Why I loathe being called a Foodie

I wrote this for my Toastmasters speech tonight and thought I’d post it for a snark or two, as a few of you I talk to on twitter, know much I just “love” being called a foodie. LOL

I think technically I hate being called a foodie, but the word loathe brings to mind certain connotations that are much more descriptive of “why” the term bugs me so much.

I know that I am not alone in the restaurant industry in feeling that being called a foodie is insulting.  I have no problems being called a food peep, food person, food geek, food nerd or food “fill in the blanks with an appropriate sarcastic comment”, but just don’t call me a foodie!

To me there are two types of foodies: the people who love food, and then there are the ones that are the self proclaimed foodies, and it’s the second category that makes me nuts about the word.

Foodie: (from Glossary of Restaurant Lingo and Terms)

Foodie – (depending on context) the bane of cooks and chefs everywhere, a Wanna-Be professional cook/chef. There is nothing more irritating then going to a dinner party or meeting at a restaurant with a group of people and there is always at least one “Foodie” attending who proceeds to tell you all about how he/she made the most fabulous chicken dish. etc etc. until you just want to strangle them

These are people that write blog posts including phrases like, “My salmon was flabby.” and “My pork chop was just not as supple as expected.”  Flabby salmon? Supple pork? Let me get this straight, apparently your main course hadn’t spent enough quality time at the local gym?

There is a story I like to tell in mixed company (although it has to have some self proclaimed foodies in the room to truly leverage the amusement factor.) The story of the cremated steak.

After telling, I generally get three types of reactions:

People in foodservice usually laugh uproariously or hysterically (depending on how much they have imbibed.)

Normal people and/or people who love food, usually laugh somewhat politely, and look somewhat puzzled as if things like that don’t REALLY happen in professional kitchens.

AND

Then we have the self proclaimed foodies, who look totally disgusted and generally say in a snooty voice, “WELL! We would have posted something on Yelp immediately if we had heard about that.”

Self proclaimed Foodies are the ones that can bore you to tears pontificating about the 300 varietals of olives that go into Italian olive oil, and the prime picking season for the extremely rare dwarf Bavarian pink olive, which must only be picked by vestal virgins wearing hand woven grass skirts that have personally blessed by the Dalai Lama.

BUT these are also the same people that are unable to tell you why you shouldn’t cook at high heat with extra virgin olive oil, or the nutritional value of pretty much any raw vegetable, and as an additional snark; these are also the same people I run into weekly at the supermarket, ohhing and ahhing over the ribeyes in the meat case with absolutely no marbling whatsoever in them. Ugh!

So by calling a professional or former professional (as my husband says, “once a chef, always a chef”) a foodie is an insult not just to our knowledge and background but to the food profession as well.

I have a lot of respect for people who love food, whether they have the professional background or not, but can only find amusement in the self proclaimed variety.

You may just as well stab me through the heart with a paddy-well done steak, as call me a foodie.

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3 Responses to Why I loathe being called a Foodie

  1. Eoin says:

    Hi,

    Simply love your blog….The way you have expressed the term “foodie” is just awesome. Yes, I have met with a lot of people who consider themselves as big foodie but don’t attend food festivals. Dhhhh…..

    I remember the last time i enjoyed a dish made of pork and vegetables in Dingle lodging. Every sunday, I watch a program ” Foodie” in Times now, you must watch dis as they mostly focus on street food.

    Thanks for sharing the blog!

  2. Jeanne Muir says:

    I love eating out, and trying local places when I travel, and finding out what a chef’s specialty is and going for it. I like the fancy-schmancy foams and foie gras and the down-and-dirty pulled pork from a shack on a gravel road. I don’t like to think of myself as a foodie, though. It seems to me that most foodies I know don’t really like many of the places that they eat. That defeats the purpose to me. Find joy in food, not fault!! Long live food geeks.

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