Culinary Experience Design Independent Study

Mentorship by Shannon Scrofano - Fall 2023 and Spring 2o24

I am in the process of completing an independent study titled "Culinary Experience Design," a self-designed course focused on supporting my exploration and development in food-based experiments, including prototyping and playtesting. My fascination with the transformative power of food, paralleled with art, drives this study. Recognizing food as a profound expression of culture, I've dedicated time to develop a framework for exploring food as an artistic medium. My interest particularly lies in integrating various sensory stimuli within large-scale immersive experiences, employing innovative technologies to leverage taste for immersing audiences, storytelling, and engaging with our culture.

In May 2024, I will to showcase concept art, research findings, and outcomes of this study at my portfolio review. This course is structured as a deep dive into the intersection of food with art and science, aiming to create sensorially rich, immersive, and meaningful engagements. It goes beyond mere taste and aroma to examine food's potential as a conduit for storytelling, cultural preservation, and artistic expression.


Explore Food Beyond Nourishment: Understand the multifaceted role of food in our lives, from nourishment to emotional connection, culture, and creativity.

Foundations of Food Experience Design: Acquire the fundamentals of Food Experience Design, including its principles, history, and key concepts.

Design Thinking: Apply design thinking methodologies to reimagine food and beverage items and the entire experience surrounding them.

Rapid Prototyping: Learn how to quickly and inexpensively model, test, and shape culinary experiences.

Culinary Explorations: Embark on culinary excursions, and engage in conversations to gain insights and inspiration.

Throughout my Culinary Experience Design Independent Study, I am  engaged in a series of activities and projects aimed at conceptualizing and developing three distinct culinary experiences. Each of these experiences will focus on a different aspect of culinary design, catering to specific themes:

♻️ Health, Wellness, and Sustainability
🎭 Storytelling and Immersion
🍲 Culture and Heritage

Among these three, I will select one experience for prototyping, where I will bring my concept to life through practical design and testing. Here’s how I plan to complete this work:

Project Overview:

My study involves conceptualizing and developing three distinct culinary experiences, each focusing on different themes: Health, Wellness, and Sustainability; Storytelling and Immersion; and Cultural Heritage. I will select one for prototyping, aiming to embody my concept through practical design and experimentation.

Conceptualization Phase:

Health, Wellness, and Sustainability: Investigating the cross-section of culinary design with health-conscious and sustainable practices.
Storytelling and Immersion: Crafting narratives through food, emphasizing menu design and presentation to create immersive stories.
Cultural Heritage: Exploring culinary traditions to develop a concept that honors and innovates upon cultural culinary practices.

Prototyping and Testing:

Selection of one concept for deep dive development, focusing on menu design, ingredient sourcing, and presentation.
Creation of a prototype, including sample menus and test meals, to refine the dining experience.
Gathering feedback through user testing to assess the concept's impact and appeal.