Renowned chef Grant Achatz of Alinea lectured at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences on October 11. Here are some of his tips on "flavor bouncing" to extend your culinary repertoire.
Achatz posted a brief primer on what he means by flavor bouncing and how it works. Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvhjbYXDdu4
Or you can read a detailed account of the "Reinventing Food Texture & Flavor" lecture by attendee and blogger Awsomesauce Eats that highlights how flavors can be heightened by smells, textures and color. http://awesomesauceeats.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/harvard-seas-lecture-101110-grant-achatz-part-1/
If you aren't sure what ingredients make for good complements to your base, you might want to consult an online food combination search engine/database like foodpairing.be or there is always your tongue.
If you prefer to just taste some of Achatz's balanced flavors you will need to fly to Chicago and get a seat at his restaurant Alinea or coming soon (Fall 2010) revisioned bar The Aviary. Should you want to experience Next, a nightly "exploration of world cuisine" dining event to open in Chicago soon, tickets will be available via NextRestaurant.com.