The chef’s kiss is an expression and gesture, made by pinching the fingers in from of the mouth, then giving a kiss, and pulling the hand away rapidly, while opening the palm.
The gesture may be used in a heartfelt, as well as in an ironic way.
It is most often encountered around the dining table, when something is tasting majestic.
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Origin of the term
The expression comes from the Italian al bacio, the kiss, that is used to convey the meaning “excellent”.
The image of the mustached, Italian chefs making the gesture comes from after the 1940’s, when advertisements in the United States embedded it into the minds of people.
The typical use of the gesture is when a dish is deemed perfectly done.
Spread of the term
The “chef’s kiss” phenomenon turned big online in 2010, when images of The Muppet Show’s Swedish Chef were popularized and heavily circulated on the web.
Apart from that, it appears as a reaction on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in the form of *chef’s kiss*.
The term was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2019.
- Dictionary.com – Chef’s kiss
- AV Club – How the “Italian chef kiss” became a snarky internet cliché