Food is presented to us as attractive and tasty structures that we like to eat, normally in a social context. In the past, fine dining was restricted to a few, but in the last two centuries restaurants have democratized access to excellent food (and not so good food). To understand our current situation and the increasing influence of chefs, it is necessary to briefly review the history of traditional cuisine. This chapter introduces some basic culinary nomenclature and provides some references for digging deeper into the topic.