Since we’re talking about food, restaurants and all that we thought we should explore the minds of the 20 – 30 something’s that have graduated from secondary learning institutions and see if their thoughts are any different than from the 40 – 60 year olds. What we are finding is we are more alike than we thought and if you find that a little scary then consider that facebook and twitter likely wouldn’t exist without them. From the group that brought us, “You are what you tweet” we ask these questions and find answers that you may agree with.
Food Artists or Farmers That take Great Pictures
They are worth a thousand words – where ever the conversation is held.
When browsing the produce section at my local market, I could choose between ‘regular’ tomatoes or ‘local organic’ tomatoes. The organic tomatoes were smaller, I knew they would spoil quicker, and they were much more expensive. The non-organic tomatoes were larger and less expensive. However, below the pile of organic tomatoes was a photo with a description of the farm they were grown at. In this photo I could see the smiling face of a family of farmers framed by the rolling rows of sunny green crops behind them.
I’m in a generation of eaters who are wary of being advertised to. We who grew up with images of sugary cereals commercials and fast food toys— our coming-of-age story includes the first time we realized we could make our own salads, anytime, and that they would be delicious. We say, yes I am a consumer— I consume FRESH LOCALLY GROWN VEGETABLES. I have chosen my own consumption.
In making the sorts of choices that define ourselves we want to know the whole story. We even give more value to greater story. Add a frame, a title, a artist biography, and you have more ways to be familiar with the artist. When you purchase such art you are appreciating an artist for the time that they have dedicated to being an artist. We can imagine the artist and the time they spend in their studio, studying other artists, of their notebooks filled with sketches that would lead to the presentation.
The phrase “Food Artisan” is similar– when we are purchasing local, organic food, we are appreciating the food “artist” for their time spent creating relationships with the farmers, considering the environmental impact of their choices, learning and cultivating their craft. It is as though you have made a personal friendship with those who grow and prepare your food, and that you are inviting these people to your home for dinner for a night of conversation. That’s the sort of consumption that the new generation of foodies finds delicious.
Why We Eat at Restaurants
Why go to a restaurant when you can prepare food at home or get it tossed at you from a food truck? Here are my top 3 reasons that have little to do with food itself:
1. When we are in a restaurant we are temporarily suspended from consumer culture. We don’t have to do anything, really. We are paying to be able to sit there, at peace. We are only asked if we would like anything else to make us even happier to be spending time there. When we want to set aside the stress of work and clear our heads– those are the times I find myself at a restaurant, my only thought on what I ought to order.
2. The total artistry of the restaurant experience. Enjoying food has become a highbrow culture, with its awards, its maestros, its televised performances. It has developed a similar cultural apparatus to the one for art, with its criticism, appreciation, memoir, and debate. But food itself is not art. It is sensory, not symbolic— there is no tragedy, no anger, only comfort, delight, maybe nostalgia. But when you treat yourself to a restaurant, you are treating yourself to a whole performance of not only food sensations, but also to people and culture.
3. The small comforts of being served. Example: Sometimes I enjoy having a waitress come by and pour coffee into a mug for me. My vision of a perfect brunch scene is: the mug is a solid color made of porcelain. The server seems to appear from nowhere to say “More coffee?”. I only need respond “Thank you.” Cheerful steam rises from a bottomless stainless steel carafe. My morning conversation continues as unbroken as shower thoughts. So hot I may only sip it.