Gourmet…. Webster’s dictionary defines it as: n. a lover of good eating: an epicure.
Okay, I can live with that. I guess my problem with the word is not as a noun but as an adjective. Gourmet food served here! She is a gourmet cook The food is really gourmet.
The problem with the use of the gourmet title is that to most of us it denotes the very best, top of the heap, special. We form “gourmet” dinner clubs, go out for a gourmet meal or worse of all prepare gourmet meals for our family and friends.
Here is my grip: in order to prepare a gourmet meal we must be willing to shop for the very best of ingredients, cook with only the right pots and pans and on the proper “gourmet” stove. This is not enough, we must also set the expectation of the attendees that they are enjoying a gourmet meal. This in turn requires a specialized knowledge on the part of the attendees; they must know just what makes up a gourmet meal. They must understand not only that it taste good, but that it has the right ingredients, has been prepared with just the right touches and served with impeccable style. Isn’t this just a little too “gourmet”? Talk about putting pressure on everyone.
Let’s get back to the days when friends and family were invited to have a good meal, good conversation and good company. This is not to condone not looking for the best ingredients you can find and afford. Nor is it right to slap something together and not try to make it good. I am a good cook, okay I am a very good cook, but please don’t call me a gourmet cook. This doesn’t mean that I occasionally don’t strive for creating better food, just that I fully accept and appreciate the good cook title. Let the “gourmet cooking clubs” handle the pressure, let’s just lift a good glass of wine and enjoy the food; besides when was the last time you saw a refrigerator magnate that said “Kiss the Gourmet”. nuff said!