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Culinary arts and meal science – a new scientific research discipline

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A new scientific research discipline has been accepted at the Department of Restaurant and Culinary Arts at Örebro University. The subject area definition of Culinary Arts and Meal Science, as opposed to Culinary Science, was chosen. This is because Culinary Arts places great emphasis on practical skills, aiming to combine these with science as well as with working methods with an artistic content. Thus its scientific approach is a multidisciplinary one, joint efforts with other sciences being necessary, for instance by maintaining a scientifically varied tutorship. Research areas such as ethnology, sociology, anthropology, business economics, nutrition, domestic science and public health all constitute adjacent branches. These areas treat the meal from various aspects, which are examined in this paper. During the course of our educational endeavours at the department, we studied the meal from a five-aspect viewpoint with the following main elements: the room, the meeting, the product, the atmosphere and the management control system, which also constitute the framework within which we formulate our issues and questions. First, this five-aspect approach is a constructive and all-inclusive aid for those who plan and produce meals, especially in restaurants – all with the ultimate aim to achieve maximum satisfaction among the guests in different meal situations. If, then, the guest/diner evaluates the meal with something like these five aspects in mind is the subject of our research! At present, seven PhD students have been admitted to the postgraduate course in Culinary Arts and Meal Science. These students will study the meal, or certain parts of it, and the importance of the various components are presented from a number of perspectives.
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Keywords: academic education, chefs, culinary arts, meal science, restaurant

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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