October 2006, Issue 76

Welcome to our bi-weekly Club of Amsterdam Journal.

"Food is meaning not just nourishment, ritual not just consumption, ceremony not just act, familial and social relationship not just individual ingestion. But profound and increasingly global changes in the way people eat have eclipsed these truths."

"Our eating is motivated occasionally by need, but also by a love of superfluity that causes us to rearrange our world and to engage in ceaseless experiment." [Source: Roger Scruton]

Felix Bopp, editor-in-chief

Join our Season Event about the future of Food Design on November 23!

Synthesis of elBulli cuisine

Club of Amsterdam blog

News about Food Design

News about the Future

Event about the future of Food Design

”They think the unthinkable and do it.”

Recommended Book

The new Corinthians: How the Web is socialising journalism

Global Competitiveness Report 2006-2007



Club of Amsterdam Open Business Club

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.Synthesis of elBulli cuisine

By Chef Ferran Adrià
El Bulli - Roses, Spain

In the mid-1990s a new style of cuisine began to be forged. Ferran Adrià is the creator of the synthesis of elBulli cuisine. elBulli has been voted the best restaurant in the world.

1. Cooking is a language through which all the following properties may be expressed: harmony, creativity, happiness, beauty, poetry, complexity, magic, humour, provocation and culture.

2. The use of top quality products and technical knowledge to prepare them properly are taken for granted.

3. All products have the same gastronomic value, regardless of their price.

4. Preference is given to vegetables and seafood, with a key role also being played by dairy products, nuts and other products that make up a light form of cooking. In recent years red meat and large cuts of poultry have been very sparingly used.

5. Although the characteristics of the products may be modified (temperature, texture, shape, etc.), the aim is always to preserve the purity of their original flavour, except for processes that call for long cooking or seek the nuances of particular reactions such as the Maillard reaction.

6. Cooking techniques, both classic and modern, are a heritage that the cook has to know how to exploit to the maximum.

7. As has occurred in most fields of human evolution down the ages, new technologies are a resource for the progress of cooking.

8. The family of stocks is being extended. Together with the classic ones, lighter stocks performing an identical function are now being used (waters, broths, consommés, clarified vegetable juses, nut milk, etc.).

9. The information given off by a dish is enjoyed through the senses; it is also enjoyed and interpreted by reflection.

10. Taste is not the only sense that can be stimulated: touch can also be played with (contrasts of temperatures and textures), as well as smell, sight (colours, shapes, trompe d’oeil, etc.), whereby the five senses become one of the main points of reference in the creative cooking process.

11. The technique-concept search is the apex of the creative pyramid.

12. Creation involves teamwork. In addition, research has become consolidated as a new feature of the culinary creative process.

13. The barriers between the sweet and savoury world are being broken down. Importance is being given to a new cold cuisine, particularly in the creation of the frozen savoury world.

14. The classical structure of dishes is being broken down: a veritable revolution is underway in first courses and desserts, closely bound up with the concept of symbiosis between the sweet and savoury world; in main dishes the "product-garnish-sauce" hierarchy is being broken down.

15. A new way of serving food is being promoted. The dishes are finished in the dining room by the serving staff. In other cases the diners themselves participate in this process.

16. Regional cuisine as a style is an expression of its own geographical and cultural context as well as its culinary traditions. Its bond with nature complements and enriches this relationship with its environment.

17. Products and preparations from other countries are subjected to one's particular style of cooking.

18. There are two main paths towards attaining harmony of products and flavours: through memory (connection with regional cooking traditions, adaptation, deconstruction, former modern recipes), or through new combinations.

19. A culinary language is being created which is becoming more and more ordered, that on some occasions establishes a relationship with the world and language of art.

20. Recipes are designed to ensure that harmony is to be found in small servings.

21. Decontextualisation, irony, spectacle, performance are completely legitimate, as long as they are not superficial but respond to, or are closely bound up with, a process of gastronomic reflection.

22. The menu de dégustation is the finest expression of avant-garde cooking. The structure is alive and subject to changes. Concepts such as snacks, tapas, pre-desserts, morphs, etc., are coming into their own.

23. Knowledge and/or collaboration with experts from different fields (gastronomic culture, history, industrial design, etc.,) is essential for progress in cooking. In particular collaboration with the food industry and the scientific world has brought about fundamental advances. Sharing this knowledge among cooking professionals has contributed to this evolution.

Visit our event about
'the future of Food Design'
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Registration: 18:30-19:00, Conference: 19:00-21:15
Where: ROC, Hotelschool, Da Costastraat 64, Amsterdam

.Club of Amsterdam blog

Club of Amsterdam blog

October 14: The new Corinthians: How the Web is socialising journalism
September 20: A Future Love Story
September 17: The Future of Business Meetings: Applications for AMI Technologies

.News about Food Design
  Food structuring

Humanity has been creating food structures to suit changing tastes and needs for millennia. But to deliver new types of food to customers who expect the best, means taking cooking beyond the possibilities of the kitchen.

Traditionally food structuring was cooking. But to create entirely new food structures with special functions, we need to go beyond the possibilities of experimental cuisine. Food structuring is an emerging discipline that uses all the investigative technology available. Food is examined from the molecular, to the microscopic, to the macro scale. The idea is to build on the culinary experience, the artistry of cooking, so that novel edible creations can make the transition from the stove to the shelves. This area is gaining momentum under the header "Molecular Gastronomy" where 3 star Michelin chefs are working with Food Sciences to define this exciting new area.

Food structural design is by no means exclusively concerned with changing food appearance and flavour. Altering food structures can have a significant impact on people’s lives. For instance, a particular problem in developing countries is inadequate refrigeration and the lack of manufacturing infrastructure. Intended to address these problems, new spreads and manufacturing techniques have been developed by Unilever specifically for developing world conditions. Spreads can now be locally produced on a small scale, or even at home, and require less refrigeration. High quality products are being produced to meet the needs of low-income consumers.

  Molecular Gastronomy

“Molecular gastronomy is the application of science to culinary practice and more generally gastronomical phenomena.” So says Wikipedia. Harold McGee defines molecular gastronomy as "The scientific study of deliciousness".

INICON: Science can only change the culinary activities if it helps the cooks to prepare the dishes ; it can probably not change the kind of food we eat. Our sensory apparatus, created by millions of years of evolution, has a function: telling the brain what we are eating, and giving some pleasure when the food is appropriate from the physiological and psychological point of view. Science would do a better job if it helped the cooks to cook better and to obtain more regularly appropriate textures and tastes from the raw products.

.News about the Future

Innovision Research & Technology, a leading developer of NFC (Near Field Communication) and UHF & HF RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) solutions, is providing the contactless RFID reader and re-writable video tag technology at the heart of Mattel's new HyperScan hybrid games platform.

Hyperscan is unique in combining modern video gaming with classic collector card play.

The collectable game cards, supplied with the HyperScan games, will be available based on a rarity scheme, meaning that players won't know what cards they are getting in their game booster packs, spawning a new trend in powered-up collector card trading.


Battery-Powered Plane

The students-developed manned plane powered by 160 AA “Oxyride” batteries flew for 59 seconds covering 391.4 meters and soared as high as 6.11 meters above the ground at a private airport owned by Honda Motor Co.”

The world’s first battery-powered plane was developed by Tokyo Tech students and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.

.Next Season Event

the future of Food Design
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Registration: 18:30-19:00, Conference: 19:00-21:15
Where: ROC, Hotelschool, Da Costastraat 64, Amsterdam

Tickets for € 30, € 20 [discount] or € 10 [students]

Food Tasting at cost and your choice

Masayuki Tajima, food culture specialist: What is Food Design?
Maurice Nio
, Owner, NIO architecten: Fire Emperor
Angélique Schmeinck
, Master Chef: Experience & Temptation… The creator as seducer
Moderated by Mikael Besson, Chef, freelancer for the gastronomy and hospitality industry

Taste, presentation of food, atmosphere, even design of food itself have existed for a long time, but they were often treated as separate elements. The contemporary awareness in design as well as in food culture enable a more holistic approach, which recently led to outstanding creative developments.

This event is going to highlight three influential aspects: a) aesthetics from a consumer perspective, b) innovative food products and c) design supporting senses and a good time.



.”They think the unthinkable and do it.”

  Ralph Freelink
Psychologist Catalyst in the Knowledge Stream Trade - Asian Leadership
Founder, Centre for Holistic Inquiry


“They think the unthinkable and do it.” – Summit Quote

We gathered for three days from all over the world to talk about the future. What did we take home? The Summit of the Future dealt with the future of risk. What is risk? How do we relate to risk? And what does risk have to offer us? In three days we exchanged a wide spectrum of opinions and perspectives. In this report I would like to explore risk from the psychological perspective of letting go.

What is the future of risk? I believe it has everything to do with the risk of letting go. Letting go of those things that we wish to control and change. Letting go is not about indifference, nor is it a form of negligence. Letting go has to do with a new form of leadership that is emerging. It’s about the ability to surrender to the process of self-orga-nisation, without trying to im-pose change on the world. We have a chance to create the future, but in a way that is in alignment with the forces that permeate and encompass our lives.

Letting go is a subtle way of dealing with the future. When we learn to let go we are actually bringing something qualitative forth. With this unnameable quality in our midst, we can learn to organise things in a way that we can never achieve on our own. This new awareness is dawning globally, and has everything to do with rising need for spiritual inquiry on an individual, collective and systemic level. Through inquiry we can learn to notice the subtler, less tangible aspects of reality, which, once noticed and acknowledged, can radically shift our quality of life. We can then learn to enable this process of self-organisation and bring forth a more coherent world.

Sounds like fiction? In actuality our mode of consciousness is still in the way of this potential, but people are gradually opening up to it as the pressure of our global crisis intensifies. It is obvious that we can’t create a new future together, when we don’t engage on a deeper level and truly learn how to think and act together. We have to sit down to inquire, share and build community. We need to clear the surface and adopt a beginner’s mind to look at ourselves and the world afresh.

A word much used at the conference was ...

Read the full article in the Summit for the Future Report 2006!

.Recommended Book
  Eating Architecture
by Jamie Horwitz (Editor), Paulette Singley (Editor)

The contributors to this highly original collection of essays explore the relationship between food and architecture, asking what can be learned by examining the (often metaphorical) intersection of the preparation of meals and the production of space. In a culture that includes the Food Channel and the knife-juggling chefs of Benihana, food has become not only an obsession but an alternative art form. The nineteen essays and "Gallery of Recipes" in Eating Architecture seize this moment to investigate how art and architecture engage issues of identity, ideology, conviviality, memory, and loss that cookery evokes. This is a book for all those who opt for the "combination platter" of cultural inquiry as well as for the readers of M. F. K. Fisher and Ruth Reichl.

The essays are organized into four sections that lead the reader from the landscape to the kitchen, the table, and finally the mouth. The essays in "Place Settings" examine the relationships between food and location that arise in culinary colonialism and the global economy of tourism. "Philosophy in the Kitchen" traces the routines that create a site for aesthetic experimentation, including an examination of gingerbread houses as art, food, and architectural space. The essays in "Table Rules" consider the spatial and performative aspects of eating and the ways in which shared meals are among the most perishable and preserved cultural artifacts. Finally, "Embodied Taste" considers the sensual apprehension of food and what it means to consume a work of art. The "Gallery of Recipes" contains images by contemporary architects on the subject of eating architecture.

.The new Corinthians: How the Web is socialising journalism

The new Corinthians: How the Web is socialising journalism
by Milverton Wallace, founder/organiser of the European Online Journalism Awards

The momentum of change is with the new Corinthians. The open source ethos and method of work/production, which began in the periphery with collaborative software development, is moving to centre stage by way of the blogging revolution and open standards in web services. In tagging, syndication, ranking and bookmarking we have the rudiments of a peer-to-peer trust, reputation and recommendation system well suited to self-regulating collaborative networks.

James Cameron (1911-1985), arguably the greatest British journalist of the last 100 years, always insisted that journalism is a craft. Now "craft" implies pride in work, integrity in dealing with customers, rites of passage, and long years of training to acquire the requisite skills/knowledge.

But that was then. Today, journalism is a "profession". Many aspiring hacks now need a university or other accredited "qualification", and, except in the Anglo-American world, a government issued licence to "qualify" as a journalist. In some countries you're compelled by regulations to belong to a recognised association and to obey its code of standards in order to practice and earn a living as a journalist.

The march towards professionalism began with the rise of the mass media in the latter part of the 19th century, a development made possible by the invention of the rotary printing press, cheap papermaking from wood pulp, and mass literacy.

Cheap mass circulation newspapers gave proprietors the kind of political influence they never had before. The press was becoming an increasingly powerful social force, a counter-balance to big business and the state. However, this power was fragile. Corporations and governments resisted the press's self-appointed role of watchdog and muckraker. But the press barons fought back.

