02 January 2005
For the Times, Bryan Miller identifies a passionate pursuit of certain well-heeled travelers, or "gastronauts," as he dubs them: "When Bill Thompson, a 57-year-old fashion photographer in New York, arranged a gastronomic holiday in Scotland—his third in 3 years—he was... assiduous in his preparation... "Aside from all of the restaurants I ate in, I also made a point of staying in a different inn every night—and each of them had to be known for its food." Mr. Thompson [is a member] of a billowing fraternity in the American tourism industry: vacationers who plan their travels primarily— often solely—around food and wine. They are, to coin a term, [DRUM ROLL, PLEASE] "gastronauts." The members of this subspecies of transcontinental voyagers... are generally urban, well-off and technologically sophisticated, which brings a world of gastronomy to their fingertips. And all are flat-out obsessed with hunting down the best food and wine a country or city can offer, be it a cassoulet on the Left Bank of Paris, bollito misto in the Piedmont or shabu shabu in Tokyo."