A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 21, 2013
Gastrocrat (gastronomy + aristocrat/bureaucrat)

A “gastrocrat” (gastronomy + aristocrat/bureaucrat) is a personal influential in the word of food (such as a critic, an author, a chef, or a restaurateur) who dictates food choices. Gastrocrats might suggest the most expensive food choices and the most expensive restaurants—food options that are not within the budgets of average people.

“Gastrocrat” has been cited in print since at least 1987. American food writer Josh Ozersky has popularized the word “gastrocrat” in many of his food articles, although he didn’t coin the term.


Google Books
Greek in English
By Lawrence Giangrande
North York, ON: University Press of Canada
1987
Pg. 65:
Which would more likely be a gastrocrat, a gastronome or a glutton?

London Evening Standard
London gripped by truffle fever
NICK FOULKES
Published: 08 December 2000
(...)
Last month, restaurateurs, hoteliers and elite international gastrocrats gathered at a castle near Alba in Italy.

Google Books
The Wordsworth Dictionary of Modern English:
Grammar, Syntax and Style for the 21st Century

By Ned Halley
Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions
2005
Pg. 74:
You can even make up your own: gastrocrat (dictator of culinary fashion). Greek kratos (power).

Google Books
Authenticity in the Kitchen:
Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2005

Edited by Richard Hosking
Blackawton: Prospect Books
2006
Pg. 433:
Rachel Laudan’s conclusions may be open to doubt, but the seminal questions she raises remain largely unanswered by the Gastrocrats (which is why she necessarily occupies a disproportionate amount of space in this paper).

Time magazine
Taste of America
Are Gastrocrats Bad News for True Food Lovers?

By Josh Ozersky Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2011
There have been a lot of weird things for sale on Craigslist over the years. But a $3,000 dinner reservation? Admittedly, the rezzie is actually a Wonka-style golden ticket that includes the cost of the meal itself, and the restaurant, Grant Achatz’s Next in Chicago, is one of the most anticipated in many years. But still. Though no one has taken the seller up on his or her audacious offer, the mere fact of its existence has bugged out many onlookers and suggested that, possibly, something weird might be going on. (Next is pioneering the pay-ahead model of restaurant reservations, mostly to protect its precious real estate from flake-outs and cancellations.) Now, with the announcement of San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list on Monday, the nation’s epicures have a new bucket list of destinations, the top tier of which requires ever more unnatural exertions to get into. It’s clear to me now. This has gotten out of hand.

And I blame the gastrocrats.

Twitter
Arthur Bovino
‏@Arthur_Bovino
Pot (Ozersky, http://ti.me/erHStL), meet kettle (http://nyti.ms/9UrJyR). Which failed-up schmooze-gastrocrat-blogger 2 good for blogs now?
3:21 PM - 20 Apr 11

Cambridge Dictionaries Online
New words – 18 February 2013
February 18, 2013
gastrocrat noun a wealthy foodie
Notting Hill’s gastrocrat restaurant The Ledbury was packed to the gills in the weeks immediately after 15 thugs stormed in to rob and terrorise diners during last year’s riots.
[The Evening Standard (London’s free newspaper) 10 August 2012]

Time magazine
Taste of America
Gastrocrats Beware: Luxury Foods Aren’t Worth It
Very few of us can actually appreciate the most expensive dishes and ingredients

By Josh Ozersky @OzerskyTVAug. 15, 2012
News came this week that Masa Takayama, the legendary sushi chef behind New York City‘s most expensive restaurant, Masa, will be opening Tetsu in Las Vegas. Eater National, the nerve center of restaurant junkies across the country, immediately asked whether it would be more expensive than the previous restaurant in that space, Shaboo. That restaurant was called “probably the U.S.’s most expensive” by Bloomberg News; Eater wondered whether Masa would go one step further. The question that never really comes up is whether it would be worth it. And the answer is: almost never, for almost all of us.

Twitter
Yvonne T.
‏@th3hungrycat
New words that people keep inventing in the foodie world. Gastrocrats - Foodies with deep pockets.
10:48 AM - 11 Jan 13

Esquire
JUN 7, 2013
Ozersky’s Rules for Dining Out
By Josh Ozersky at 11:25am
(...)
The essence of eating is not trying something the first time, any more than a relationship is not all about the first date. It’s about food that feels good to you, food that makes you happy and relaxed and expectant inside. Leave the endless quest for novelty to gastrocrats and libertines.

Esquire
This Man is a Celebrity Chef. Nobody Has Eaten His Food.
Rene Redzepi’s food might be delicious, but nobody can truly say they for sure

By Josh Ozersky on November 21, 2013
(...)
You can eat David Chang’s pork sandwich in New York, and Sean Brock’s pork skins in Charleston or Nashville, or Keller’s food, at least in a simplified form, at any number of Bouchons, or even, if you have the scratch, at one of his two big restaurants on either coast. But nobody outside of a few gastrocrats and a handful of food writers has been to Noma.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, November 21, 2013 • Permalink