Do you dare to have dinner in the dark? Would you know what you are eating? How is the person dining next to you? What are the sensations you perceive in complete darkness? These are the questions that the chefs of Dans le Noir have come to ask us. A restaurant situated in Madrid and Barcelona that the only thing that tries is to teach us that our senses, perhaps, are more wasted than we think.
When we lose sight, the brain tends to be alert and aware of all possible dangers, awakening in us the hearing, touch, taste and smell.
“We often think that when someone lose sight the rest of the senses become more acute. But not all of them do it equally or in the same way because, rather than improve and appear more precise, they magnify“, explains the Chef and Director of the Barcelona restaurant, Adrià Subirana.
This is what they try to make us see at their restaurants. When an element as indispensable as light is missing, instead of limiting the experience what it does is complete it and enhance it to unsuspected limits.
The concept of dark dinners is an idea that was already used in associations of blind people in the mid-nineteenth century in order to sensitize families and friends of this visual disability. Dans le Noir was born in Paris in 2004, helped by Paul Guinot’s blind association. It was an experiment that sought to intensify the sensations of gastronomy becoming the first chain of restaurants in the dark around the world and one of the largest operations of positive awareness towards this disability.
Dans le Noir seeks for us to see all the sensations and emotions offered by the kitchen in a multisensory way and with the intention of enjoying the true taste of food by playing to guess what we are eating. All the staff in the room are blind guides, which means that people with sight when arriving at the restaurant transfer all their trust in their blind guide. This awareness leads to a relationship of mutual trust and respect that helps you to realize the value of their work and their total capacity to carry out any task.
“At a gastronomic level, we think that we feel the flavors more intensely in the dark. This does not imply that we are able to be right about what we are eating“, explains Adrià Subirana.
This happens because since we are kids we are conditioned by the sight at the time of eating; so, not seeing what we are eating causes to be more difficult to know what we are eating because you don’t eat better but different.
The type of cuisine and dishes vary depending on the city. Dans le Noir in Madrid, with Manu Nuñez, as chef has a much more modern gastro line with shocking textures, very different flavors, fusion of cultures and touches of molecular and avant-garde cuisine. In Barcelona, however, Adrià Subirana has decided to opt for the traditional, for flavors that bring us memories.
Dans le Noir Barcelona: Passeig Picasso, 10 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dans le Noir Madrid: Plaza del Biombo, 5 email@example.com
Translated by Raquel Sanchez