First on the list - Haute cuisine, or fine cuisine. For some it conjures up images of Ratatouille (the movie, not the food) or Mostly Martha. In a nutshell, Haute cuisine is elaborate small detailed dishes produced by a full kitchen, and is typically of the French school of cuisine, but there are many varieties of the cuisine.
Recently, my boyfriend and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary by going to La Folie, and had a full 5 course meal, and then some. It was elaborate and delicious and lovely. Since we both have a passion for fine cuisine, I have decided to open up our dusty Chez Panisse cookbook (another Haute cuisine restaurant) and try my hand at fancy meals. I am going to start with lunch meals that I can pack for when I go to my medical school rotations, starting next week when I start family medicine. We also have a friend coming to stay with us who adores fine cuisine, and he always pays for our groceries when he stays with us, so I think I will have him pick out some nice recipes from the book and I will try my hand at cooking and artistic presentation. Can't wait! I will post pictures of course.