I was reading a piece about the term food snob lately, what makes one and how they are viewed by their family, workmates and friends. I suppose all of us already in the food business are food snobs so that is something we accept goes with the territory. Outside of industry though there is a strata of food lovers between the general public and the professionals but I prefer the term foodie over food snob though there might be a distinction between the two. No matter which, we are talking about an army of gourmets that let the pleasure of food and drink dominate their lives and there is nothing wrong with that, we are glad to have them on board.
We have regular engagement with foodies at events like product launches, festivals and of course chatting with us chefs at their tables when they eat our food. I suppose in every industry there will be the amateur aficionados of the craft and the food and drink world is no different. Foodies will be at the top of a queue, sitting in the front row and first to ask a question. They will be there on restaurant opening nights and entering amateur cookery competitions. I have had plenty in my cookery classes over the years.
The foodie home kitchen will be a shrine to all things cooking and they host the most wonderful dinner parties. They will be right on trend with all the latest food fashions from kitchen gadgets to the latest obscure ingredients to hit the shelves or whatever Nigella or Jamie have newly recommended. Foodies will shop at farmers markets, do vineyard tours and start making their Christmas pudding in August. You will know you are with one too when they will talk about food in all settings.
I do like listening in on them having a good exchange trying to out boast each other and me not letting on at all about what it is I do for fear of being captured for hours of interrogation, which has happened on occasion.Some foodies in the digital age are posting and writing about their experiences online in blogs and influencer sites and I follow and enjoy some of the more informed ones. They are now an important part of the modern food media and our industry probably needs to more accept this reality even if the influencer audience is the public and not so much the trade.
Others will make the quantum leap into actually joining the food industry professionally, going off to train in college, cooking something for a farmers market or starting a coffee shop which will always be a shock to the system as it is not easy here in the world of food to make a buck by any stretch.
As a pure hobby though it has also got to be expensive for the average member of the public to buy high end wines and de luxe foods all the time never mind eating at the top restaurants. So they will need to be a man or woman of substantial means, as bygone parlance would describe as having a fairly disposable income. Anyone can watch the food channels but big money will certainly buy you luxury food.
Then the people around foodies have to tolerate all this gastro indulgence too so it can be tough keeping up or even abiding by their nonstop favourite subject. It must be similar to all those patient partners of us chefs who have to put up with our obsessive career choice and a subject that rarely gets left at the front door. Yours truly is very guilty as charged with private and professional life merged as one. I admire the chefs who are able to switch off the second they leave the kitchen.
For my own foodie friends and family it is always nice to offer recipes and cook for them and luckily they have always been able to keep their interest at a normal level. I will get texted for tips and tricks or hear about an awful meal they just ate and having to send my sympathies. I suppose I could be just like them if I had gone on to my other career choices of Art College or journalism. So if there is a foodie in your life then take it easy on them, think how life would be so less exciting without their enthusiasm and if reading this then thanks for following my own foodie musings.