When I was in an art class years ago, I vividly remember looking at a photo of three people holding hands. It was of a man, woman and child. Without any additional context, I knew this picture symbolized something bigger than just three people. It showed a family that truly cared for one other. It evoked feelings of love and a pure family bond. The concept it was showcasing was called “Gestalt” and is something we strive to apply in making the perfect meal.

What’s Gestalt & how does it connect with food?

elk burger blue angel cafe gestalt

Gestalt makes a good meal great! – Elk Burger

Gestalt, a German word for form or shape, is the idea that natural systems and their properties should be viewed as a whole, not a collection of its parts. This is how we look at the food we serve. A great meal isn’t just one thing but everything working harmoniously together. From customer service to seasoning to delivering the food to the diner, all these things combine to create a fantastic food experience. For example, a server that incorrectly takes your burger order that then has no seasoning and is served cold would be horrible. But, if you’re greeted like family, you add caramelized onions, salt and pepper to the burger, and then deliver the meal hot & fresh on a colorful plate… it becomes amazing!

So, the next time you go out to dinner, look at your meal less as a bunch of food you ingest and rather an entire culinary story. Just like the Wizard of Oz, you’ll no longer look at the world as black & white but instead in technicolor. We hope to see you soon.

Until then, Bon Appetit!