Food Opera: The Multisensory Dining Experience

I recently stumbled upon my CD of Arcanum, an old videogame classic. I remember playing it as a kid and, unlike other games, I never turned off the background music, I was just too fascinated by it. I installed the game again, started playing and those nostalgic feelings of almost 20 years ago were perfectly accompanied by the wonderful soundtrack. I then decided to look up who composed it expecting to find some famous XIX or early XX Century composer but to my surprise, it turned out to be a contemporary musician, Ben Houge. He is a composer, audio designer and digital artist. His great talent is reflected in the way he manages to combine music with other fields, especially technology and food.

What Is a Food Opera Exactly?

Food operas are a unique multisensory dining experience where sound and taste merge together to form a new contemporary and creative piece of art. Imagine your plate turning into a stage, where food not only taste but also sounds good. It is a unique moment where all your senses come together to give you the ultimate sensation of pure joy, and not just food consumption for the sake of filling your belly.

In this regard, one of Houge’s best projects is the “Mugaritz XX” food opera for the XX anniversary of Mugaritz restaurant in San Sebastian, Basque Country. Every plate is unique and designed with special sensors to play an exclusive tune when used. This peculiar system invoked a different meaning to food, embedding a feeling of either nostalgia or happiness. You can watch the video of this project down here.

He did multiple other food operas such as “On the sensations of beer” or “Untitled Cocktail #3” which you can read about on These kinds of art projects make you realize the impact of music in our daily life and how much it affects us no matter how conscious we are about it.

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