A dish in gastronomy is a specific food preparation, a "distinct article or variety of food", ready to eat or to be served.
A dish may be served on tableware, or may be eaten in one's hands.
Instructions for preparing a dish are called recipes.
Some dishes, for example a hot dog with ketchup, rarely have their own recipes printed in cookbooks as they are made by simply combining two ready-to-eat foods.
Many dishes have specific names, such as sauerbraten, while others have descriptive names, such as "broiled ribsteak". Many are named for particular places, sometimes because of a specific association with that place, such as Boston baked beans or bistecca alla fiorentina, and sometimes not: poached eggs Florentine essentially means "poached eggs with spinach". Some are named for particular individuals:
Some dishes have many stories about their creation, which can sometimes make it difficult to know the true origin of the name of a dish.