Is Foodie a Four-Letter Word?

Jun 10, 2011 6:12 pm

Being a "foodie" has now become taboo

photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivva/">ivva</a> on Flickr
photo: ivva on Flickr
For foodies, pickling is the new indie rock
 

Lately, it seems like calling someone a foodie is tantamount to labeling that person a pretentious, annoying, or even silly bighead.

Even chefs, who are at least partly to blame for foodieism, have started rejecting the word. Most recently, Gabrielle Hamilton, author of Blood, Bones & Butter and the chef-owner of the cultish Prune in the East Village, revealed in an interview: “I'm barely interested [in food]. I mean, I love food. But I don't like to talk about it for very long." She went on to disparage foodies, deeming them a "bummer...it just seems like a population that has misplaced priorities. They're just obsessed with food." The sentiments echoed similar comments she made at a cooking demonstration she led at the De Gustibus cooking school last month to a room full of foodies — her biggest fans, both at the restaurant and bookstore.

Hamilton isn’t the only chef speaking out against foodies. On The Atlantic this week, Sara Jenkins of Porchetta and Porsena in the East Village, explains that she would rather eat at home than in a restaurant any day. She writes:

 “I'm perturbed that people have gotten so turned around that they think restaurant food is the best food, and that today's modern, self -aware ‘foodie’ thinks that the highest level of cooking is to cook restaurant-style food in the home. Even in the finest restaurants, restaurant food, while delicious and deserving of its place as entertainment and theater, is really not the best food at all. It's over-sauced and over-salted and over-rich, because the only thing restaurant chefs have to worry about is that the food tastes exquisite on the table.”

And it’s not just professional cooks who have tired of foodies. A recent piece on xojane by a woman who was blown off by a professional pickler in a bar illustrates just how much of a turn-off obsessing over food can be. She rants:

“This is when I started to hate foodies, especially foodie men, who somehow making [sic] even preparing simple foods a macho, one-sided event. If a dude who makes pickles for a living can ask you if you’ve heard of his spicy asparagus with the same sort of smugness as a guy in Williamsburg who asks you if you’ve heard of his band then, women, we are in trouble.”

With celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Hugh Jackman proclaiming themselves fanatics of food, foodieism may have jumped the shark. At the very least, you may want to check yourself next time you find yourself bragging about your braising skills.

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