It’s finally October, and as it’s my birthday month, I’d like to start this month’s blogposts about my favourite type of people: foodies.
One of the highlights of my Summer was a lovely Sunday brunch in the South of France. Our group hired a private chef and his menu sparked one of the funnest, funniest conversations I’ve had in a while.
The first courses looked rather simple: a trio of baked seasonal Provençal veg stuffed with minced herbed beef, and a butternut squash soup with coquillage. However, these were super stunning dishes. The simplicity of it was rather outstanding.
Then the salad came, a dish of sweetbreads and lobster with tarragon and citrus dressing. This kicked off the convo.
“I like crab, but never had lobster… but I’m not a foodie so it doesn’t matter.”
“I love sweetbread! It’s like liver.”
“Please, can someone eat my sweetbread? I don’t wanna offend the chef…”
“Can you eat mine, too? I’ve Googled sweetbreads and I’m stifling a gag.”
“Hang on, can we take photos first?!”
This simple salad got my head flowing into a variety of scenarios I’ve encountered as a “foodie”, a “blogger”, and a “food blogger”. Moreso, it made me realise that the term “foodie” in its own right has been thrown around quite loosely in recent times (as with “blogger” but more on that later).
Let’s talk about being a true “foodie”
Generation Hashtag has seen the ploriferation of “foodies” and I sense this has raised eyebrows of those who have mastered the craft (ie hello greatest chefs and purists of the world). Which begs the question. What exactly is a foodie?
Our group came to ask questions: Can you be a foodie without knowing what foie gras is or without eating egg? Can you be a foodie without knowledge of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, or without trying any Michelin-starred restaurant? Are you a legit foodie if you can’t cook or if you don’t own a cookbook? Are you a legit foodie if your hero is Jamie Oliver? Or if the names Bocuse, Passaird, Adria, Achatz, Redzepi do not mean anything to you?
I gasped at the last question. That’s like not knowing what Afrika Bambaataa did for hip hop.
As we dissected our main dish, a fillet of steak with an insert of Italian lard and Provençal veggies, we dissected the types of foodies out there. We came up with 6.
The Types of Foodies
1. Grammer – Your friends and fam are now accustomed to the fact that they will never have warm dinners ever again unless you’re not around. From flatlays to quick snaps, no one dares touch a spoon (unless you’re doing an action shot) because everyone knows you just need to capture the calories before they burn.
Motto: Shoot first, eat later
Food heaven: Cupcakes and macarons, brunch of poached eggs for that perfect #eggporn moment
Food hell: Gravy and curry
2. Pompom – Your “favourites” vary from geoduck to fugu, and your collection of Michelin stars is as impressive as my grandma’s coin collection. Gold leaf and caviar are your fave garnishes and you enjoy sniffing a full plate, eyes closed, before tucking in. Might want to start investing in botox, though. You sometimes look like you suck prunes when you drink wine.
Motto: Food is divine, and so am I.
Food heaven: Industry Kitchen’s 24K woodfired pizza (with extra Almas Caviar)
Food hell: Those food truck sausages with fried onions and shared condiments
3. 21 Junk Street – Comfort food to you is anything you can get, eat, and devour in less than hour. You thrive on anything fried and calorific. Your food highlights involve trying exotic bugs on sticks and winning an eat-all-you-can hotdog competition when you were in school. Often, when after dining with friends somewhere fancy, you find yourself stopping at a Maccas or a Cornwall Pasty shop. You know, for a night cap.
Motto: Long live cholesterol.
Food heaven: Cheeseburger for days – the higher the patties, the closer to heaven.
Food hell: Sushi.
4. Foodiepedia – You just know everything – ingredients, produce, wine grape variants (down to the type of terrain they grow best in), a list of recommended restaurants in every possible city. And like an open source website, you’re updated with all the new openings, new chefs, new trends, new hot spots. You haven’t necessarily been to try all these yourself, but you know because whilst your friends are swiping to the left and to the right, you’re munching your way through the Michelin guide and Eater.
Motto: Kale is so yesterday.
Food heaven: A ‘grammable plate from a pop-up at a food festival
Food hell: Ham and cheese baguette from Pret-a-Manger
5. The Purist – You believe that food is for fuel and it shouldn’t be abused nor should it be treated as a form of entertainment. You are a huge advocate of Kill Gluten! and your favourite Christmas presents of all time were the spiralizer and NutriBullet you bought yourself. You go through cycles of veganism, vegetarianism, and pescatarianism, and you have measurements of how much protein powder/alkaline/ . You make your own health bars. Because you need your energy for your HIIT/spinning/yogalates/TRX session.
Motto: Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork
Food heaven: A hearty superfood salad with a dressing of Omega3 and collagen oils
Food hell: Thick-crust meat lovers pizza
6. Homerun – You’re the all-rounder who eats everything and anything, the one who knows everything and nothing. Want a pho tonight? Yes please. Would you like some Ossetra caviar? Two teaspoons please. Grilled chicken intestines? Oooh, with vinegar dip please. Helene Darroze? Love her. Comfort food? KFC! Can you cook? Ish. You simply love eating and you’re easy to take anywhere although sometimes your doe-eyed innocence is annoying.
Motto: Food is life!
Food heaven: A roomful of everything
Food hell: A massive menu
Cheese arrived as we guffawed across the table sharing stories of people and incidents we know of who perfectly embody these characters. I’m sure you know some people who fit the bill, too.
I’m sure there may have been some that we have missed. Any takers?
So what now?
If I’m being honest, it used to irritate me when the term “foodie” got abused and misused. But then the reality is, I’m not one to judge because I do not know everything either. I may have a great passion for food, but I know some others have a bigger passion than mine. I don’t eat egg and I’m a novice in the kitchen and I’ve not been to the ten latest openings in town just yet. But I still consider myself a huge foodie. So who am I to judge, eh?
After all, in a world of free speech and free movement you can be whatever and whoever you want to be. If Donald Trump can call himself a president, then you can call yourself a foodie, too. Right?
But seriously. I guess in a way we can all be foodies. But we all have a type. And though sometimes we can be hybrids, there’s definitely a dominant feature that makes you a character 🙂
Which one are you? 🙂