Matthew Sumpter

I want to be a foodie

Posted on | August 5, 2011 | 3 Comments

Am I already a foodie? Are you born that way, or is it something you develop over time? For starters, let’s define foodie?

Wikipedia: An informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink.

Urban Dictionary: A person that spends a keen amount of attention and energy on knowing the ingredients of food, the proper preparation of food, and finds great enjoyment in top-notch ingredients and exemplary preparation.

I personally like that definition, but let me give you a couple of alternative definitions from Urban Dictionary:

– A douchebag who likes food.

Douchebag – “I’m a big foodie.”
Non-doucher – “Really? I like food too, but I’m not a tool.”

Honestly, I can understand this sentiment. Unless you are a foodie, I think it’s hard to understand the strong emotion tied to food. A foodie can definitely come across as pretentious if they are not careful.

– A dumbed-down term used by corporate marketing forces to infantilize and increase consumerism in an increasingly simple-minded American magazine reading audience. The addition of the long “e” sound on the end of a common word is used to create the sensation of being part of a group in isolationist urban society, while also feminizing the term to subconsciously foster submission to ever-present market sources.

Hmmm… I think an angry person wrote this one.

Based upon the first two definitions, it appears that this is something that you develop over time, not a “skill” that you are born with. Now, you must be born with a love of food in order to put in the time and energy to become a foodie, but not everyone with this love is willing to dedicate themselves to learning.

Lets make a list of requirements based upon the definitions:
1) Aficionado of food and drink

Spends a keen amount of attention and energy on the following:
2) Knowing the ingredients of food
3) Knowing the proper preparation of food

4) Finds great enjoyment in top-notch ingredients and exemplary preparation

My Checklist
1) I need quite a bit of work on this one.
2) Working on this.
3) Working on this.
4) Done!

So, my grade card is pretty dismal. Looks like I’m going to have to work harder on a few of these. A friend recently referred to me as a “closet foodie”. I’m ready to come out of the closet. Well, you know what I mean, I hope.

Every goal needs action steps. I have jotted a few down that I would like to accomplish during the rest of this year (5 months).
1) Eat at one of the best restaurants in the city I happen to be in at least once a month.
2) Attend at least one live cooking class.
3) Continue to improve my skills through use of online learning.
4) Join a CSA or regularly visit farmer’s markets to encourage using the freshest local ingredients available.
5) Impress my family.

On my way –
1) I have reservations to eat at Justus Drugstore tomorrow night. From what I hear, this is one of the must-go-to places in the Kansas City area. I will also be in Atlanta, GA next month and hope to eat at Rathbun’s. I have been there twice and have been impressed. Kevin Rathbun is native to Kansas City and is also a winner on Iron Chef. I will always be looking for suggestions for where to eat, so comment away.
2) I will actually be attending a class tonight at The Culinary Center of Kansas City. I am about to learn some traditional tapas dishes. Sounds like it’s almost time for a dinner party!
3) I just discovered a great resource online, the eGullet Culinary Institute. I have been looking for something like this for months. It’s like attending culinary school online… FREE! I plan to visit this site often.
4) I have contacted a few local CSAs in the area and I’m waiting for replies. I may be a little bit late, since generally CSAs seem to start in the spring and last for 20-24 weeks. New Roots for Refugees is particularly interesting. They help refugees from other countries become acclimated to the United States and part of that process involves growing crops and selling them at farmer’s markets.
5) I’m guessing that my family will be my biggest critics. My parents are traditional down-home folks, who would probably rather eat at a barbeque joint than at Pierponts. My wife also enjoys comfort foods. There is a running joke in our family that each restaurant we go to needs to have meatloaf on the menu, or at least a good steak. And my kids, well they won’t eat half of the food that I make already.

I’ll have to let you know how this all turns out. Look for an update at the end of the year. Maybe I can get a testimonial or two if I’ve been able to improve my skills by then.

Comments

3 Responses to “I want to be a foodie”

  1. matthew
    August 5th, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

    For a more in-depth defense of the term foodie, see Jenny Vergara’s post at http://jv-foodie.typepad.com/foodie/2010/01/the-f-word.html She is Kansas City’s #1 Foodie.

  2. Chris Sumpter
    August 5th, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

    When in Ulaanbaatar, be sure to check out Hazara.

  3. matthew
    August 5th, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

    I will be sure to try that Chris. Do they happen to serve Mutton?

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