Bespoke food

Photo credit: www.pangaearestaurant.com

As methodical and thorough as I am in my research, the truth is, I sometimes stumble across emerging trends in a haphazard way. Such is the case with my discovery that the word ‘bespoke’ is now being used as a food word.

Fashionistas reading this post will know that ‘bespoke’ is a word used in the garment trade to describe truly custom made clothes. Think Saville Row style tailoring where suits and shirts are not just made to measure but created from original patterns drawn especially to suit the purchaser’s physique.

When applied to food, bespoke means that you’re ordering off the menu. It describes food that is made just for you. The way I see it, bespoke describes the already well-developed concept of customization that has made Starbucks and Craft successful foodservice endeavours.

My first tweak that bespoke was being used in reference to food came when I was visiting Summer Fresh Salads to discuss the Mezze trend that is, like bespoke, hot in London. Company president Susan Niczowski brought bespoke food to my attention. Later that week, I noticed this term being used by President’s Choice in an ad promoting Father’s Day burgers. Their concept was that each dad is unique and deserves a signature burger all his own.

So, now if you see bespoke on a menu or in advertising copy, you won’t have to crinkle your forehead in confusion. It just means that you can have it your way…. wait, didn’t Burger King say that same thing in plainer terms 25 years ago? I guess everything old truly is new again.

11 Responses to Bespoke food

  1. Interesting. My mother’s been bespoking for decades. Someone hates peas, someone like their carrots raw not cooked, someone doesn’t like sauces, someone likes extra sauce…

    Even if the wording is a bit pretentious, I hope the attitude behind this trend catches on. I’m surprised how many restaurants still have a “no substitution” policy written right on the menu.

  2. megan says:

    I’ve been bespoking since my daughter was born and didn’t even know it!

  3. Beth says:

    Funny how short order cook and bespoke sound different but refer to the same thing.

  4. Kitt says:

    It reeks of “incentivize,” if you know what I mean.

  5. Cheryl says:

    So is “bespoke” like a secret handshake? Is there any indication which restaurants embrace this concept, or do we just try to order off the menu and see if we get a cocked eyebrow (meaning they don’t get what we’re asking) or a knowing wink (meaning we’ve hit the jackpot)?

    And I was going to say that I’ve never ordered off the menu before, but I realized with your Starbucks reference that I had. When in Victoria I just wanted a little chai tea and my friend told me to order a “short.” Huh? But they only offer tall, grande, and venti, right?

    Wrong. There’s short too, but only if you ask for it. Ah, bespoke!

  6. Marie says:

    I love the concept, and in this economy whatever helps to keep custumers coming back, is certainly a good thing! Its a win win situation for all.

  7. […] so elastic a definition, it’s small wonder one British food blogger wryly identified Burger King as the first “bespoke” restaurant, because it has allowed […]

  8. […] so elastic a definition, it’s small wonder one British food blogger wryly identified Burger King as the first “bespoke” restaurant, because it has allowed special […]

  9. […] so elastic a definition, it’s small wonder one British food blogger wryly identified Burger King as the first “bespoke” restaurant, because it has allowed special […]

  10. […] so elastic a definition, it’s small wonder one British food blogger wryly identified Burger King as the first “bespoke” restaurant, because it has allowed special […]

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