François Chartier 

December 15, 2019

Artificial Intelligence: A New Ingredient for Creativity in Gastronomy

François Chartier is a pioneer when it comes to researching flavours and the science of aromas. For over 25 years he has travelled to vineyards all over the world, tasting more than 60,000 wines. As a sommelier, what most interested him was harmony, even more than the wine itself, and so he looked at science as a way to develop his work. Canadian, a writer, sommelier and cook, Robert M. Parker said of this ‘creator of harmonies’ that he is ‘pure genius!’. Ferrán Adrià and Juli Soler (elBulli) added that he is ‘the world’s number one expert on flavours’. At Madrid Fusión he will present his new project, Artificial Intelligence: A New Ingredient for Creativity in Gastronomy, in collaboration with Sony Corporation Tokyo and its engineers Masahiro Fujita (Sony VP, Senior Chief Researcher, AI Collaboration Office) and Michael Spranger (Researcher/Senior Research Scientist, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc). Always researching and reinventing himself since he was named best sommelier in the world in French wine and spirits (Grand Prix Sopexa, 1994 Paris), the first results of his research into the field of ‘Molecular Harmony and Sommellerie Principle’ – a discipline he created in 2004 – were published in his famous work Papilles et Molécules (Taste Buds and Molecules) that was awarded the prestigious accolade of The World’s Best Innovative Food Book, at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris in 2010. He has published over 30 books, and in 2016, another of his books was launched: L’Essentiel de Chartier. L’ABC des harmonies aromatiques à table et en cuisine, which also won the award for The World’s Best Innovative Food Book. Chartier has worked for many years as a consultant for some of the world’s best chefs, such as Ferrán Adrià of elBulli, Andoni Aduriz at Mugaritz, and Stéphane Modat at the Fairmont Château Frontenac (Quebec, Canada), with whom he created and filmed a television series called Papilles (Taste Buds), shown on TV5 Monde in more than 125 French-speaking countries. His science of aromas has travelled all over the world. At the moment he is developing different aromatic projects in Europe and Asia. Since 2011, his gastronomic mission has been complemented by his work as a producer and entrepreneur of Crafted for Food wines, which he makes in Europe together with other partners, including the famous oenologist, Pascal Châtonnet, from Bordeaux. In addition, in 2013 he teamed up with the Montreal microbrewery Glutenberg to create the Serie Gastronomie: a concept of different seasonal beers based on Chartier’s idea of aromatic harmonies, inspired by culinary experiences and brewed to enhance them. Several of these beers have won prizes at the World Beer Cup Award. In 2015, he became member of the board of The International Society of Neurogastronomy at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, and of UK HealthCare.
Since 2016, he has settled in Barcelona and begun multiple new aromatic projects, including a new concept for an ‘aromatic wine and food menu’ at the Sofía Beso restaurant in the five-star Hotel Sofía. In Tokyo, Japan, he is on the research committee in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Cooking with the SONY Corporation team. His most recent adventure is into the world of Japanese sake, where he is now a master blender at one of Japan’s oldest sake breweries, the Tanaka Sake Brewery. His first sakes were launched around the world in the autumn of 2019.