Madeleine de Proust

Good morning,

How do cues encountered in everyday life evoke recollections of the past? Dominantly through taste and smell. Which is why we’ve dedicated our festive edition to this theme of memory and the foods that connect us to the past. A Madeleine de Proust is anything that takes a person back to childhood, triggering the impression of reminiscence. The phrase was coined and has since been embedded in our collective culture thanks to the infamous passage from Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time À la recherche du temps perdu, (1871–1922) in which the narrator’s memory is triggered by the sensory delight of eating the small shell-shaped French sponge cake – a Madeleine- dipped in a herbal tea infusion. 

“No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses […] And suddenly the memory revealed itself.”-Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust.


Charles Spence
© Sam Frost

Charles Spence: The science of food and memories

The extraordinarily rich multisensory experiences that fill our daily lives depend upon the way our brains process information from each of our different senses (smell, taste, sight, hearing, and touch). Experimental psychologist at the University of Oxford and author of Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating, Charles Spence has made this phenomena his life’s work. He is specialised in how information is received across our different senses.

Tokuo Kakunio

Legacy & Evolution: A Conversation with a Kaiseki Legend

Chef Kunio Tokuoka has been working in the kitchens of KITCHO, the legendary  Japanese haute cuisine restaurant for close to 40 years and is now running the show. He follows in the hefty footsteps of his grandfather the founder of KITCHO Teiichi Yuki.

Born in 1960, Kunio Tokuoka has brought kaiseki (Japanese haute cuisine) into the public eye with various involvements with the press, to promote not only KITCHO which are some of the world’s most award-winning restaurants, but the intricacy and refinement of kaiseki. 

© Maria Simon

My 20 best dishes in 2020

Every December since 2013 I highlight my 20 favourite dishes of the year, here is my list for 2020.

Five Special Champagnes for The Festive Season

5 Special Champagnes for The Festive Season

Here are my five champagne suggestions worth trying to celebrate the festive season.

Luxeat Digest

This is the first issue of Luxeat’s latest project – Luxeat Digest – a curated monthly recap of the hottest news from the gastronomy world. From now on, with every newsletter, you’ll get the most important foodie news of the month including new and re-openings, events, gastronomy business insight and more.

Singapore’s Hawkers Recognised by Unesco

Singapore’s hawker culture, an integral part of the nation’s culinary identity, has been recognised by Unesco for its cultural significance.

Borscht, Smetana and Crab: Michelin Guide Comes to Moscow

The prestigious French gastronomic guide Michelin said Monday that next year it would launch its first selection of Moscow restaurants, which have recently experienced a renaissance.

The pandemic didn’t stop Tokyo’s foodies from dining out in 2020

What a year. And what a relief to reach the end of it. But before we consign 2020 outright to the reject bin of history, it’s worth looking back for a moment. In hindsight, there were plenty of culinary highlights that helped bring notes of optimism and positivity to these difficult months.

The 10 Coolest Restaurants For 2021

Covid hasn’t killed creativity. And while many of us have curtailed our travel lately, the world’s professional eaters are still out there exploring. In a year that surprises, simple pleasures and heartfelt hospitality mattered more than ever, they’ve been unfurling their napkins in dining rooms from Bangkok to New York to the Faroe Islands.

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