This article explores sustainable development from a gastronomic perspective. Humanistic perspectives on food offered by gastronomy are explored as an asset in cultivating self-awareness capacities needed for sustainable transformations of society. The purpose is to explore how gastronomes can cultivate understandings and explanations of sustainability to be conveyed to individuals via meals. In semi-annually recurring dialogic interviews, four university-educated gastronomes cultivated their understandings and explanations of sustainability, and modeled how these could be communicated to other individuals. The dialogues gradually brought the ideas of the researcher and the participants toward a common explanation of the potential ways gastronomic competency could advance sustainable development. The results highlight two ways of understanding gastronomic sustainability
: functionally as practical communication, and formally as a cultural issue. Based on H.G. Gadamer’s idea of bildung as hermeneutic interpretation
, we argue that self-awareness is a process which is rooted in how knowledge is interpreted, understood, and explained by the individual. Practical participation in culturally influenced meals makes gastronomy a bridge between individual and societal issues, whereby gastronomic competencies can cultivate sustainable commitment, judgment, and community. In this way, gastronomic sustainability
represents an approach to sustainable development that, significantly, also involves the cultivation of sustainable meaning.