If you don’t know me, you might read this title and think I don’t like food. If you do know me, you will be a bit confused. Why? Because I love food. Big HEART love it. I just hate being called a foodie.
I think I have done many of the things to credibly qualify as a “foodie”. I was editor of a food magazine, Food for Thought, for nearly 5 years. I knew how to roast a turkey and make my own stuffing by the age of 12. I had horseshoes on my ass when I got to go to France for the world’s largest food show, SIAL Paris, and then to the Canadian version of SIAL in Montreal. I have had many food clients over the years: an R&D chef, a restaurant, food processors, a phenomenal candy maker, a food commodity group, national associations and the like. I am currently on the board for Live Local, trying to encourage people to eat local food and dine in independent restaurants. I was on the board for the City Market Downtown on 104th when we were trying to build our customer and vendor base and did not even think about how in the future, so many no-names would try to take credit for its current popularity and success. I can BBQ better than most men and I bake like a good Ukrainian should.
By all measures, I probably qualify. But I don’t want to. I hate the term. I cringe when someone calls me a foodie and never know what to say when I am asked if I am one.
Wikipedia (I know, not the word of god) defines foodie as “an informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink”. For me, the word reeks of pretension, albeit false pretension. Suggestive of the notion that only foodies know where to eat, what to cook or how to enjoy food. It carries an inaccessibility and clubishness that makes me want to turn the other way. It is “cool” to be a foodie and everyone wants to be in da club. Too many self-proclaimed “foodies” I have met lord their knowledge, ride with their nose in the air about where they have eaten and what chefs they personally know, and criticize restaurants or food products without ever having tried to prepare, make or bake the food themselves.
When I think about the people I know whose lives have long been devoted to food, I note that they also never call themselves foodies. Food isn’t a hobby. It’s not a new past time or interest. It’s not a cool kids club they have decided to join. I love to read and my house and life is littered with books; does that mean I should walk around and call myself a “Reader”?
For us non-foodies, food has always been a natural part of life, long before the Food Network or markets and festivals were cool. Food is just an honest part of who we are. It has always been there. And it is comforting to know it always will be. Just as it will be for those who have only just discovered their passion for food. A love of food doesn’t need to have a label.
So I guess, just call me a girl who loves food. And I hope you love it too. But don’t worry, I won’t call you names as long as you return the favour. Let’s hereby resolve to never be foodies.