Totem represents a new type of social dishes. It’s a food that relies not so much on it’s flavour or unusual form factor but on the overall experiences of dining in a group people. It is a dish that unites the dining table in a ritual and boosts social interaction among people surrounding it.
It all starts with the menu, where our party has to choose between cheese and chocolate versions of the totem dish. As they feel like having dessert already, they unanimously settle on the chocolate one.
Shortly after the dish arrives at the table. It is an array of rings along with a special bowl. The rings are made from an assortment of chocolate types. From tender milk chocolate, to spicy dark chocolate with chili pepper.
It’s now time for our guests to decide in which order the rings are to be stacked up in a totem pole inside the bowl. A spirited conversation sparked regarding which taste goes well together, and which ones are better not mixed. Finally the party agrees to go with some classic semisweet chocolate at the top of the column while picking more and more exotic ingredients the lower down the structure they go. They even went as far as to end the entire thing with a ring of sea salt chocolate at the pole’s foundation.
When the totem pole is erected, a spherical burner is brought to the table, placed atop the structure and then ignited. As the burner heats up it begins to slowly melt the rings one by one producing a hot chocolate sauce. The sauce is scooped from the sides of the totem with various snacks, like fruit pieces, chips and crackers. With the structure melting further down, new ingredients begin to kick in into the mix. This keeps the taste of the sauce fresh and dynamic.
This, combined with a variety of possible ingredients and their combination guarantees the uniqueness of that each dining experience with the totem dish.