Wiki Gourmet and Foodie Differences
A gourmet is a person with a sensitive and discriminating palate, and who is knowledgeable in fine food and drink or haute cuisine. The word is from the Frenchgourmet, a valet in charge of the wines. It is often used as an adjective for meals of especially high quality, whose makers or preparers have used special effort or art in presentation or cooking the meal, or for facilities equipped for preparing such meals, such as a restaurant. The term and the practice may have negative connotations of elitism or snobbery, but is often used positively to describe people of refined taste and passion.
Gourmet is often used to modify another noun: gourmet cooking; gourmet restaurants. (French, from Old French, alteration (influenced by gourmand, glutton; see Gourmand) of groumet, servant, valet in charge of wines, from Middle English grom, boy, valet.) Usage note: A gourmet is a person with discriminating taste in food and wine, as is a gourmand. Gourmand can also mean one who enjoys food in great quantities. An epicure is much the same as a gourmet, but the word may sometimes carry overtones of excessive refinement.
Foodie is often used by the media as a conversational synonym for gourmet. The word was coined synchronously by Gael Greene and by Paul Levy and Ann Barr, co-authors of The Official Foodie Handbook (1984). But there are important distinctions to be made between the two terms. Some gourmets would not consider themselves foodies and many foodies would not consider themselves gourmets. Generally speaking, a foodie is a person who has a special interest in food, even foods at which a self-identified gourmet would turn up his nose.
Certain events such as wine tastings and bake-offs cater to people who consider themselves gourmets and foodies, while publications such as Gourmet Magazine often serve gourmets with food columns and features.
Foodie is an informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink. The word was coined in 1984 by Paul Levy, Ann Barr, and Mat Sloan for their book The Official Foodie Handbook.
Distinguished from gourmet
Although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, foodies differ from gourmets in that gourmets are epicures of refined taste who may or may not be professionals in the food industry, whereas foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news. Gourmets simply want to eat the best food, whereas foodies want to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary, and about the science, industry, and personalities surrounding food. For this reason, foodies are sometimes viewed as obsessively interested in all things culinary.
Foodies are a distinct hobbyist group in the United States. Typical foodie interests and activities include the food industry, wineries and wine tasting, food science, following restaurant openings and closings, food distribution, food fads, health and nutrition, and restaurant management. A foodie might develop a particular interest in a specific item, such as the best egg cream or burrito. Many publications have food columns that cater to foodies. Interest by foodies in the 1980s and 1990s gave rise to the Food Network and other specialized food programming, popular films and television shows about food such as Top Chef and Iron Chef, a renaissance in specialized cookbooks, specialized periodicals such as Gourmet Magazine and Cook's Illustrated, growing popularity of farmers' markets, food-oriented websites like Zagat's and Yelp, publishing and reading food blogs (a number of people photograph and post on the Internet every meal they ever make or consume), specialized kitchenware stores like Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table, and the institution of the celebrity chef.