OUR eyesight is one of the greatest gifts among the five senses that include hearing, taste, smell and touch. Our eyes receive the light and visual perceptions, which mean the ability to see, interpret or give meaning to visual information that surrounds us in visible light. Scientists claim that the sense of sight provides approximately 80 percent of all the information we receive and process about the world, and removal or restriction of the sense of sight will heighten all our senses.
And to highlight the significance of our eyesight, the Eye Society Premier Eyewear Boutique and Marriott Hotel Cebu hosted a unique, highly sensorial dining experience dubbed, “Dinner in the Dark” where diners discovered a renewed appreciation of their senses while enjoying a four-course meal created by Marriott’s Thai Executive Chef Chachpol Suaisom.
The special blindfolded four-course menu was prepared using ingredients that enlightened the senses through aroma, flavor and texture. Devi P.Leaño, Eye Society AVP briefly delivered a rationale of the event that also benefits the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines.
Eye Society’s Farrah Rodriguez served as our “eyes” for the duration of the dinner. She carefully explained how the dinner would progress before the room was dimmed and our eyes blindfolded.
By using the clock as a point of reference, we oriented ourselves with the water and wine glasses as well as our silverware. She also reminded us to feel the edge of the plates before we eat, smell, and touch our food if we pleased to and gather the food on the center of the plate.
On cue, we put on our blindfolds and were given a short time to adjust to darkness. We did not have a clue about the menu, which was later revealed and shown by video after dinner.
The appetizer was served, Poached Lemongrass Prawn with Pomelo and Fresh Herb Salad. The aroma of lemongrass and sweet basil filled my sense of smell while my taste buds immediately recognized the texture of the plump prawn. Using a fork and knife, cutting the prawn into bite-sized pieces was very challenging. Farrah guided each of us as we ate.
The soup, Mushroom Cappuccino with Cocoa and Tarragon Powder was served in soup cups with handles to our relief. This meant not spilling soup on our clothes. I excitedly identified the mushroom soup using my taste buds and smelled the cocoa and tarragon. Taste and smell are so closely related, which allows us to enjoy the food. This explains why we cannot enjoy flavors when we have colds or our sense of smell is not working.
The main course was Classic Rib Eye and Vegetable in Red Wine Stew. I recognized the meat by the resistance as I tried to use my fork, so I made an effort to use my knife and cut the meat.
Later, Chef Chachpol explained that he had slow-cooked the meat in sauce for several hours to tenderize it. Oh … I successfully enjoyed sips of wine, too in between bites. The dessert, Chocolate Lemongrass Panna Cotta had distinct fragrance that complemented the delightful taste.
We all felt triumphant as we managed to enjoy dinner in stark darkness! I felt a tinge of sadness as I thought of how difficult life can be without eyesight.