This year we explored Perfection. Tapping into every aspect of the word, we examined our industry's relationship with this powerful force, that so often consumes us. With Perfection, comes imperfection, and to find balance, there lies the challenge.
The P(OUR) Symposium was an exciting day of curated talks, workshops and discussions held by influential personalities form the drinks world, as well as authorities from other disciplines.
As before, the immersive experience was a showcase of collaborations across the drinks industry beyond categories, boarders and bars.
This years speakers included:
MULTISENSORY COCKTAILS: A GASTROPHYSICS APPROACH
CHARLES SPENCE ( @xmodal )
Professor Charles Spence is the head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University. He is interested in how people perceive the world around them. In particular, how our brains manage to process the information from each of our different senses (such as sight, hearing, touch, pain, smell, and taste) to form the extraordinarily rich multisensory experiences that fill our daily lives. His research focuses on how a better understanding of the human mind will lead to the better design of multisensory interfaces, products, environments, and foods in the future. His research calls for a radical new way of examining and understanding the senses that has major implications for the way in which we design everything from mobile phones to household products, and from the food we eat to the places in which we work and live. Think of it as “sensory nudging”. He is currently working on problems associated with of neuroscience-inspired multisensory design.
A PERFECTIONISTS GUIDE TO HAPPINESS
SHELBY WILLIAMS ( @BiscuitBallerina )
Since beginning her professional career, Shelby has danced with Houston Ballet 2, Dresden Semperoper Ballett, Ballet d’Europe and Barcelona Ballet. She danced as a soloist with Ballet Mainz under the direction of Pascal Touzeau, where she performed featured roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Etudes and the title role in Cinderella.
In 2016, she joined the Royal Ballet of Flanders as a member of the corps de ballet. Since joining, Shelby has danced featured roles in works by director Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui as well as in works by William Forsythe, Pina Bausch, Ohad Naharin, and Edouard Lock amongst others. In Dance Europe Magazine(October 2017), she was nominated in the category “Outstanding Perfomance of a Female Dancer” for her performances in “Approximate Sonata 2016” by William Forsythe and “Café Müller”by Pina Bausch.
She also runs @biscuitballerina, a satirical Instagram character brought to life to remind dancers that being imperfect isn’t worth getting upset over. “Perfect doesn’t exist, and in the end, its just dance!”.
THERE’S A CRACK IN EVERYTHING – THE JOY OF IMPERFECTION
DAVE BROOM ( @davewasabi )
Dave Broom was born in Glasgow and has spent his whole working life in the world of drink, from a whisky bottling line, to wine merchant Oddbins, a real ale pub, Off-Licence News, and Australian wineries, before finally, in 1995, becoming a writer specialising in spirits.Since then, he has written regularly about all spirit categories. Of his twelve books, two: ‘Drink: Never Mind the Peanuts’ and ‘Rum’ won the Glenfiddich award. His Whisky: The Manual was awarded Best Spirits Book at the Spirited Awards in 2015 and the ‘World Atlas of Whisky’ has been called “a landmark publication”. His most recent book, “The Way of Whisky: A Journey into Japanese Whisky’ appeared in 2017 and won the Andre Simon, John Avery Award.
He is chief engineer for the go-to online site scotchwhisky.com, and writes for a large number of international titles.
Around half of his time is spent teaching and talking. He writes the on-line spirits training courses for global hospitality training group Lobster Ink, is a member of the Taste & Flavour education team, and designs in-house training courses for distillers.
He was one of the team which developed (and continue to maintain) the Single Malt Flavour Map and is regularly spotted at various international trade and consumer fairs.
In 2013 he was awarded the Communicator of the Year at the ISWC awards and in 2015 was voted Best Spirits Writer at the Spirited Awards. He is a Master of the Quaich and a Kentucky Colonel.
He lives in Hove, England with his wife and daughter.
