The Definition of a 'Serious Eater' According to Joseph Wechsberg in the New Yorker in 1949


Fernand Point, the progenitor of modern French cuisine. [Photographs: Photograph: google images]

Reading Joseph Wechsberg's wonderful profile of the great French chef Fernand Point, originally published in the New Yorker in 1949 and reprinted in (at least) two New Yorker food writing anthologies, I was astonished to find a reference to "serious eaters," complete with a lengthy definition:

My friends were "serious eaters"; they loved truly good food and scorned the snobbism of self-appointed "gourmets" and one-dish amateur cooks. They didn't consider themselves gourmets, but they would confide to each other, with the air of brokers divulging something hot in the market, the addresses of good restaurants.

More than half a century later, Wechsberg's definition is still spot-on. Now if only we could somehow access Point's legendary food...