What is a gourmet?

Lobster and champagne with white tablecloth ambience or burgers and cocktails at the street food market – what does gourmet actually mean? We asked chefs and canteen cooks, gastro aficionados and food lovers, cocktail experts and wine connoisseurs. And we learned that it doesn’t always have to be caviar.

Arrangement of an oyster

‘Anyone who appreciates good food and drinks, knows a thing or two about it, and takes time to enjoy it is a gourmet.’
Olga Jorich, co-owner of EssBar  

‘A gourmet can be found in a Michelin-decorated restaurant and cocktail bar. After all, people who like to eat well also enjoy great drinks. In large cities around the world, there are restaurants that mix cocktails to pair with the food.’
Nic Shanker, founder of Starkeepers

‘A gourmet is someone who can enjoy the moment: just sitting in the sun with a magnificent glass of wine.’
Pavlina Petreska, operator of the restaurant Alter Markt and the cafés Overstolz and New York in Hilden 

‘A gourmet is someone who recognises, tastes and appreciates culinary craftsmanship.’
Fatih Yalcin, owner of Sugo Handmade Pasta  

‘A gourmet tries out new things, engages with the food, asks questions and listens intently.’
Agata Reul, owner of Agata’s

‘Being a gourmet means something different for every guest, because everyone has their own unique taste and preferences.’ 
Alexander Aisenbrey, CEO of the Öschberghof resort

Philipp Lange’s description of grilled oyster sounds simply superb. The menu reads ‘Gillardeau no.0, grilled, sake kasu, cauliflower, cucumber, rice vinegar’.
Without alcohol, but with an effect – the blue tea in the ice cube reacts to the tonic water and turns purple. The drink’s alcohol-free distillate is designed to replicate gin.
A dish of the restaurant EssBar.

‘As a gourmet, I take responsibility for our culture of indulgence. I promote blissful happiness, even for future generations.’
Andrea Galotti, owner of the restaurant erasmus in Karlsruhe 

‘The German word for gourmet, Feinschmecker, means “fine taste”, in other words a connoisseur of refined food and drinks. But that’s far too stereotypical and elitist. I prefer to think of them as people who appreciate quality food. High quality is not necessarily an artistically decorated plate, but rather true appreciation of the product.’
Martin Behle, Commercial Board METRO AG 

‘It’s a way of life, a culinary experience that you share with others. Being a gourmet doesn’t always mean being a connoisseur, but rather a lover of good food and an admirer of the talent behind each dish.’
Olivier Batel, Managing Director of Classic Fine Foods (CFF) UK and member of the CFF Management Board 

‘To me, a gourmet is anyone who looks for and appreciates good products. Unfortunately, in Germany, people often buy sinfully expensive barbecues, but the cheapest meat.’
Dirk Wittau, catering and event chef of METRO’s Inn

‘For me, a gourmet is a person who feels joy when they find good products, carefully assembled, on their plate and in their glass. Ideally, in friendly company.’ 
Michael Widmer, manager of the Düsseldorf wholesale store and Rhineland regional manager 

‘I’m vegan, which limits me to a certain degree, but also opens my eyes to new ways of doing things. What the professionals can create without animal ingredients is nothing short of a miracle. This is increasingly reflected at the Gourmet Festival. I have a lot of fun trying out new things.’
Hendrik Schellkes, Wellfairs GmbH, organiser of the Gourmet Festival

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