The Joys of Eating Alone?

Martin is away cooking for friends and family in Montreal this week, so I am writing solo. I am eating solo too, and that prompted me to use that as the topic for this week.

Eating alone is something that does not happen too often for most of us. We are by nature a social species and eating is very much a part of our social culture. Even with the hectic pace of today, meals are often consumed with others around. For example, we still eat lunch at our desks in an open office, chatting over cubicle walls to our colleagues. However, there are people out there who are alone, and it seems for them food often becomes more of a necessity. I saw a movie recently where Diane Lane plays a recently divorced woman living a lonely life, and she tells the butcher she isn’t interested in hearing the specials because she eats alone, standing up at the sink. It is a sad truth that eating by yourself can often take some of the joy out of the process.

The good thing to remember about eating alone is that you can bend the rules much more than you could in a group situation! Sitting on the couch with a sandwich is OK if the only one watching you is your pet. Eating ice cream out of the tub can be a liberating experience as long as you don’t make it a daily occurrence! And let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy the slurping sound you get when you suck the bottom of a milkshake out with your straw? Dining companions will frown at best, and may even cuff you on the back of the head if you try it in public.

I would like to take this opportunity to crusade for single diners everywhere, and ask that you offer them not sympathy but admiration. If you notice someone at the local shops buying for one, offer them a smile that says “Good for you!” If you see a lone diner in a restaurant, toast their good health and celebrate the fact that they are still making an effort to enjoy food and the rituals of dining. Let’s all do our part to minimize the number of people eating over the sink!

In closing, may I offer this sentiment from the French writer, Voltaire: “Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.” Pleasures are best shared, but there is nothing that says you cannot share them with yourself. For those of us who do share our meals with people, let’s be grateful for their company. For the times we share the food only with our thoughts, let’s make sure they are still happy thoughts.

Bon appetit!

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories