Is consuming food the same as experiencing art? Even if you think it sounds like baloney, you will have to admit that food can prompt a range of experiences – you can be attracted by the taste, smell or appearance. The concept of art can also be open to interpretation, but for the purposes of this blog, let’s say art is something you can appreciate aesthetically but also something that makes you feel strongly or makes you think. Let’s take a look at a foodie trend: What, if anything, is the difference between art and food?

Here today, gone tomorrow

Unlike sculptures and paintings that have sometimes survived for hundreds of years, no matter how amazing food is, it is temporary. Food is often consumed as quickly as possible after preparation to enjoy the freshness. Then again, in modern art, installations are common, and these are similarly enjoyed in the moment like music or theatre with an emphasis on a temporary experience. But like music and theatre, the creation of food can also transcend time by being written down in a recipe so it can be recreated.

In the mouth of the taster

You can also argue that the experience of consuming food is too subjective to be seen as art. The preparation and experience of food depend on several different factors so it might be difficult to say that it will be the same for everyone, or even for yourself if you eat the same thing multiple times.

Then some foods, like olives or cheeses, become more delicious if you give your palate a chance to get used to the taste over time. Is experiencing food a more basic function than experiencing art? It’s true that artisanal food or food served in a way that needs little preparation can be appreciated by diners. But isn’t art also an extremely individual experience that changes from person to person and even in the same person over a period of time, subject to different influences and factors that affect the experience?

The bottom line

Like art, food can be experienced in different ways and evoke a range of feelings in the diner. Food can also be prepared with skill and artistry and it communicates meanings to the person who is experiencing it. Food is not just a biological necessity for humans, but it can be inspiring on a whole new level.

We may have given you food for thought about the philosophy of food, but don’t forget that your establishment’s success rests on your restaurant fare and your customers’ experience at your eatery. For more holistic advice on how to run a successful restaurant, check out our e-book.

Author : Rudi Badenhorst