Approval or appreciation of "Foodies"

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by robbo-one, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. robbo-one

    robbo-one

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    With reality television and vast media coverage people now understand
    what the food is that they order they use words whilst dining like texture,
    flavour, aroma, acidity, infusion and presentation as if they are now a
    supreme authority on food to the level of a food critic its like a game of
    one upmanship not content with enjoying the chefs creations but proceed
    to tell surrounding diners where the ingredients are sourced how it could
    be better cooked and sometimes presented and what elements of certain
    foods constituent a well balanced meal don't get me wrong i welcome people
    understanding more about the food they eat but i am uneasy with the ever
    growing culture of stuck up foodies.
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Off topic but do you disbelieve in punctuation? That was hard to read and break apart into meaningful sentences.
     
  3. leeniek

    leeniek

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    I think that the ones who are trying to toss around the terms are doing so to impress their fellow diners.  When I go out to eat, I go out to eat and enjoy myself, not to sit with some guy at the table who is going to show off his knowlege to me. People seem fascinated by the professional kitchen and I've actually met people who have watched HK and think that anyone can do it.  That isn't the case.. restaurant work is hard and it is not for everyone.

    All of us need to eat and we all have kitchens in our homes, and well.. we all cook.  All of us do it  differently and we gear what we make towards our own tastes.. some people make it from scratch, others use prepackaged foods but fact is we all prepare food to some degree.  Some people like to experiment with recipes and try new things, others stick with the same seven dishes every week with little to no variety (my mom was the latter.. she hated cooking but did it because she had to.. in her defense my dad was very picky and hard to please when it came to food so no wonder she got to hating it)

    Worst thing that has ever been said to me at a dinner party after they found out my career and at the time I was the kitchen at the cafe... "oh you are a foodie, then?  I'm  a foodie too you must love your job"  and I replied with ( and I had to be nice because it was my husband's work Christmas party)  "yes I love food and I enjoy spending time at home making different dishes and trying new things but my job is different and I have to operate differently there.  I have to be aware of everything, know when I'm getting low on something and get backup cooking right away, deal with changes, deal with remakes, deal with complaints, special diets, food costs, health inspectors, critics... it is a  passion yes but also a job and I am being paid to do it properly."  They said they had no idea so much was involved but admired that I was able to do it .
     
  4. robbo-one

    robbo-one

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    Well phatch no fooling you, please point me to the rocket science forum
     
  5. chefboy2160

    chefboy2160

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    I myself have little patience for the food enlightened patron/drunk/stoned or just idiot who must stoke there ego by dissecting the food/service/atmosphere and such else. If your stuff is good then you can rule that kind of BS very easily and with grace make them look like the fool they are!

    In a lot of my old establishments we ended it with a quick phrase " I am sorry you are not enjoying your time here, perhaps you should have sex and travel"? The guest would always respond with a "what do you mean by that" ? Our line was always "I guess its time for you to take a friggen hike". We do not want or need customers like this and to weed them out is a boon to the regulars who also enjoy the show and the support of a friendly place to eat........

    OK, I am a hard A$$ at times but hey, its your show so just run it.............
     
  6. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Ditto, analogous to having a seven course meal on a single plate, it is all there, I think it is "tasty", guess I'm getting old...
     
     
  7. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    Looks like you found it 'cuz.............This is it./img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif
     
  8. the-boy-nurse

    the-boy-nurse

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    One must be a rocket scientist in order to use punctuation? Holy crap I think I'm overachieving.

    When at a restaurant The wife and I will often discuss the food. What ingredients we think were used, what techniques, etc. We are not critiquing the food so much as trying to learn from the chef, through his food. That assumes of course the food is interesting, if it is boring or bad we don't really talk about it, we just pay the bill and never come back.

       It could be some of the talk is a function of the quality, or at least price of the food. Nobody is discussing texture and aroma in a Denny's. That said I will admit it is incredibly annoying when someone comes into the hospital after spending 15 minutes on the internet and tells me how to better treat grandma. When that happens I typically (and with great empathy) use my superior experience and knowledge to explain how they're wrong; usually with bigger words than are really necessary.  Of course it's always harder to argue matters of opinion.
     
