Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Foodie Backlash

I feel compelled to comment on the online article from yesterday's Houston Press. I have to admit, I have become somewhat uncomfortable with the term "foodie" myself (for some of the reasons listed in the article and some of my own). I set-up this blog in early 2007 and certainly had no idea that the word might actually become uncool ... go figure. I've considered ending the whole process, since I don't post as often as I think I should (certainly I always have food on the brain ... things I've cooked, eaten and read about) but not nearly enough time to post about all of them and really only a random few. I don't tweet (well, I think I have like 3 times) ... I just don't want to go there (again, numerous reasons) so I've resisted that whole trend. And when I started this I really thought of it as more of a dairy and less of something anyone would actually read but I have appreciated the feedback I have received and hope it has inspired people to have some reverence for what they're consuming.
And that's really the essence of my thinking on food ... that eating it should be a thoughtful experience using all five senses and beyond ... that mindlessly inhaling "just anything" is a shame. I appreciate what goes into creating wonderful food, from those growing and harvesting to those working so hard in it's preparation. I am a passionate person who appreciates that level of passion in pretty much all endeavors.
Then of course there is the whole notion of enjoying all of this with others as meals are shared and the true conviviality that emerges when fabulous cuisine is paired with folks who share an appreciation for it all. Mostly I love feeding people in my home. I LOVE cooking with love and care and translating all of that emotion to people I care about. And that stuff isn't new or trendy ... I learned it from my grandmother and dare I say, I think she was a bit of a foodie in her day.
So, I dunno. Maybe I'll stop snapping photographs of my plate (but really, I've been doing this for a VERY long time and I really enjoy looking back on those shots as part of my vacations as much as the nature shots!). I don't touch my phone while I'm at the table so I'm off the hook there. And while I came to know a number of chefs in Houston because of the work I did launching the wonderful program Recipe4Success, I would never, ever go into a restaurant expecting to get to meet the chef or know the chef or talk-up getting to know a chef ... I think some of it gets pretty weird. So I do get what the article is pointing to in that regard.
The article says in part, "In the same way that certain people call themselves "music nerds" or "fashion nerds," I was and still am a food nerd. A food nerd wants to investigate all aspects of food, where it comes from, how it's made, what it means in a broader social context and how it relates to your own tiny place in the world. Not foodies." Well, that really describes me - I feel totally nerdy about food the way I do about my favorite musician (Ian Moore - see, I'm really nerdy about it) but unfortunately my name is "foodie houston" so I guess I'm screwed.


Steve Romero said...

Don't worry. The fad, as most do, will pass. If you're still around after the wave you'll be appreciated for your food knowledge where others have moved on. Keep up the good work.

jackiee said...

You seem to have a passion for food, so I was wondering if you have a some healthy recipes of your own that you make. If you do, you should send them into this contest I know of that’s making its way around the country, the Aetna Healthy Food Fight. It’s coming to San Antonio on October 2-3 and Houston on October 9-10! I noticed your blog and thought you would be interested. You could get great exposure for your recipes and meet celebrity cooks (Bobby Flay, Sunny Anderson, Sara Moulton, or Cat Cora). All you have to do is go to to submit one of your healthy recipes. Deadline to sign up for San Antonio is September 15th and Houston is September 22nd so hurry! Good luck if you decide to enter, and if not, keep posting! :)