Robert BROWN, Editor
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 New York to eat in the best restaurants. When I started my rare books and posters business in 1970, I made (and still make) frequent trips to Europe with my wife where we traveled the length and breadth of France and Italy (and often Japan) to visit and revisit the great and interesting restaurants. While obtaining a Master’s degree at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, I did my research in mass communication and mass and popular culture. It shaped my unique way in writing about and conceptualizing 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; the role that access to capital and restaurants as economic entities in influencing 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. How all of this affects my gastronomic opinions and decision-making is apparent in what I have contributed, and will further contribute, to Gastromondiale.