Being a gourmand isn't a trend, it's lifestyle

Enjoying all aspects of food

Hi, my name is Kristin. I’m a foodie. (At least that’s the term that is used.)

Does it sound like I’m obsessed? I am. I freely admit it. People who know me will confirm that. But the term foodie has some nasty connotations, so I’d like to clarify my obsession.

Maybe I’ll find some kindred spirits in the process. (Feel free to send me a message if this column speaks to you. We can meet for pastry and geek out together.)

The word foodie is, by nature, diminutive. I chose gourmand years ago because it had more dignity. it referred to my love for food in all its forms, not just the refined world of the gourmet. A gourmand is not as indulgent or slovenly as a glutton, rather more passionate and enthusiastic.

Once social media opened up and people began taking pictures of all their food, anyone who liked a food trend became a foodie. Being a foodie was as simple as having an interest in food or eating as a hobby, instead of as a necessity.

A gourmand eats out of enthusiasm and interest. Does that make it a hobby? While I have been known to eat too much and to work out for the sake of being able to indulge more often, I seek to enjoy food in all its forms. I am all about understanding how edible things grow, respecting how farmers propagate them and applauding how the hardworking folks in food and drink service turn ingredients into finished foods and drinks.

I savour every last morsel I consume. As a gourmand, I would rather skip a meal than wolf one down in my car. Even fast food deserves to be given proper attention. This also speaks to the surroundings we have when we eat. Ideally, one should at least eat in a pleasant environment, especially if one doesn’t have company with whom they can enjoy a meal.

I realize most people don’t have the interest level I do. I have no expectations of other diners, except that they arrive hungry if they accept my invitation for a meal. I know some folks eat to live—sustenance is all that concerns them when it comes to food. That’s fine by me.

I do hope to encourage people to taste new dishes, grow new edibles in their garden or cook new recipes if that’s where their interest lies. As a gourmand it is in my nature to share, whether it is food or ideas.

So, are there any folks out there who might like to do a recipe swap this holiday season? Or perhaps a cookie or canning exchange? Is anyone else staring at a pantry that has items aching to be tasted by new tastebuds?

If that sounds like you, contact me at this special email address [email protected]. I will reply to everyone and if we have enough people, we will organize a community exchange.

To the rest of you out there, thank you for putting up with my indulgences each week. I value your readership as well.

If there is something particularly interesting to you in the food and drink realm you think I should write about, please click on the contact link and let me know. I promise to consider every suggestion seriously.

As the season of indulgence begins, I wish all of you a healthy and happy time.

I’ll close with the three best things I have learned in my years as a dedicated gourmand:

1. Our tastebuds grow throughout our lives, just like our hair and fingernails. So encourage your kids to keep tasting things, and give that vegetable you don’t like another try.

2. When growing a garden (especially one with heirloom seeds and compost), remember that a weed is any plant growing where you don’t want it. Pull it out, before it takes over.

3. There is nothing as wonderful as a group of people gathered around a table for the simple common purpose of enjoying a meal. Let them dig in and watch relationships blossom.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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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.

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