28 Grams of Happiness

Why do we like a certain food? Will healthy food make us feel happier? And if so, how can we make healthy food taste better? If depression and anxiety can be a result of an unhealthy intestinal flora, how can we improve that? And why is chocolate so tasty and does it really make us happier? What does food do to our brain and can we anticipate the effects? Could we get happier and smarter by picking the right things to eat?


Food design studio THE EATELIER researched on how to cultivate emotional well-being through food. The studio collected and processed scientific findings and subsequently, joined forces with creative chef PIPPENS. Together they translated this scientific research into the culinary world. They answered to the questions above by creating an eye opening, educational and exciting lunch & dinner experience during Dutch Design Week 2018. At their table they were able to receive 28 guests and take them on a journey through the research by serving them a tasting menu of 18 courses that was created based on the research.

This lunch or dinner experience will give a peak into the research on how to cultivate emotional well-being through food. The research follows a journey through three layers. The first is the superficial layer, our senses, the way we perceive the world around us. By analyzing how we experience food, its tastes, flavors, smells and textures, we can break down why we enjoy what we enjoy so much. The second layer will dive deeper into existing groundbreaking and innovative research on the impact of food on our brain. Newly discovered scientific facts in the world of psychobiotics, for example, have identified foods that enhance our moods as well as our mental capacities, learning skills and the speed at which we process our thoughts. The final layer explores how we can cultivate our physical health, and in particular the health of our digestive system. While focusing on our intestinal bacterial flora and how to properly feed it in order to cure and prevent mental discomfort, we also look at the potential impact of this research on the development of a more preventive and personalized healthcare.


Alongside the food experience proposed by The Eatelier and PIPPENS, an homologous exhibition, 28 grams of happiness, took place.

The exhibition has been curated by Justine Kontou. Kontou creates multi-sensorial experiences to enhance well-being in spaces. By means of the integration of nature, mindful design and art, which stimulates the senses, she tries to better attune the environment to the needs of mankind.

For the exhibition 28 grams of happiness, Kontou selected work by various designers and design studios to bring visitors in a positive state of mind. Many works and installations are inspired by the wonders of nature and therefore generate awe in people. It tends to let your mind go from everyday life and worries and guides you into being in the “present moment”, bringing the total experience to a complete journey in the pursuit of happiness.

Photography by Ruud Scheerens & Rive Roshan