Historical Usage – Cuisinologist

The word cuisinologist was apparently coined and first used by Sir Edward Abbott Parry as early as 1911, although there’s the disctinct possibility he may have coined it earlier. The story is included here.

Probably the most prominent first modern uses of the word cuisinologist are that of Professor Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson, PhD, Professor of Sociology (retired), Department of Sociology, Columbia University. On the University’s web site as early as 2010 Professor Ferguson described herself as a Cuisinologist, a term she later elaborated on in her 2014 book “Word of Mouth: What We Talk About When We Talk About Food”:

“The Enthusiast of all Enthusiasts, the writer who set patterns for food talk that continue millenia later, was a Greek living in late second-century Rome. By every standard The Deipnosophists (The scholars at dinner of Athenaeus (A.D. 170 – 230) serves up a bizarre banquet. This work, whose first French translator in the seventeenth century called it ‘delicious’, fills page upon page with a jumble of culinary facts and fabulations, anecdotes and narratives, apparently selected at random … Athenaeus is food talker extraordinaire with whom, even more than classicists, cuisinologists [emphasis ours] ought to keep company. What better inspiration than this author who encounters no person, place, thing or event related to food without talking about it at great – at times, interminable – length, and then had the greatest inspiration of all: he wrote it down … Athenaeus is the first, and still unrivalled, tourist of the table – a cuisinologist [emphasis ours] of unflagging curiosity and indefatigable zeal … Given the distinction conferred by fluency in Menu French, a cuisinologist [emphasis ours] might wonder why Thorstein Veblen did not include dining in The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899). The use of food by those whom he skewered as the ‘leisure class’ would have given him a terrific instance of what he saw as their trademark conspicuous consumption … Sociology. baptized around 1830 by the French philosopher Auguste Comte, divides its etymological allegiance between Latin and Greek. This template holds for other disciplines as well (anthropology, biology, psychology). If I call myself a ‘cuisinologist’ [emphasis ours] (again split between languages), it is because I work to tell food stories that are also interpretations.” [Ferguson, Priscilla Parkhurst. Word of Mouth: What We Talk about When We Talk about Food (California Studies in Food and Culture). University of California Press, 2014. ISBN 978-0520273924. p. 53, 54 57, 149, notes to chapter 1 p. 215]

The word Cuisinologist has also been used separately by other individuals including Chef Matthew Guidry of New Orleans, Louisiana, for his blog The Cuisinologist in 2014 (thecuisinologist.wordpress.com, abandoned in 2014); and others.