Session 4 - Substance and Sociality

Session 4 - Substance and Sociality - Thorsten Schmidt, Carole Counihan and Ole Mouritsen

What are the ingredients for the perfect shared experience? And does it change the way about which we taste food?

Have people in the West somehow individualized their food and eating to such a degree that it makes it difficult to serve a meal to a larger group of people? What happens to sociality when taste experiences are more individualized? 

To facilitate the dialogue on the subject, we invited head chef, Thorsten Schmidt, to be the creative mediator, and professor of gastrophysics and culinary food innovation, Ole G. Mouritsen, and professor emerita of anthropology, Carole Counihan, to be the experts. 

Photo: Eva Rymann
Photo: Eva Rymann
Photo: Eva Rymann
Photo: Kurt Thomsen
Photo: Kurt Thomsen
Photo: Kurt Thomsen

Ole G. Mouritsen

Professor of biophysics at the University of Southern Denmark and head of ‘Smag for Livet’ Ole G. Mouritsen uses his research in biophysics to explain the science behind taste.

He is author of various books about taste, texture and umami. In 2016 Mouritsen was awarded the DuPont Nutrition & Health Science Medal for Excellence in Food Science.




Carole Counihan

As a food anthropologist, Carole Counihan combines the themes of gender, family, symbolism and activism with food habits. She is the author of the book “Around the Tuscan Table” where she uses examples of food practices to give a portrait of the changing ways of modern life in Florence, Italy.

Counihan has also done research on how gender plays a role in food activist projects such as Slow Food Italy. She has co-edited the reader Food Culture, and the book on food activism: Taking Food Public. Together with Susanne Højlund she is working with a new book: Making Taste Public. She is the chief editor of the journal Food and Foodways.




Thorsten Schmidt

Thorsten Schmidt is a rebellious chef whose kitchen is always experimental and unpredictable. His curiosity and innovative thinking means he continuously breaks the rules of what is possible -and that his creative cuisine speaks to all the senses.

Thorsten is dubbed the Nordic Alchemist. Because he is eager to explore, develop and challenge the Nordic Kitchen. His philosophy is rooted in regional and sustainable ingredients that inspire to create memorable moments and evoke strong emotions with the recipient. It's all about new discoveries and Thorsten is a modern explorer.