Gourmet is usually associated with food and cooking, a characteristic in which the process of preparation is taken on with utmost care and refinement, almost elevating it to the level of art. It is also referred to as haute cuisine (in the case of preparing dishes), a French term which is literally translated as ‘high cuisine’. The term gourmet is usually appended to food preparations and products to set it aside from normally prepared meals.
The term gourmet can also be applied to a person who has refined taste in food and food preparations, as well as knowledge in the field (i.e. a food critic, a food writer, a chef etc.). A gourmand on the other hand, while usually used interchangeably with gourmet, is a person who only generally enjoys and appreciates the gourmet foods.
Examples of gourmet food items can be specialty products such as specially prepared deli meats, items prepared in the old traditional way such as in cheeses, organic produce such as in honey, or expensive caviars. In cooking, they are usually dishes served in fine dining restaurants where the food are prepared by an esteemed chef employing methods using prime ingredients which make the dish exemplary.