I'm trying to build a nice background for cooking and as such recently read Volume 2 of Modernist Cuisine (my university library had a copy I could check out) and noticed that consommé popped up a lot. Especially in the section devoted to filtration methods, which detailed a number of complex techniques meant to achieve totally clear consommé. At one point, and I'm paraphrasing, it said something along the lines of: "A consommé is serious business and has historically been a method of showcasing a chef's technique and skill."
Is this really the point of the consommé? Just a metric of technical aptitude? I ask because I can't recall ever having consommé, and it seems very labor-intensive.