I know it would seem odd to some of you that I, of all people, would rant against foodies. So, maybe this rant should include a bit of an apology and an explanation. As you may or may not know, I am a bit of a foodie. I’ve made my own ice cream, candies, sausages, cheese, sourdough, and pasta just to name a few of the adventures I’ve had in the kitchen. I beat the fresh/local/slow food drum just as loudly as anyone. Hell, I work in the kitchen at Whole Foods specifically because I love food and I love the Whole Food philosophies concerning fair trade and responsible stewardship of the land. My love of those ideas is so strong that I’ll gladly spend my money on food grown down the road before buying it from a chain like Whole Foods whenever I can.
Lately, though, I’ve come across a different breed of foodie. I’ve come across the hoity-toity foodie- the one with the fancy degree, impressive resume, and massive frickin’ ego. And it kills me. Great, you went to some illustrious college and spent $35,000 a year learning mise en place and the proper way to serve bone marrow and beef cheeks. Woohoo! You worked a million hours a week at some restaurant serving stuffed shirts a deconstructed pot pie with celery foam and puff pastry discs. Good on you. But we’re here now. Whether your fall was self-imposed or not, you’re working right alongside me and everyone else in the kitchen. Regardless of if we were at the top of our class at the Culinary Institute of America, got our training by asking the higher ups a million questions and staying up well past our bedtimes reading cookbooks and practicing recipes, or are just here because it’s the place to be at the time, we’re all here together and most of us really want to do a good job. So, stop with the stories of your former glory and bragging about the crap you’re going to do when you get home because it doesn’t fly with me.
Food isn’t an elitist idea- or at least it shouldn’t be. It’s a common bond that both binds us together and defines who we are as a collective culture and an individual. The meal I’m serving my son has the same purpose as the meal your kitchen has created for your client- to nourish the body and the soul. While I consider myself a decent cook, I know I’m rough around the edges. On-the-job training tends to be a bit more specialized than a degree. While what I’ve produced may be elementary in your eyes, I promise you it’s brought me and my diners immense happiness and that’s all I really care about.
So, if I’ve ever gotten too big for my britches about anything I’ve done in the kitchen, I apologize. Damn, that’s really annoying and I’m sorry to have put you through it. Ciao!