What Makes A Food A Gourmet Food?

Anyone who likes to tinker away in the kitchen wants to be a gourmet cook. You want to be able to craft together something special with wonderful flavors that set it apart from lesser dishes (i.e.: all the regular stuff). You want people to sit down at your table, take a bite, and exclaim “Wow! This dish is fabulous!” This should be the reaction to true gourmet food.

Gourmet food is a style of cooking that is found in any type of food, whether it is Italian, French, Modern American, Asian, or any other cuisine. But what makes a food a gourmet food? Does it require special training or culinary school? Can just anyone cook it? Gourmet food, by definition, is a high-quality food that is more sophisticated and takes greater preparation. But it is also a state of mind. There is no one ingredient that you can add to turn a simple dish into a gourmet one. There is certainly no one way to cook a standard meal so that it becomes gourmet. There are many methods, many styles, many recipes that you can use to make a simple food into a gourmet food.

What Factors Make A Food Gourmet?

Many people associate gourmet food with great taste. Yes, it should taste good. But I have a mother that makes a mean meatloaf and although it is delicious, it is not what I would call gourmet. So taste is not everything there are other factors that make a food gourmet. One of the things that makes a food a gourmet food is meticulous preparation. Often, a cook will have to carefully monitor a dish as it cooks in order to get it just right. Many gourmet foods are designed to be served under the right conditions so over-cooking or under-cooking can ruin a gourmet dish.

Quality and price of the food is also a big factor in what classifies food as gourmet. Certain foods have always been more costly than others. For example, when was the last time you saw lobster or ribeye on the cheapo’ section of a menu? Or even rack of lamb? That is because these foods are high in quality and more expensive. The general rule in the food business is, if you pay more for it, it must be more sophisticated.

You Put What In That?


But preparation and quality are not the only things that make a food a gourmet food. Ingredients play a big role. Again, it can be just a state of mind but generally, you are going to need more than a dash of salt and pepper to turn a simple dish into a gourmet dish. It all depends on what kind of cuisine you are preparing. Some of these ingredients you might not use more than once or twice a year and they can also be quite expensive. Sometimes, the ingredients might also be hard to find. I am always challenged when preparing any sort of Asian dish because our local grocery doesn’t have a big selection of Asian ingredients. You may have to do a little traveling to find the best ingredients. This kind of connects back to the section above about preparation. If you take the time to travel anywhere just to make a meal, it should be viewed as something special.

Gourmet Food As An Art

The business of gourmet food is more than just cooking a dish and slapping it down in a big mess on a plate. Many cooks and critics view gourmet food as an art. It is about creating something unique that is not seen at the dinner table every other night. It is about putting your soul into what you cook. Gourmet food at some of the finer restaurants is often presented on a plate with a bit of artistic flair. You might have just a swirl of chocolate drizzle on that cake or a piece of garnish added for a bit of color. When preparing gourmet food, it is often like creating a masterpiece work of art that appeals to our vision as well as our taste.