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The quick guide to creating an unforgettable dinner experience for your guests

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The next time you’re stressing over what to cook for your guests, keep this in mind: It won’t be the food that they remember after the meal, but the experience and feelings the meal evoked.

This was the finding of Paul Rozin, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, who is researching food experiences. According to Professor Rozin, we may remember just a couple of courses in our own “best ever” dining experiences, and what stays is mainly the setting, the people we were with, and what we felt at dinner.

Here are some suggestions and ideas  that help create memories your guests can take away with them, long after dessert has been served.

 

The Setting

The location and décor of the meal makes the first impression on dinner guests when they walk through the door. Part of what makes meals at The Cube by Electrolux, a mobile restaurant, such a memorable dining experience is its location on famous landmarks. Currently, it can be found on the top of London’s iconic Royal Festival Hall, which affords panoramic views of the city’s attractions, like Big Ben and the London Eye.

Dining in The Cube by Electrolux can only be described as an experience, with panoramic views of London’s iconic landmarks and Michelin star chefs cooking unique dishes in an open kitchen.

Even if you don’t live in an apartment with stunning views, you can create a visual experience in your dining room with the right use of centerpieces or talking points for guests. Michelin star chef and one of the expert judges of this year’s Electrolux Design Lab, David Oldani, suggests using clean lines, special objects and a minimalist style.  All of which helps to keep the mind focused on your emotional state, and guides the mood of the dinner.

A beautifully designed wine fridge like the Electrolux Vino wine chiller could make for a practical star attraction and conversation starter when placed near the dining area.   Or placing an oversized freestanding or wall-mounted mirror in the focal wall of your dining room can help add the feeling of space to a small dining room.

Is there anything to avoid? According to Oldani, yes. He tries to “avoid floral decorations on the table” as he  believes the perfume and aroma of herbs and flowers can affect and alter the flavour of foods.

 

The Cooking

When planning the meal, keep in mind that the main course is the one that everyone will likely remember. Professor Rozin found that only 23% remembered a dessert from their favourite meal, 15% remembered the ambience and a whopping 40% remembered the social setting.

Cooking for guests in an open kitchen equipped with the Ebony range can make for an aesthetic as well as tasty dining experience.

Well-designed open kitchens can even make the cooking process part of the experience – this is where striking kitchen ranges like the glossy black Ebony range shine in both form and function. Turning the kitchen itself into a place of artistic contrasts, the Ebony range’s sleek minimalist design is sure to wow guests with its unique, timeless look while you cook.

 

The Plating

The presentation of the dinner’s various courses can turn even simple fare into a quick piece of culinary art. Plating is practised by professional chefs everywhere, but even the home chef can develop an eye for playing with different food colours, textures and height to achieve an appetising aesthetic.

Use simple garnishes like green parsley in tomato soup for a colourful contrast, or crumbled feta and nuts over a salad for a pleasing combination of textures. Blanching vegetables in microwave ovens like the Electrolux EMS2048X before dunking them in ice water helps to bring out their vibrant colours, and makes the meal more attractive and pleasing.

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