By Zechariah Mehler
Like any other medium food can be art. The chef is an artist, forming a harmonious amalgam of components to create flavors that excite the palate. Thanks to the growing number of gourmet restaurants and the tireless work of the Food Network more and more people are accepting food as an artistic medium; people expect fancier and more bizarre foods as part of their culinary repertoire. The upside of this is that the market has become saturated (often in a good way) by high-end eateries serving food that utilize the finest ingredients to make specialized dishes. The downside of this saturation is the same problem that occurs in any artistic medium: people jump on the bandwagon, otherwise known as the rise of culinary hackery.
Think for a moment and you’ll see what I mean. That fancy restaurant you tried the last time you were on a date or with your spouse; the candlelit pottery barn-styled room where you were served dishes that you couldn’t pronounce. When the food came you tried it, but something was missing. You couldn’t put your finger on it, but it seemed that you were eating a pale imitation of something you saw in a better restaurant and here, on your plate, sat a passionless pastiche.