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Everything you want to know about gastronomy but were afraid to ask ChatGPT

Gastronomy, as old as democracy!

Biztronomy is a contraction of business, at least its abbreviation « biz. » and gastronomy. There is also bistronomy with an « s » instead of the « z », but that refers to another concept which is essentially refined eating in fast food mode. Bistronomy with an « s » is composed of the word bistro which in France is another term for a small and quaint café or restaurant.

Though Bistro most likely stems from the late 1800, gastronomy on the other hand is as old as democracy. Maybe indeed democracy was born of the love of sitting down and enjoying as much the food as the guests and the conversation.

Archestrate was a greek food lover and traveller from the 4th century B.C.. Gastronomy was one of the five names given to his culinary writings of which only fragments remain. This almost epic poem explains in great detail where to find the best fish and seafood around the Mediterranean, how to prepare certain dishes, how to serve others. The fragments of this text reveal a true passion for good food and can be seen as the founding of gastronomic history, where the spirit is as important as the food itself. He insists notably on the quality of products and simplicity in preparation. He also gives advice on the number of guests. This is a combination between Grimod de la Reynière and Trip Advisor before their time.

His knowledge of the best places to eat around the Mediterranean attest to the importance both of travel and of eating well at that time.

After a long period, the usage of the word gastronomy is confirmed again in 1683. It even then manages to find its way into Diderot’s encyclopedia where it is described as ‘l’art de la gueule », or the art of the maw.

Then, in 1801, a poet by the name of Joseph Berchoux publishes a long poem honoring the art of the table, plunging into greek and roman history, detailing the roots of this sublime practice. Though the poem seems to enjoy a certain success, it is really with Brillat-Savarin and his book Physiology of Taste or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy published in 1825, a few months before his death, that the word takes off. The concept is very successful probably because for the first time, this passion is seen as a fusion between mind and matter, where the culinary art can not be dissociated from the environment in which it expresses itself and even less from the spirit of the table. Food, after having been essentially a symbol of power and wealth, suddenly became spiritual, a symbol of pragmatic refinement.

Hence, Biztronomy is the alliance of mind and matter, whether it be intelligent conversation over a perfectly prepared meal or an effective strategic analysis competed by on-the-field application and verification.

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