their back-to-back seats… surrounded by candle lights, the slow, soft sounds by Stijn, dissolving pictures on screen by Sandra and the smells of clove-stuffed oranges. This was a time to relax and truly arrive in the space. The other tables melted away. The couples where left on their own, feeling each other with their backs.
After a very red and fruity-flavoured soup, the couples sat at tables face to face. They each received a book with erotic texts, hints, pictures. When the next dish arrived we agreed for a little provocation by announcing that the rice salad was garnished with “freshly shaven pubic hair”. (In fact it was a black moss that resembled the hair.) A tiny glass of sake put our guests even more at ease. When the invite to join the hosts on the dance floor came there was no one hesitated. The “dancers” received a simple task for the movement: always touch your partner, but only with one part of your body. Couples started moving in some very vigorous poses gently touching each other as if their partners were made out of porcelain.
For the rest of the evening every couple leaned closer and closer to each other. Every time Barbara, the host, passed by the kitchen she couldn’t stop telling me how all the couples were “so much in Love”. And I noticed that it took longer and longer for them to eat each dish. When dessert was served with golden madeleines looking like tongues, tongue kissing was the natural thing to do…
After that the bar, managed by Pieter, served the next cocktail. Spicy kiss of the White guard you could say. Wouter invited everyone to end the party with some “lines” of cocoa. After snorting a few lines, smiles and laughter filled the room. Couples continued holding each other and looking into each other’s eyes. It was time to end the evening. So all the team gathered in the back of the room and took a bow under applause.
This event proves to me more than ever how the synthesis between different creative fields represented in this event is needed. To offer such an experience to people is not only interesting and pleasant to us as artists but also opens up and inspires our guests/audience as well. It allows time for people not only to eat but also to enjoy the surroundings and each other.
To be continued…
You can see more photos of the Deep Sweet event here:
The recipes of the dishes served during the event you can find here: