Check out the video that accompanies this article.
I am a firm believer that if you can explain it to a kid, you're on the right track. Maybe I was a little slow in school. But if it didn't make simple sense to me, I just gave up on it because I needed a simple explanation. I decided to start implementing this philosophy into our work at moto. It's really simple and it goes like this: If we can explain it to our child customers (and there are many, believe it or not) in 20 seconds and they understand it, then we are on the right track.
One day I walked into work and we were about to start our brainstorming meeting. We did the usual go around the kitchen and chip in an idea routine. It's a requirement that everyone offers up a new idea everyday. I would usually play devil's advocate and try to shoot down the ideas that I thought would be either boring or just not unique. It's my strategy. And it usually weeds out impracticality. Sure, it's never fun being "that guy" that doesn't get his idea on the menu for a couple months but it forces people to think in the simplest of terms. Things that are ultimately complex must have a simple end user experience if they are to be successful.
The iPhone is a terrific example of that. Sure, that is a consumer product and I am a chef. Worlds apart. However, in the end, food that is complex in preparation must be easy to understand once consumed.
Look at a picture, eat it, it tastes like the picture. Simple. It's made of seaweed, soy and rice. Sushi made from sushi. Sure it's ridiculous, but you never know where this idea may go. Click here to see where this idea went.
Back to the brainstorming meeting. One of the Chefs mentions that we should start taking pictures of dishes and serving those pictures along with the dishes. Sort of a déjà vu experience. The ridiculous got a little crazy. Our first dish was a play on seafood with caviar and champagne. Simple, elegant and insane. But so easy a kid could understand it. So it was perfect for our guests.
In this dish we had some nice smoked trout roe, peeky toe crabmeat and carbonated grapes. "Champagne Grapes" as we liked to call them. They provided a nice subtle sweet and cleansing overtone to the salty oceanic seafood. A good balance.
After I spent years tinkering with this carbonated fruit I decided to see if I could get a kid to understand it. So I formed a production company and started a youtube channel to do just that.
You never know where such and idea can go...
Now watch this video and do try this at home.