One can enjoy food without eating it, but one also need to take the time for it.
Good food has always had a place in Veniran culture due to the nature of their cuisine which is easy to make very bland and boring. This is because the plants that grow in the desert or mountains are not numerous in variety.
Compensating for this are spices and intricate cooking methods which enhance taste and smell. Being able to make these tasteful dishes is a thing of pride for Venirans and in order to show respect for a cooks skill a tradition has arisen to take a moment to smell the food before eating it to show that the food is so good that the moment has to be savoured.
The length someone smells the food can say a lot about the relationship between the cook and the eater as well as sending not so subtle messages. For example, if someone consumes the food without smelling it, or not smelling it for very long can say that the one who eats doesn't care about the quality - a very likely insult in case of good food - or doesn't think it's very good.
The execution is fairly simple. Once the food is before you you lift it up to your nose, close your eyes and smell the food for a minute or so.
Blind smell is usually performed in all cases where the food was prepared well, no matter who made the food. If the cook is meant to eat the dish it will just depend on the personality of said cook if they are going to do the tradition, especially if the food is eaten alone.