The Definition of Gourmet: Food, People and Place
You've probably heard the word the word gourmet before. It could have been on your favorite cooking show or maybe on of your fancier friends keeps bringing it up whenever they need to brag.
Either way it is word that is often misunderstood and mistaken as an excuse for food to become overpriced.
In this regard we have opted to dig deep into the word and bring forth its truth. Our opinion is based on the love for good food and is aimed at those who don't mind going the extra mile to experience something special.
History and Origin
Gourmet has evolved from the French term grommets valet which refers to a high end wine merchant. This was a wine broker who was in high demand within French nobility and high society. The term has slowly but surely evolved but still retains its original impression.
Meaning and Use
There are three ways to use the word gourmet,
1. A person who has taken their time to develop their skill in fine dining and as a result they are generally considered a connoisseur by society.
2. A meal or drink that has been prepared with the highest quality ingredients. These ingredients are generally exotic and therefore only available at select merchants often at a premium price point.
3. The preparation of the meal or the drink requires specialized equipment and technique. These skills can only be taught by one who has already mastered the craft through apprenticeship. A good example of such an offering would be gourmet cheese which requires special techniques and ingredients to be prepared.
Why is gourmet so important?
Now that we understand the meaning of this word let us get into the logic behind its existence. Maybe it could reveal a few secrets that were previously reserved for food cuisine nerds.
1. Gourmet is special and different
Unlike regular food gourmet products are not prepared with nourishment or sustenance in mind but rather opulence and abundance. It is developed with the expectations that it will stand out from a list of the food and drinks that you are used to. It is not everyday food but rather special and different from the rest.
2. Gourmet marks a special occasion
We all have something to celebrate in our lives. It could be a birthday, anniversary, graduation of even a job promotion. It is during these times that we must bring out a special bottle of wine or dine at a gourmet restaurant to mark the occasion. This way we can cherish the moment forever and share something special with our friends and family.
3. Gourmet is art
The culinary arts have been in existence for as long as nobility and high society have existed. In this regard gourmet takes center stage and provides a platform for various participants to try and showcase their view of what food should look and taste like.
4. Gourmet is heritage
It could be caviar from the Caspian sea or truffles from the Perigord in France. Either way gourmet servings represent a region and the heritage of its people. I can bet you that some people don't consider anything Neapolitan pizza unless the tomato sauce comes from the volcanic plains around the Mount of Vesuvius.
5. Gourmet is perfection
There's nothing more distinct in the gourmet world than the absolute desire to achieve perfection. Nothing is off the table when it comes to ingredients, equipment and even personnel. This is all in the pursuit of the perfect version of a dish.
The Gourmet Restaurant
Now that we understand what drives gourmet let us understand what makes a genuine gourmet restaurant.
1. The perfect recipe
A legitimate gourmet restaurant must stick to the basic principles of its recipes. They must not stray from the highest quality ingredients or supplement with any inferior products. Any deviation from their standard and their fanatics will notice and start to complain.
2. The perfect chef
The one tasked with preparing a gourmet meal must be well versed in the technique. They must have received training through apprenticeship and have accrued a decent amount of experience before their name is recognizable.
3. The perfect technique
The equipment and techniques used in the preparation of gourmet food is unlike any other. No shortcuts can be taken and no inferior batch will be served. A meal can only be considered gourmet if it has been prepared in the highest standard.
4. The perfect location.
Heritage plays a big part in gourmet food and its culture. A restaurant must therefore be set in the most appropriate location for the food and drink to be well appreciated. The perfect lighting, furniture, decor and even music must accompany a perfect meal.
5. The perfect people.
You can only invite the perfect guest to accompany you to a gourmet restaurant. This meal symbolizes that you want t share something special with someone special.
The Gourmet Crowd
This is the part of gourmet culture that gets a bad rep in the mainstream media. They are usually misrepresented as snobbish people who take food too seriously. Here is the truth.
1. Food connoisseurs are amazing people
I've personally had the privilege of meeting some of the kindest and most genuine of souls on my journey towards understanding high dining. They are people who want to enjoy the moment with a very special meal or drink. Mainstream media has done these people a disservice.
2. You can also become a connoisseur
Don't let the world lie to you that you don't deserve something nice every once in a while. Don't let them deny you to opportunity to refine your palette and discover what the world has to offer. Take action and start your journey today.
This information is meant to educate and inspire you to find the courage to admit that you need something special in your life.
You want to reward yourself for all the long nights you stayed up studying for your law school final. Unfortunately another night in a noisy bar just won't cut it.
Start your gourmet journey today!