A few weeks ago I came across an article written by the New York Times called ‘The Unaffordable Luxury of Food.”
Talking about how food and fine dining is becoming more and more of a luxury rather than just ‘going out for dinner’ – a gastronomic experience more than just filling your stomach. Also, how this mindset isn’t just for a successful businessmen anymore… more and more young people are choosing to spend their money on fine meals over other options. Carving out chunks of their paltry incomes to dine out at sophisticated restaurants, go to food festivals and wine tastings. There are people in the world who eat to live, and those who live to eat. For me personally, I live to eat. Going out to new and interesting restaurants, food festivals and cooking with my friends is what makes me happy.
This past week alone I have gone out to dinner four times and spent an inordinate amount of money on expensive chocolates and tea at the Chocolate Festival that took place in Harvard Square last Sunday… normal things for a college student to be spending their money on? I though no, but apparently that stigma is changing. Dining out at nice restaurants is not just about the food, it’s the experience. It’s about taking the time out of your hectic life to enjoy something simple. It’s a time to leave your phone in your purse and enjoy a good conversation over great food. We live in a fast-paced world where sitting down to a meal is a rare occurrence and when we do get the chance, to make it a memorable one.
The last AMAZING meal I had, was at Otto Enoteca Pizzera this past December while I was still living in New York City. OTTO is one of Chef Mario Batali‘s creations. Specializing in rustic pizzas and pasta, unique cocktails and the most sinfully delicious gelato I’ve ever had without having traveled to Italy. What made this meal so special besides the incredible food was that I was there with my family. Laughing and talking until our waitress has to tell us the restaurant was closing for the night. A great meal can bring people together and remind you to enjoy the simple things.
The mindset surrounding food for young people is changing: “I don’t think about what anything costs,” Emily Gerard, a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a publishing assistant making the requisite salary, told me recently. “I’ll drop $60 once a week at the Greenmarket, which I would never do at a grocery store; I like supporting local farmers.”
I think this change is telling of our generation. It shows passion, intelligence and awareness. Were becoming more aware of what we eat, where it comes from and how it gets to our plates. But more than that, its teaching our generation to make time for simple happiness, when we are entering a world where that can easily be swept to the wayside.