In response to state and corporate resistance to openness and disclosure of information, they raised the banner of "the public's right to know" as a fundamental democratic freedom. To counter charges of irresponsible reporting, journalists developed rigorous techniques for gathering, distilling and presenting information; and, to standardise these procedures and wrap them in an ethical framework, a normative model for reporting, carved in stone, was crafted: impartiality, objectivity, accuracy, transparency.

Thus was Cameron's craft gradually "professionalised", and, in the process, turned into an exclusive club with a privileged membership.

Today, this carefully constructed edifice is crumbling as the read/write web blows away the need to be a member of any such club to be able to practise journalism. Arguments about who is or isn't a journalist is a sideshow, a pre-occupation mostly of self-styled guardians of truth. The inexorable fact is that the genie is out of the bottle and a significant number of "unqualified" people are "doing journalism" without permission from anyone.

So, let us accept that the "authorities" can no longer decide who is or isn't a journalist. We have no choice. But we need to ask some crucial questions: Who will now enforce the rules and codes? What is to become of them? Should we care? Do we still need them? Are they "fit for purpose" in the digital age?

Digital media, and in particular, it's social offsprings - social media such as blogs, vlogs, wikis, IM; social networks such as MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Tagworld, Orkut etc., and social bookmarking services such as Furl, Del.icio.us, DIGG, StumbleUpon, MyWeb - have enabled the amateurisation of the media. The barbarians have entered the gates. Is the empire on the verge of collapse?

Nowadays, the word "amateur" is being deployed by media professionals to belittle the media-making efforts of bloggers and others who create media productions outside the journalism guilds. Such reporting is deemed "unreliable", "biased", "subjective"; they are "unaccountable", the facts and the sources "unverifiable".

All of this must be puzzling to ...

Read the full article click here

.Global Competitiveness Report 2006-2007

Global Competitiveness Report 2006-2007

Switzerland, Finland and Sweden are the world’s most competitive economies according to The Global Competitiveness Report 2006-2007, released by the World Economic Forum on 26 September 2006. Denmark, Singapore, the United States, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom complete the top ten list, but the United States shows the most pronounced drop, falling from first to sixth.
The rankings are drawn from a combination of publicly available hard data and the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum, together with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the Report. This year, over 11,000 business leaders were polled in a record 125 economies worldwide.

1. Switzerland
2. Finland
3. Sweden
4. Denmark
5. Singapore
6. US
7. Japan
8. Germany

9. Netherlands
10. UK
11. Hong Kong
12. Norway
13. Taiwan,China
14. Iceland
15. Israel
16. Canada

"The top rankings of Switzerland and the Nordic countries show that good institutions and competent macroeconomic management, coupled with world-class educational attainment and a focus on technology and innovation, are a successful strategy for boosting competitiveness in an increasingly complex global economy." - Augusto Lopez-Claros, Chief Economist; Director, Global Competitiveness Network

"The world economy is not a zero-sum game. Many nations can improve their prosperity if they can improve productivity. The central challenge in economic development, then, is how to create the conditions for rapid and sustained productivity growth." - Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, Harvard Business School

"The process of growth is complex. The Growth Competitiveness Index is an attempt to capture this complexity by modelling growth as a complicated combination of factors that matter differently for different countries." - Xavier Sala-í-Martin, Professor, Economics Department, Columbia University



A leader in this movement is architect Koen Olthuis, who considers floating buildings the wave of the future.

He foresees a world of not only floating houses, but floating roads, hotels, offices, churches, restaurants and conference centers. "I think there are great opportunities for this in America, where the timber used for many homes is good for the water," Olthuis said.

Olthuis, 35, has been focusing on floating architecture since founding his architectural firm Waterstudio.

Watervilla in Leiden, The Netherlands by Waterstudio

Watervilla de Hoef, The Netherlands by Waterstudio

Floating Boulevard, Antwerpen, Belgium
by Waterstudio

Floating and rotating hotel tower, Dubai, UAE by Waterstudio

Health Enjoyment & Challenge Center, Aruba by Waterstudio


Tickets for Seasons Events: € 30, 20 [discount] or 10 [students]

Our Season Events for 2006/2007 are on

the future of Food Design
November 23, 2006, 18:30 - 21:15

the future of Consciousness
January 25, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15

the future of Ambient Intelligence
February 22, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15

the future of Global Workplace

March 29, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15

the future of Success
April 26, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15

the future of Tourism
May 31, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15

Taste of Diversity
June 28, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15

.Club of Amsterdam Open Business Club

Club of Amsterdam Open Business Club
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