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The Science of Fine Dining

Multidisciplinary Education in the Art of Taste and Table

By Alain Gayot

The world of gastronomy hardly seems like a science. How could fine dining be analyzed as something more than a simple human pleasure? But for those who have made the epicurean lifestyle their passion and profession, gastronomy is much more than just good food. In fact, there is an entire discipline behind the art of eating, and it encompasses science, art, technology, sociology, economics and more.

One place has taken these facets of gastronomy to the next level. The Institut des Hautes Etudes du Goût (Institute of Advanced Studies in Taste), sponsored by French luxury goods corporations as well as food distribution companies, set up campus in Reims and now offers an educational course completely devoted to the science of food. Only in its first year, this multidisciplinary training program educates culinary and service professionals (e.g. chefs, sommeliers and wine merchants), as well as general food and wine lovers, on a variety of topics related to gastronomy, from the anthropology of taste to the economic analysis of food consumption. Students learn from top professors and culinary experts in a variety of lectures, analyses and sensory workshops, and tastings and meals are just one of the benefits of this four-week program.

“We are delighted with the experience from our first year,” said Rémi Krug, king of Champagne house Krug and now turned Dean of the Institut. The first year’s students came from five countries and fourteen different professions, from chef to lawyer to food critic. Those who successfully completed the course (i.e. passing rigorous final exams) were awarded an official diploma from the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne, one of Hautes Etudes du Goût’s affiliates.

Applicants must submit a resume, references and letter to the selection committee, which will choose approximately thirty students per session. The registration fee is €4,000 for the four-week course, plus an additional €3,000 for accommodation, transportation and meals.

For more information, visit
Going to Reims? See our travel guide.
Food & Wine Pairing
The Food Paper


(Updated: 04/25/13 JDM)

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