What is David Burke’s take on the evolution of fine dining?
Things change. Fine dining changed years and years ago, and then kind of came back. The economy sometimes drives these things. Fine food will always be around. I think more of the service — the pomp and circumstance behind it — might be changing. We saw this happening years ago with the jacket and tie not required in the ’80s. The restaurant I bought, Fromagerie, in New Jersey was one of the last ones that required a jacket and tie. I think people want the freedom to dress the way they want. There will always be room for the top fine-dining restaurants in the world, and in each city.
I happen to like it. I don’t think there necessarily needs to be a special occasion. I think there’s also a trend toward big box restaurants and more of a scene and variety and eclectic style of eating. Again, some of these things come and go. Molecular gastronomy’s a good example. It came here and hung around for a while. The good things about it will stay and the other stuff will dissipate. But good food will always be around, whether it’s served in a posh setting or in a food truck.