Diningology is devoted to the practice of gastronomy and how various aspects of life and society affect it. Unlike the large majority of culinary websites devoted to restaurant reviews and gastronomic travel, Diningology is also concerned with gastronomy as a cultural phenomenon from many aspects: its esthetics or artfulness; what economic aspects bring to bear; change and innovation; and the use and role of language or the ways in which people write and speak about gastronomy and portray it in the mass and on-line media.
As a practical means, Diningology is pro-consumer; i.e. the diner and the food buyer. In this regard, our emphasis will be on the unusual and noteworthy. often presented in our soon-to-added unique listing “Restaurants of Integrity” in which we present in a continuously changing way restaurants that are diner-centric; i.e. those that for the most part offer choice and diner autonomy; meticulously-prepared and well-conceived cuisine; value for money; and use of products that are the best of their kind and emblematic of the restaurant’s region. It is our answer or antidote to “commodity dining”; i.e the dictatorial chef-centric, costly, unromantic, formula restaurants that populate the several rank-order, number-to-a-name “world’s best” lists
“Restaurant Politics” will itself be a paragon of integrity. There won’t be any monetizing; outside contributors will be dedicated amateurs (in the true sense) who are serious gastronomes indulging in international restaurant-going uniquely for the love of it.
Our coverage will be international with emphasis on gastronomic activity in the East and West coasts of America, Western Europe and Japan. We will endeavor to present our content in unique, engaging and readable ways (No bite-by-bite dish-droning here). Because “Restaurant Politics is on the World Wide Web, we won’t be adding new content on a set basis, but rather when thoughtful commentary come into our heads or when intriguing, noteworthy resources and contributors come our way.
When I was born, I was destined to dine. When I was a child, my parents began collecting fine wine, ate the food in France of Fernand Point and Raymond Oliver, and often took my brother and me to New York from our house in Western Massachusetts to eat in the better restaurants. When I started my rare books and posters business in 1970 as a precursor to Reinhold-Brown Gallery, I made (and still make) frequent trips to Europe with my wife where we travel throughout France and Italy (and often Japan) to visit and revisit the great and interesting restaurants.
While obtaining a master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication, I did research in mass communication and mass and popular culture. It helped shape my unique way how I write, think about and conceptualize gastronomy.
I look at, and keep a constant eye on, how restaurant gastronomy in particular has evolved over the past 50 years in terms of innovation and change; the ways in which it is portrayed in mass and social media and their effects on dining preferences and tastes; the influence of new technology on creativity; how access to capital and restaurants as economic entities influence the state of dining; how people make decisions of where and how to spend their time and money on dining; the result of gastronomy moving from an elite to a mass phenomenon; and the myriad of real and conceptual matters that come into my mind on an almost-daily basis. This experience has made me vigorously represent the autonomy and well-being of my fellow diners, an aspect that is inexorably being diminished and thus taking its toll on integrity and connoisseurship.