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Saturday, December 2

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Random Thu Aug 23 2012

Drive-Thru's Guide to Culinary Specialization

hamburglar_mcdonalds.jpgFirst there was chef de cuisine (when chef did just fine) and then there were mixologists. But then we got a tip on a new one from a local restaurant (which we will not name because we like our Chicago community) and knew we had seen it all: Caesaristas, defined as a specially-trained Caesar barista, or one who skillfully executes the preparation and service of a Caesar salad.

Since only Alton Brown can get away with saying something like this, we at Drive-Thru took the opportunity to wonder, what else could we come up with. So we present to you our 2012 Guide to Culinary Specialization.

Baconiac - any chef who feels the compulsion to add bacon to everything.

Batch Assessor - a consultant who can tell with one sip of your beer or soda whether it's the product of small-batch or micro-batch production; currently studying to be a Hoptologist.

Confectionista - one who elevates the cupcake to include all major food groups.

Doughboy - anyone willing to stand in line for an hour or more for a doughnut; can be applied to those who do the same for hot dogs and oversized cupcakes.

Fermentestician - a specialized barber, trained to groom the facial hair of men who do their own pickling, ensuring beards are of uniform length and thickness.

FTT-Certified - the official classification for Farm-to-Table execution.

Gastronaut - someone willing to travel long distances for new, interesting or wonderful food.

Goatessant/Goatesser - Stephanie Izard's sous-chefs; required to wear an udder during winter hazing.

Guacamolera - chief guacamole maker at Adobo Grill; title of all new interns at Belmont Burlesque; sometimes the name given to a seasoned Latin dancer.

Hoptologist - can tell you exactly where the hop of a beer came from by the color and nose of a beer; refuses to go out in Lincoln Park or the Gold Coast.

Malortoseur - anyone who claims to be a member of the elite 49 people who enjoy the taste of Malort," even though their face says otherwise; see also Malort Face (not to be confused with the Malortosaurus, a theropod dinosaur from the Jurassic Period that would disable predators by spraying a debilitating, bitter substance into their face).

Maple Syruptician - spends most of the early spring hiding in the forest, simple gear in tow, looking for the best trees to tap.

Meringeurs - bar backs solely responsible to the art of whipping egg whites. Such person is essential for the perfect Ramos Gin Fizz, Pisco Sour or any decent Flip. Prefers their eggs cage-free.

Mobie - a food truck roadie who can give you the coordinates of every food truck in the city; identifiable by calloused thumbs.

Neapolitino - one who can perfectly (and consistently) stretch pizza dough to three millimeters' thin; also the name of Jared Van Camp's pet poodle.

Parmesanos - an overly zealous lot dedicated to creating a nice cheesy cap atop a wide selection of pastas.

Pepperista - a specially trained pepper-mill operator. Formerly known as the pepper boy, the position was formalized and professionalized as the Industrial Revolution advanced.

Saganakists, or Flambee-erinos - one who carefully avoids woman's bangs and small children while while lighting Greek cheese or Baked Alaska on fire.

Srirachachasta - a diner who carries around a bottle of Sriracha in case of dining emergencies, and for whom everything is much too bland.

Sushianator - one who has managed to take a classic Asian finger snack food and completely Americanize it...with cream cheese.

Tamalegician - a magical man with a blue cooler who appears out of nowhere with delicious Mexican delicacies; AKA "The Tamale Guy."

The Great Pretender - person who claims they eat sushi but always orders tempura or california rolls, usually falls prey to the Sushianator (see above).

The Temple Virgin - a bartender who will only make Shirley Temples and other non-alcoholic drinks.

UH-Maisie - diner (usually female) who can only describe everything she eats as "AMAZING" (pronounced "UH-MAZE-ING").

Umaminator - a compost expert who can gauge, by mouth feel, the level of bacteria and enzymes in a steaming heap of food scraps.

Wingologist - One who is well-versed on exactly what/which Harold's Chicken Shacks are the best in the city.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi,
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