Monday, April 02, 2007

a non-food post about food, kind of.

2 topics of discussion: (1) foodies, and (2) food blogs. let's start with #2.

recently there was an article about food blogging in the SF chronicle, and apparently 2 very popular blogs for the city are tablehopper and becks & posh (???). now, there are gazillions of blogs for basically every single topic of interest that it's just impossible to keep tabs on everything. i honestly only read slashfood because it references a lot of other blogs and resources out there that i have no desire to research myself.

i'm not about to hate on those two aforementioned blogs, but when it comes to restaurant reviews, i personally only care about what to order - hence, most of my reviews will mostly say "good" or "bad" and then highlight the winning dishes. i also don't like vague and romanticized writing - i don't care to read about the intricate details of the place or the food. i just want to know if i should go there or not, and what/what not to order. also, who i'm getting the recommendation from is really important. for example, i'm not going to 100% trust a rave review of ton kiang by a white boy from kansas. i will, however, trust his review if i know that he knows asian food, and can tell the difference between what's good and what's bad (although i still would never go to ton kiang). it's like me and korean food. i like steve's, but apparently that's like panda express for korean food. now you know not to go to me for korean restaurant recs (although, i can recommend some places based on my korean friends' opinions).

back to the article - a chef was quoted as saying "Everyone has become a food critic. They think they're real big shots. They probably can't even make scrambled eggs." this brings me to topic #1: "foodies." and let me just say that i CAN make scrambled eggs. in your face, teo kridech! (hey whatdoyaknow... his restaurant is the reformed watercress. no wonder he's getting bad reviews....).

according to wikipedia, a foodie "
might dedicate significant time to food-related pursuits, including the pursuit of a specific item, such as the best egg cream or burrito." in other words, someone who likes and is interested in food. well, you say, doesn't EVERYONE like food?? sure, but doesn't everyone wear clothes? doesn't everyone like music?

being a "foodie" is really just about having an interest, and spending time learning more about that interest. it's about appreciating the ingredients, the technique, the art, and the innovation behind what you eat, not just about the newest hot spot or trend (although it might be like that in other more pretentious hipster scenes). with that in mind, let's address some unjustified generalizations:

- foodies only go to fancy shmancy restaurants: sure, i can appreciate fine dining (e.g. french laundry lives up to its hype), but it's not like i equate good food to expensive food. some of the best food in the world costs a few bucks or less. this guy blogs about hole-in-the-wall joints, but he's obviously a total foodie.

- foodies are snobs and elitists: as one who has been accused of being snobnoxious, my argument to that is... everyone has their own opinion! yes, i did just hate on ton kiang a few paragraphs ago, but so what? that's my opinion. you, my friend, can eat whatever you want. i LOVE hazelnut, but i hate ginger. not everyone has the same palate as me, and i'm not going to press my preferences onto other people.

- foodies are self-proclaimed experts whose only credentials are reading reviews and watching the food network: just because i didn't go to culinary school doesn't mean i don't have a decent palate (btw, culinary school really doesn't teach you anything that would make you a connoisseur) . refining your palate comes from eating a lot of different kinds of food (not just locally) and knowing what you're eating (i.e. ingredients). i also do not watch the food network except for iron chef once in awhile. i did, however, grow up on pbs cooking shows which has nothing to do with restaurants.

- foodies have a stupid name: you have a stupid name.

1 comment:

Mike said...

i read it! ha, you're a bit of an elitist, but that's ok... i like ginger