Romera New York – Neurogastronomy or Food Fetishism?

So it’s currently 6.24am, and I’m sat at my computer when I should be in bed. Why? Well, dinner last night at Romera New York, has definitely got into my head.

Romera is chef and physician (never thought I’d put those two together) Dr. Miguel Sanchez Romera’s eponymous restaurant.

Chef Romera’s first project in the United States offers guests an opportunity to experience Neurogastronomy, a culinary style he pioneered while working as a neurologist in Barcelona, Spain. The website states:

“Neurogastronomy embodies an artistic and scientific approach to cuisine. As a doctor and neurologist Romera is a specialist in the relationship between food and health and the study of neurosensory perception with the five senses and food, as well as the implication in areas of affection, emotions, and taste, aroma and flavor memories within the brain. By means of art and through harmony of his culinary creations, the Doctor seeks to express a social emotion, just as any other artistic manifestion does.”

Now with an introduction like that, wouldn’t YOU be tempted to try it out?

Having originally received a large amount of criticism for only offering one tasting menu (a 12 course $245 one no less) and not publishing their wine list so that you could have an idea of how much your bill would come to before you went, Romera now offers 3 different tasting options.

Now, I’m no restaurant blogger (and I don’t wish to be), but we opted for the 6 course option. And I have to say, it certainly delivered in terms of theatre, taste and the sensory ideals that they are so keen to get across.

The interesting thing is, that unlike Heston, there is no playfulness: food is presented beautifully and precisely – almost to the point of obsession.

We had a number of courses which were presented on tiny little checkerboards of individually layer out dehydrated vegetables, flavours and spices: it was regimented and executed perfectly – much like Dr Romera’s mind I imagine.

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