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Gastronomy is the nexus that human beings have with their food in relation to their environment or surroundings. Its name comes from the Greek “gastros”, which means “stomach or belly” and “nomos” which means, “law”.
Many times we associate gastronomy only with the culinary art and the characteristics around a restaurant, but that is not correct because this professional and cultural area is not limited exclusively to the preparation of dishes per se.
A gastronomy professional possesses the skills of a cook and understands many other areas, such as administration, for example.
In other words, gastronomy studies the various components that make up the relationship with food from a cultural point of view, and a cook is in charge of preparing dishes and organizing a kitchen.
History of gastronomy
Gastronomy has offered a multidisciplinary vision of the way we feed ourselves throughout history. From being a race survival action, to the present day that has become an art.
The discovery of fire was undoubtedly a turning point and a fundamental event to enjoy the evolutionary results we have today. Humans went from eating raw meat to starting to prepare it and going a step forward.
The trade routes that opened up between Europe and Asia thousands of years ago allowed the predominant cultures of that time to exchange and experiment with new ingredients and customs.
According to researchers, the first important step in gastronomy took place in ancient Egypt. This civilization had great gastronomic particularities that spread and influenced other nearby cultures.
It is known that the first bread was made and distributed in Egypt more than 6 thousand years ago. We do not have to explain the importance of this food in the world gastronomic culture.
The Greeks were the first to use gastronomy as a pedagogical discipline in the 4th century BC.
At that time, guides and documents explaining how to prepare food were written. Arquéstrato de Gela. wrote these first documents.
The most important contribution of the Greeks was olive oil and their way of preparing pork.
How did it become a career?
Like almost any disciplinary activity, the Gastronomy career arose from the need of the social and cultural environment.
Providing people with the skills, knowledge and competencies in the area of gastronomic management was a response to the needs of an era.
Its birth as a profession dates back to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution and the proliferation of gastronomic literature in research works of theory and essay since 1825.
Although at that time universities did not offer degrees or courses in this discipline, Chefs and gastronomic researchers were highly respected on a social level.
In the 20th century, the annealed and preserved food companies and the technological development of means of transportation influenced cuisine.
All these factors, added to people’s interest in professionalization and academic certification, gave way to the beginning of Gastronomy as a career.
A person who is interested in starting a degree in Gastronomy has a practically infinite field of action, thanks to the cultural movements that exist in the world.
If you decide to study this career, the job field that will be open to you will give you the possibility to work in many different employment options, such as:
- Pastry shop manager or owner.
- Entrepreneur or fast food business owner.
- Food and beverage production manager.
- Food service protocol management.
- Culinary critic, consultant or gastronomic researcher.
- Culinary event management.
- Sommelier, barista and even bartender.
However, the options are not limited to the ones we present here. A graduate in Gastronomy can develop in areas of historical research or chemical properties of food and beverages, for example.
This art has much more to offer to a person than being a Chef or kitchen manager. Its characteristics allow you to get involved in production processes, management or food processing.