I don’t know about you, but I find the evolution of the culinary world to be completely fascinating. These days, everything from the groceries that we buy to the to the cocktails that we consume are drastically different than they were even ten years ago. Processed foods are becoming a thing of the past, and simple, whole foods are coming back into the spotlight. Chefs, mixologists and home cooks alike are focusing on very organic, rustic, and approachable preparations and executions. Wine makers are bottling countless fantastic wines for under $20, and exceptional burger bars are becoming the epitome of what we consider to be “five star” restaurants.
However, as much as we want approach-ability and accessibility in our food and beverages, we also want everything to have the highest amount of sex appeal. We love to be turned on, and we love it when all of our senses get involved in the action. Our culinary professionals are now playing the role of “showmen” and we certainly can’t seem get enough of that show. In addition to that, we also can’t seem to put down our iPhones. Thanks to the lovely folks at Apple and Instagram, we have all magically become the most incredible photographers that ever existed ever. Personally speaking, I take so many pictures of the meals I make that I can’t figure out why in the heck Bon Appetit won’t hire me.
The “good” news, though, is that I’m not the only addict out there. I recently read an article (or maybe I saw this on a documentary – I don’t remember) that was all about how the average length of a meal in a restaurant has increased by nearly 1.5 hours due to our society’s need to capture every inch of what is on our plate or in our glass. Think about that for a second. We’re sitting in restaurants more than twice as long as we used to. One can only hope that we’re focusing the same amount of attention on our friends/companions/spouses as we are to the photo shoot of the pile of lettuce that’s on our plates.
So, yeah. We’ve come a long way, all right. Gone are the days of Tuna Noodle Casserole; welcome to an era filled with craft beer, grass fed beef burgers and duck confit. There is a lot to take in, and there is a lot to be enjoyed. But maybe we’ll soon realize that it’s okay to put down our phones and really focus our attention on the overall experience, rather than a photo shoot.