  9. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Yah-butt...

    Boynurse, your post is good, and yet it reminds me of a "Herman" cartoon, where Herman is lying in a hospital bed, ringing the duty-buzzer non-stop and the nurse comes in and tells him:
    "Just remember, every time you ring that buzzer, I'M the one who'll be removing the stitches.'

    Nurses always find a way to win.....

    I have patience for those who ask a zillion questions and who are genuinely interested. For those who are trying to "catch" me, I can usually get them to admit they know nothing.

    Example:  I run a chocolate and pastry store, and have a "show room" where I do my chocolate work. Even though I have a door that is kept closed, people find a way to open it when I'm in there, and ask me "stuff".

    "ahh, so those are your tempering machines, I guess you don't really have to temper, the machines do it all for you".

    "No, those are chocolate melters, basically just a giant soup warmer with a very sensitive thermostat.  I temper every batch by hand, every day.  Could you please close the door?  Chocolate work is very temperature sensitive".

    Some days I wish I COULD pull stitches though....
     
  10. greg

    greg

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    Rocket scientists generally have phd's, most people learn to use punctuation before they are ten. Just sayin'.
     
  11. greg

    greg

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    In the event you clicked through to this topic from the front page, this is the professional chefs forum. Feel free to read, but posting is reserved for foodservice professionals.
     
     
  12. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    I've never actually seen a chef come out of the kitchen and get in a guest's face for using affected vocabulary to criticise the food.  At least not here in the U.S.  It not only makes perfect sense in France, but is mandatory in Paris. 

    BDL 
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  13. kvonnj

    kvonnj

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    I have no problem with a "foodie" who is just showing off or expressing his/her appreciation for the hard work that goes into our craft. What I cannot tolerate is the ones who feel they have the credentials to critique, do so loudly, and harp on the finer points as if they had a clue.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  14. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    It's hard not to be a critic especially when we can be and are our own worst. Those that say they never judge when they are out cannot be telling the truth. It's literally beaten into us working up trough the ranks. Yeah you may not be saying things out loud but c'mon....under your breath or in the back of your mind the thought is there....or maybe it's just me and I am that old and cynical (cantankerous).

    The more people become educated through the venues listed above, the more there will be those that want to show off. It wasn't too long ago.... we as Chef's were screaming for a more enlightened public. But in some cases knowledge breeds......negative things and society breeds the know-it-all expert. Everyone has an opinion, no matter how factually true, twisted, distorted or even edited. Speaking of editing....... I would bet to say that the majority...if not all of the content that is provided for viewing has been edited and presented out of sequence for the biggest impact. I mean take He!!'s Kitchen. How many orders of scallops being burned or raw chicken or fish were sent to the pass before he (Chef Ramsay) decided to go postal? Then again....be honest.......at least for me the guy is doing nothing didn't think of doing myself if it were the 3rd, 4th or 15th time but couldn't because I had to contend with a touchy feely HR department or a set of Owners that wanted their Chef to be "different than the norm". But Hey....as far as the editing goes.... if it can't happen through the natural course of events then by Gawd we will make it happen one way or another. We are becoming a society of over reacting pundit's with an ever expanding  umm err uhhh...... I mean shrinking audience. Too many chiefs Chefs in this case and no injuns. Just hope that sooner than later those that are left will change the channel. I have.

    This is not an exact quote but it's what I remember of watching the 60 Minutes episode with Chef Jose Andres sort of re-worked or edited to fit this conversation.

    We (as American Chef's) should be more outspoken about the way we feed America............Here's my addition.....We should also be more outspoken about the way we allow ourselves as Professionals to be portrayed in the media as well as the level of education that exposure is creating. People will only mimic what they are exposed to yet if we expose them to more of the "right stuff" then hopefully they will mimic that as well. This would be good even for the strut of the Know-it-all
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  15. chefonfire

    chefonfire

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    Reminds me of a conversation I had a while back. I came out of the kitchen and recognized one of the guests. We talked food for a bit, the guys wife turns and says, tell him about that Cajun thing you made. He hesitates and says in a smug tone "I don't want to give out my secrets". This was said after I answer about 10 cooking questions in a row.

