In the modern West, we have created a lot of barriers between our sensory perception and the world around us. Contatto is a way to challenge that mindset. Contatto is a new culinary culture that advocates a change in the current culture of food, challenging the existing one, which neglects essential sensorial experiences. Aiming to get to the essence of the human-food relationship in its most genuine level, Contatto removes unnecessary mediating components: the objects that create a distance between the body and food such as cutlery and plates. Instead, preparation and consumption focus on the hand, extending taste to the realm of touch. Using the hand as a surface where food is placed, the ‘touches’ (the way the courses are called) are built on this surface of our body, generating choreography and new gestures. Contatto is not just an eating experience: it involves an intimate rediscovery of our senses and tactility, becoming a sensorial celebration of food and the action of eating. Contatto is a new way of eating that gives a tactile understanding of the ingredients placed on the hands, feeling them on the skin and becoming a sensorial celebration of food. The hand is the real protagonist, guiding the creative process. Contatto becomes a unique experience and cuisine based on the hand.
I sprinkle salt and pepper on your hand
It tickles like soft rain
The egg yolk passes from my hand to yours
It is cold as it rolls on my palm
Bread crumbs are ground up in my hand and piled on to yours
They stick to the yolk and fall in between my fingers
The touch is ready
My tongue runs on my fingers to catch the cold liquid
During the Contatto eating experience the ingredients are placed on your hand by my hand. While the ingredients are moving from my hand to yours, you are being touched.
The sticky honey slowly moves from my fingers to yours
My tongue experiences the thickness of the honey
I place small pieces of walnuts like rocks on top of your fingertips
The honey doesn’t want to leave my skin
The one-bite courses are called ‘touches’ because the action of serving becomes an
intimate gesture between the toucher and the ‘taster’.
A touch is a portion of food, is what you hand can hold. And a movement of your hand is needed to complete a touch, becoming a choreograohy of gestures.
Layers of tastes are built on the surface of the hand, the skin. The physicality of the hand, its structure, is what determines how ingredients are placed on the hand and assembled together. There is a mutual exchange and inﬂuence between the ingredients placed on the hand and the hand itself.
You can feel the temperature, the texture and the consistency of the ingredients, and their weight as well. You can taste food through your hands even before reaching your mouth.
Check more about the eating experience here
Tuesday in Touch
Contatto Experience in Milano
Contatto at KitchenLab Pavilion (Curated by Frame Magazine)
Private dinners in Milan (IT), Eindhoven (NL) and Arnhem (NL)
DAE Social Design Alumni Day, Eindhoven (NL)
22nd-30th October 2016
Dutch Design Week Eindhoven (NL)
29th September-2nd October
Festival Ciudad Jardìn Alt Empordà Vantallò (ES)
23 June 2016
Mediamatic Amsterdam (NL)
14 April 2016
Valentin Loellmann Studio
November 2015 - ongoing
Contatto Experiences, research and experimentation in Eindhoven (NL)
Contatto Experience at Koinè Restaurant (Legnano, IT)
in collaboration with the chefs Alberto Buratti (Koinè-IT) and Simone Cantafio (Michel Bras Toya Japon)
30th June 2016
Speaker @ wedoWe Braincandies
Natlab, Eindhoven (NL)
21 April 2016
Speaker @ Biatalk// Eat-a-ble
Mediamatic Amsterdam (NL)
Elle Decor Italia (feb-march 2017)
Contatto included in the Next 2017 Selection
L:SN Global: Kitchen experiement
Frame Web: Contatto per Frame KitchenLab Pavilion
Design Academy Eindhoven: Feel the food experience
Lifegate: Eat with your hands