...the art or science of good eating
Gastronome being an expert in gastronomy.
Brillat-Savarin believed that he could detect the true gastronome by means of what he called, his little gastronomic test:
"We mean by this expression foods renowned for their flavor and of such indisputable excellence that their mere appearance must evoke, in a man of well-ordered character, all the powers of the palate; so that all those in whom, in such circumstances, no spark of desire, no ecstatic radiance reveals itself, may justly be marked down as unworthy of the honour of the occasion and of all the pleasures attached hereto." (Page 457 Larouse Gastronomique, First American Edition Of The Encyclopedia Of Food, Wine and Cookery, published 1961 at Crown Publishers Inc.)
I like the above test which show if one is a gastronome or not. I like it for I have met quite a few people who have become gastronomes by attending fine schools and other who by a matter of luck and fortune ventured into gastronomy. I like the Larouse Gastronomique's statement for it clears up the misunderstanding in which people who own restaurants or due to a gastronomic education think they are the chosen few to decide what's right or wrong.
In my understanding any one person who enjoys food, who could be considered a gourmand, qualifies for the title gastronome.
from here ...