Haute cuisine is a French term that literally translates to “haute cuisine”. When you imagine dining at high-end restaurants today, you're most likely thinking about some of the key elements of haute cuisine. Haute cuisine or fine cuisine refers to the cuisine of high-end establishments, gourmet restaurants and luxury hotels in France. Haute cuisine is characterized by meticulous preparation and careful presentation of food, at a high price, accompanied by rare wines.
Haute cuisine: food that is prepared in an elegant or elaborate way; the best food. The French word “haute” translates to “tall” or “superior”. Cuisines translates to “cooking in general”. While some are determined to hold on to the initial foundations of haute cuisine, such as Michelin-starred restaurants and high-end hotel groups, many have incorporated the influences of the movement into other types of cuisine or restaurant concepts.
Let's talk about what the haute cuisine movement is, where it originated and what it looks like in today's culinary landscape. There's usually nothing too spicy or too sweet about haute cuisine, as the focus tends to be on symmetry and balance, making food a smooth and enjoyable experience. And many restaurants use the fundamental principles of haute cuisine, some without even recognizing it. During Escoffier's time, haute cuisine remained a hallmark of the rich and inaccessible to most others.
As for the catering establishments themselves, the entire rating system for Michelin-starred restaurants is based on the successful execution of haute cuisine. In recent decades, modern haute cuisine has become a hybrid of these two variants, maintaining its emphasis on tasty flavors and expert technique, while prioritizing fresh seasonal ingredients. In the 1960s, a generation of chefs rebelled against many of the facets of haute cuisine, forming a movement that came to be known as nouvelle cuisine. For example, high-end hotel chains such as The Ritz Carlton offer guests unique dining experiences in first-class restaurants, as well as hosting the world's best chefs for culinary events focusing on haute cuisine.
The term haute couture is a designation protected by law and “only companies that appear on the list drawn up each year by a commission resident in the Ministry of Industry have the right to use it, to quote the Trade Union Chamber of Haute Couture”.