A “War” On Foodies?
This is where we should eat, if we want to be less snobby.
As we’ve experienced in our own comments section, some people are tired of the worship of food and just want everything to return to normal. By normal, they seem to mean the Wonder bread and chain restaurant world of the suburban 1960s, where people ordered, ate, paid and didn’t think too much about things. Well, if you feel that way, you aren’t alone; the media is getting in on the act. Chow reported yesterday on what they call “the war against foodies” – newspapers mocking those of us who love food and drink a little too much.
Ok, back? So what did you think of that? Do they have a point, is this sour grapes and if so, sour grapes about what, exactly? What is so wrong with passion when it comes to food and the enjoyment of it? Surely given today’s standards it’s not exactly Roman Empire-esuqe hedonism. With the fold of Gourmet Magazine and the rise of Rachel Ray and her followers, we’re not living in some elitist food world where the enjoyment bubble is occupied by a select few which leaves the masses outside looking in. Great food is more accessible now than ever before (relative to your town and exposure, I suppose) and it’s just waiting for you to get on the stick. It’s for everyone.
Not all of us can go to Tru or Alinea and fork (…) over all that dosh for a huge and memorable experience – and that’s ok. That’s why prix fixe lunch menus are the cheapest, quickest ways to get to know a restaurant that is normally out of your reach. And, I suppose, Restaurant Week as well though I gotta be honest, that is a whole other post. And given that we just signed up for another one coming in February, believe you me there WILL be a post. An angry, exhausted post.
The article hits on something important though and that is that in order to consider oneself the F word, there must be balance. Ever read interviews with chefs? Their last meals are not at the French Laundry, they’re at their mother’s tables. Or the corner burger joint. Or a Coney Island dog. Their favorites are simple, they are the things that raised them. It’s ok to get off your couch after watching Survivor and have pizza delivered. No one will flog you for grabbing a number five at BK (least of all me. Those burgers are the best of the fast food bunch, I stand by that). Something about the new wave of F word types feel like you have to eat the best of the best all the time and look down on those who don’t – or worse, can’t. That’s just not right. I’ll take a binge on KFC in my jeans and Bears t-shirt on a Friday night with Sweetie Pie, easily.
That said, I will also pick apart a roasted beet soup with oregano, halibut and raspberry crème fraiche with the time and attention of a Michelin writer. I appreciate butter-poached anything. Mignardises of rum candies or peach pate de fruit, bring it on. The appreciation of French prep does not equal a snobby palette. Not always. When tempered with the right Happy Meal, anyway.
As an aside, this is a really interesting article about the legitimacy and interpretation of the use of jiggers in bartending (on which side I am pro-jigger). Have a read.