Sensory deception ... meat fruit.
Heston Blumenthal says the future lies in the multi-sensory perception of flavour.
''Eating involves all the senses simultaneously,'' he says. ''The nose and mouth detect separate and distinct qualities in food. The mouth tastes, the nose smells. Taste and aroma together equal flavour.''
Hence his famous creations: ''pickled onion'' spray to go with battered fish and chips; sardines-on-toast ice-cream; ''hot and iced'' tea; and the nitro-poached vodka and lime sour cocktail.
''The more you can create food that makes a concerted appeal to all the senses - sound, sight, touch, taste and smell,'' he says, ''the more intense, immediate and satisfying the eating experience will be.''
Here are five of Blumenthal's most ground-breaking dishes.
Nitro-scrambled egg and bacon ice-cream (2000)
Breakfast is reinvented as dessert, with a bacon and egg ice-cream mixture that's ''cooked'' at the table with liquid nitrogen, to be served with candied bacon, pain perdu, tomato jam and a nice cuppa - of tea jelly.
Snail porridge (2003)
''Part of our expectation of food is conditioned by language,'' says Blumenthal, who combines Helix pomatia, the Roman snail, with porridge oat risotto, flavoured with the traditional French accompaniments for snails - parsley, garlic and butter.
Sound of the sea
The ''sand'' is tapioca, strewn with seaweed, abalone, clams and cockles. An incoming tide of shellfish foam clings. But that's not all. Convinced that sound enhances the sense of taste, Blumenthal sets the table with knife, fork and a conch shell that conceals an i-Pod downloaded with the sound of crashing waves and the call of gulls. You taste, you smell, you experience a day at the seaside.
This idea grew from Blumenthal's excitement about methylcellulose, a chemical compound that sets when it's hot and melts when it cools. So he created an apple and whisky sorbet, served on a nest of twigs with a perfume of leather, wood, fire, tobacco and whisky, and lit with a cigar torch.
Inspired by mediaeval British cookery, Blumenthal used meat to create an entire ''faux fruit bowl'' for his TV series, Heston's Medieval Feast. The mandarin meat fruit - a luscious chicken liver and foie gras parfait perfectly encased in fresh, citrussy mandarin gel - is a signature dish at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal restaurant, which just happens to be in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London.