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Random Mon Dec 27 2010

Foodies and Their Photography: Finished?

Over at the Chicago Tribune today, a part-time food writer discusses foodie fatigue, getting opinions from many local chefs and food writers about the state of foodie-ism, which seems to steer toward annoyance.

Initially, the article struck me as incredibly funny, considering that earlier this month the Trib perpetrated this very behavior by publishing a list of What's Out/What's In for 2011. Looking at the list, who even knows what "face dining" is, and who will be able to afford Achatz's upcoming "edible cocktails"? And who isn't sick of the ampersand restaurant trend already, with the half-dozen or so that opened in the past year?

sausage n waffles.jpg
sausage & waffles, Old Town Social

I think we all get why foodies are annoying: the constant use of cameras to document their meals (for the love of god, turn off the flash), the pissing contests over who has been to the latest gastropub/farm-to-table restaurant first, and the general snobbery involved in the local vs. organic debate is certainly tiresome. But as a commenter over at LTH Forum points out, "The bottom line is that people who continually obsess about anything are tiresome, whether it be food, fantasy football, training dogs or scrapbooking" (I can vouch for this: I love football, but watching it with my Packers-obsessed partner tests the limits of my sanity).

Discussing the article with a friend, he remarked, "It's great that people are talking about [food] instead of shoving more happy meals down their gullets," which is true I suppose. I'm all for people knowing and appreciating where their food came from and learning how to cook. It's when we start to look down on someone for their love of a particular fast food chain (Wendy's spicy chicken, anyone?) or other pedestrian interests and tastes that these so-called "foodies" lose my respect. It's ok to love both Lula Café's Monday night farm dinners, and Coke Zero, because if everyone loved only bacon and cupcakes and whatever else is "in" as much as food writers have touted, what a boring world we would live in.


Gino Williams / December 31, 2010 12:02 PM

I am the first to admit that I have a mock — jokingly — fascination with photographing my food during my restaurant jaunts. Fortunately my jump into photography and use of high-end cameras eliminate my use of the flash when I'm clicking away. Whew! As long as you're not annoying and it's a slow day or night, there are times when you may get an invitation to the kitchen to talk to the chef. And if you engage the server more about the food, you may find something you ordered not on the final bill. Smile.

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