Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The New Pub ... modern gastronomy, Classic Environment!

Gastronomy is described as the art and science of good eating.  Also, it can be defined as the study of food and culture, with a particular focus on gourmet cuisine. One who is well versed in gastronomy is called a gastronome, while a gastronomist is one who unites theory and practice in the study of gastronomy.  Well, I am not sure all that but it seems close to the reality that has become the modern gastro-pub across the English Isles and here in America.
 The renewal of old ways now has a newer, more modern twist that is shaping what cooks and chefs are doing.  The current trend toward older recipes (note the book sales of such classics) presented on modern china, with a flare towards simple but beautiful plates is grasping patrons everywhere.  And it is exactly what people want. A casual, cozy place to meet up, chat up and dine with friends over a delicious simple meal offered with an Ale and or select wine!  This seems a direct accent back to the beginning; a public house, informally known as a pub was how all this began.  Later, the public bars gradually improved until sometimes almost the only difference was in the prices, so that customers could choose between economy and exclusivity (or youth and age, or a jukebox or dartboard). During the blurring of the class divisions in the 1960s and 1970s, the distinction between the saloon and the public bar was often seen as archaic, and was frequently abolished, usually by the removal of the dividing wall or partition itself. While the names of saloon and public bar may still be seen on the doors of pubs, the prices (and often the standard of furnishings and decoration) are the same throughout the premises, and many pubs now comprise one large room. In the 1950s some British pubs would offer "a pie and a pint", with hot individual steak and ale pies made easily on the premises by the landlord's wife. In the 1960s and 1970s this developed into the then-fashionable "chicken in a basket", a portion of roast chicken with chips, served on a napkin, in a wicker basket. Quality dropped but variety increased. "Pub grub" expanded to include British food items such as steak and ale pie, shepherd's pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash, Sunday roast, ploughman's lunch, and pasties.
Now here comes the Gastropub of the modern; and everything has changed and I argue so much for the better!  A gastropub concentrates on quality food. The name is a blend of pub and gastronomy and was coined in 1991 when David Eyre and Mike Belben took over The Eagle pub in Clerkenwell, London. The concept of a restaurant in a pub reinvigorated both pub culture and dining though has occasionally attracted criticism for potentially removing the character of traditional pubs.  I disagree, I believe this is a natural progression of our current society to want better and food grown and harvested closer to home … and they ask this of their Pub.  They want to gather with friends, chat up the days and local events. And, they want a good glass of wine or Ale and tasty food that doesn’t make them feel like they need a jacket or nice slacks on and all of this at a fair price!  Is this too much to ask …. I don’t think so and try each day to create this very thing! Cheers.

1 comment:

  1. I want a super friendly neighborhood pub with great food. That sounds amazing.