    Of course, I say nothing. The conversation trails off but in my head I'm thinking "riiiight, here I am, out to steal your Cajun recipe. Part of my plan all along". and then -  "you know, I usually charge for cooking advice as part of our classes".

    If you find yourself in a group of foodies, talking foodie stuff, just make up an ingredient that you swear is the most amazing thing you've ever used, like Wild Austrian Hedgeberry. Make sure they know that it has to be Wild Austrian or it's not the same. Watch their heads spin and then imagine them googling for 3 hours when they get home.
     
  16. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    What's this?  Paragraph II, section (b)(iii), of the Line Cook Job Description in the  Employee Manual?  Cooking sure has changed since I left the business.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  17. fryguy

    fryguy

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    try working at a country club!!!! I got 480 foodies and wine snobs....so I really have to dig deep to keep it new and fresh for the same people you see over and over again.....and what am I going to say to them??...I'ts thier club
     
  18. iplaywithfire

    iplaywithfire

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    For many of us, foodies are the ones who make our jobs possible.  Sure, bad attitudes are a despicable thing.  I have my moments as well.  I just hope my professionalism always holds when my emotions go from simmer to rolling boil in an instant (and no, it does not always, and yes, it can be a cathartic release when it does not, but it's almost never a good thing in the end).  One thing that I always try to bear in mind is that even God acts as a servant.  No matter how big you are, there's always something bigger than yourself.  Of course, it's impossible to satisfy everyone all the time.  For those chefs who have the luxury of free reign, kudos to you, and may you never lose sight of the value in that, for those whose job it is to try their damnedest to do the impossible and make everyone happy, best wishes!  
     
  19. chefross

    chefross

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    I live through the critique situation almost every night.

    As a Private Chef the client has every right to expect their food to be what THEY want, not what the Chef thinks it should be.

    I have to re-create some of the family favorites, and when they don't come out as expected, I get "This is not how I make it."

    Well DUH! I can't re-create a memory.....

    The I have to listen to the client explain how this is made or how that was done, so the next time I make it, the boss will be happy.

    I used to go through this at least 4-5 times a week, but after all these years, I still get a critique every once in a while.

    If I want to make Coq au Vin it must be Julia Child's recipe. If I want to make Onion soup, it must be Michael Fields recipe.

    One thing though that I feel is worth saying again is that as a Chef we can educate our clients only so far.

    People have their likes and dislikes. If a person is open to new and different creations this is good. Most people are plain eaters though

    and will not always be as willing to try something out of the ordinary.

    I remember I got this, the first time I served a made from scratch pasta......"Spaghetti is all I eat, and it has to have red sauce."

    I served them bow tie pasta a la cabonara.

    OK, now what?

    However much I can relate to this thread, in the end, it's about pleasing the customer, irrespective of my cooking abilities.
     
  20. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    Chefross and Iplay....some great insights. There is one thing I would like to add to your thoughts or maybe try and change through wording. It helps the my perspective with things so many years ago and was so simple too. It came from all places.....the "Theory ramblings" of a Casual Theme restaurant I worked for many times and for several years. Basically nothign more than good, solid common sense customer service principles and ideas.

    Treat every customer as an honored guest.............To me this is every customer and notr just the ones we like.

    I took some self brainwashing but after a short time I could no longer view them ans paying customers. And, no matter if they were a regular or the person from another area jus passing through, I wbegan to listen to them each with the same intensity.

    It was mentioned that you can only teach so much. I disagree. You can never teach enough. If that were the case then why would one of the worlds greatest percussionists.....Neil Peart....take the time so late in his career to relearn technique. In our field, Jose Andres or Marco Pierre White are great examples of reaching for more or even reaching back to things once done and allowing for an expansion or rethinking of already gathered knowledge. Not trying to sound preachy but I say this because it's amazing the things that I have allowed myself to become aware of in just the last few months by opening up my mind to more knowledge. But then that is the key.....those that we are talking about here must open up their minds. 
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010