FROM SEED TO GLASS: THE IMPERFECTION OF PLANTS
STACEY GIVENS ( @thesideyardfarm )
Stacey Givens is the farmer/chef/owner of The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen. She grew up in a big Greek family and was instilled with DIY values from a very young age. Farming in their backyard, foraging olives with her mom from the nearby hills and learning to brine them with her Yiayia (grandmother). Givens has been in the food industry since the age of 15. Working her way through kitchens up the west coast from LA to SF to Portland. After landing in Portland in 2006, she cooked in various kitchens including Lincoln, Southpark, Rocket and Noble Rot. Currently, she is based in the Ne Cully Neighborhood, where her team grows diverse vegetables on a 1 acre plot of land. She sells her harvests to nearby restaurants in what she calls an invaluable “chef-to-chef” produce service. Since then, Givens has established the first ‘urban’ seed to plate catering company and supper club in the Portland area where she uses Side Yard grown goods. She also sources from other urban farms in her hood for goat milk, eggs, honey and fruit. Its urban craft all the way, from the seed to the plate. Making her own cheese, charcuterie, vinegars, pollen, spices and pickles. Her inspiration to get her hands in the dirt sprouted when she was cooking at Rocket (now Noble Rot), which had the first rooftop garden of its kind in Portland. Crafting ‘urban farm to table’ meals led Givens into what she calls her ‘seed to plate’ food philosophy.
OLIVER PEÑA ( @oliverpenyaluque)
Oliver began working as a waiter at age 17. At 18 years old he took a one-year course at the Escuela de Hostelería Hofmann and worked in several local restaurants. He moved then to Sevilla in 2004 to join the pastry team at the elBulliHotel. That would have been his first approach to fine dining. In September 2014, after several years working in Tragabuches (1*) and Comerç 24 (1*), he joined the 41º Experience team as a Head Chef. Since the closing of 41º Experience and awaiting Enigma’s opening, he took part of the core team of elBarri, leading projects like the opening of Niño Viejo and Hoja Santa, Heart Ibiza as well as overseeing the whole project of Enigma, from the architectural work and inception to the overall logistics and organisation.
Since January 2017, he is the Gastronomic coordinator of Enigma, together with Albert Adrià of Enigma, which has been recently awarded its first Michelin star.
THE PERFECT BEAUTY OF IMPERFECT PLACE: WHEAT IN THE WHITE HOUSE GARDEN
STEPHEN S. JONES ( @wsu_bread_lab)
Director, The Bread Lab
Stephen Jones is a wheat breeder and the Director of the The Bread Lab. Stephen has a PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Davis and teaches graduate courses in advanced classical genetics and in the history and ethics of genetics. His first wheat crop was on five acres at Chico State University’s student farm in 1977. Together with his graduate students he breeds wheat and other grains for local uses to be grown on small farms in the coastal West, the upper Northeast and other regions of the country. The Bread Lab is a combination think tank and baking laboratory where scientists, bakers, chefs, farmers, maltsters, brewers, distillers and millers experiment with improved flavour, nutrition and functionality of regional and obscure wheats, barley, other small grains and beans.
UNDERSTANDING COCKTAILS THROUGH SAPIENS
Mar Calpena, on behalf of ElBulliFoundation, is a journalist and bartender from Barcelona, Spain. She has been in charge of the Sapiens of cocktails project during the last year, a multidisciplinary project which applies the Sapiens methodology as developed at ElBulliLab to cocktails and bartending. Mar writes for several spirits and cocktails magazines, and teaches Social History of Drinks at the DEU in Mixology and Bartending of CETT-UB, University of Barcelona’s Hospitality School. Aside from cocktails, she writes on food and travel and is a political panelist on radio and television shows.
MORE THAN THE SUM
SIMON EWINGS ( @snohetta )
Snøhetta (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈsnøːˌhɛtɑ]) began as a collaborative architectural and landscape workshop, and has remained true to its trans-disciplinary way of thinking since its inception.
Their work strives to enhance a sense of place, identity and relationship to others and the physical spaces.
Simon came to Snøhetta in 2001 as a part of the planning group for the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. He filled several roles in this project, from chief façade architect to project manager, as well as being responsible architect on the construction site. Simon has been project leader on bigger and smaller project, both in Norway and abroad. From 2011 to 2013, Simon was stationed at Snøhetta’s office in New York, where he had overall responsibility for the reconstruction and expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The projects have required a wide range of competencies, from concept development to detail design, as well as efficient execution. After returning from New York, Simon has taken on the role as Assisting Managing Director for Snøhetta Oslo, where he contributes through his focus on professional quality and project execution.
Under the roof of Le Palais de Tokyo, Paris’ museum of modern art, participants came together