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Old 01-16-2015, 09:56 AM   #1
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A "Gourmet Cook"

In my group of friends and family, I'm one of the very few who see cooking as something more than a necessity for survival. I'm a foodie. I enjoy cooking, learning the science of cooking and exploring new recipes and ingredients. I enjoy talking about cooking. When I cook, I tend to focus on comfort foods. Many of my friends and family are very good cooks and make outstanding meals. It's just not an interest to them.

When these friends and family introduce or talk about me to others, they often describe be as a "gourmet cook". "This is my friend Andy, he's a gourmet cook". This is mildly annoying as I don't see my self as one. I'm not even sure what one is. It just seems to be a convenient label they can apply.

Am I alone in this?
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:01 AM   #2
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When I invite my friends for dinner, the comment is "eating at your house is like going to a restaurant and having a gourmet chef cook." I'm a rudimentary cook. I do the best I can, but I am not a chef.
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:28 AM   #3
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I expect you are not at all alone in this. I have had similar experiences.
Speaking as a person who enjoys cooking and experimenting with novel ingredients, as well as experimenting with novel arrangements of common ingredients, I fear that folks in general will always view such a person as a "gourmet cook."

For your consideration:
From Merriam-Webster -
gour·met
noun \ˈgu̇r-ˌmā, gu̇r-ˈ\ : a person who enjoys and knows a lot about good food and wine.
and from Macmillan -
a gourmet cook is someone who can make very good food.

I am of the opinion that includes the majority of the good folks at D.C.
For what it's worth, I recommend you simply smile and say "Thank you"
when someone makes such a comment or introduction.
Just my 2 cents, mind you.
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:34 AM   #4
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IMO the problem is what the word has come to mean. It reminds me of the old Gourmet aisle in grocery stores that were filled with all sorts of odd, pretentious, over priced items covered in dust!

IMO a gourmet is someone who understands how to select, prepare and present food in a way that allows it to be enjoyed at its very best.

I consider myself a home cook with gourmet tendencies!
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:43 AM   #5
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Hoot: I do smile and say thank you. It's not something that's worth making an issue over.

Aunt Bea: I suspect the people who use the word couldn't provide a reasonable definition.
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:52 AM   #6
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Andy, to me, they just mean it as a compliment. They might also be gourmet cooks if they can prepare and present a delicious meal, even if they don't enjoy it the way you do.

Here is the definition I found online:

A gourmet chef is a chef of particularly high caliber of cooking talent and skill.

I don't know if there would be a difference between a gourmet chef and a gourmet cook.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:16 AM   #7
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I think of a gourmet cook as one who goes to high end gourmet markets and buys the best of everything to cook with, that's definitely not me. I'm pretty cost conscious, but go for very tasty and most often, comfort food.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPa View Post
Andy, to me, they just mean it as a compliment. They might also be gourmet cooks if they can prepare and present a delicious meal, even if they don't enjoy it the way you do.

Here is the definition I found online:

A gourmet chef is a chef of particularly high caliber of cooking talent and skill.

I don't know if there would be a difference between a gourmet chef and a gourmet cook.

Carol, I think if you do your cooking at home, you're a cook. To be called a chef, you are usually in a commercial kitchen of one kind or other. A chef is responsible for all aspects of running a kitchen - menu planning, ordering, hiring, scheduling, etc.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:24 AM   #9
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I've had the phrases "chef" and "gourmet" used by friends and family to describe my cooking to others. Although I would never describe myself that way, I appreciate what they are trying to say (and it's somewhat flattering they would think that) so I don't get upset. I always clarify and tell people that I'm not a professional, but just someone who loves to cook.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
I've had the phrases "chef" and "gourmet" used by friends and family to describe my cooking to others. Although I would never describe myself that way, I appreciate what they are trying to say (and it's somewhat flattering they would think that) so I don't get upset. I always clarify and tell people that I'm not a professional, but just someone who loves to cook.
+1 Ditto here. I love to cook and love to cook for friends and family what they want to eat. On my own, I would eat popcorn every night.
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