So, You Think You Are A Foodie?

By Melissa Lee

Three requirements that will make you a lovable foodie… not an annoying one


“A person who thinks they know everything about food and the origins of food. Usually, these people have zero experience actually cooking and dealing with the stress of a real restaurant environment. They’ll create blogs for themselves to create a sense of self-worth, often this isn’t their real job. These are the same types that hang out at pretentious, expensive coffee lounges. They totally destroy a layman’s love of food and make the average person feel like crap for going out to eat.”

– Definition of “foodie” by Mr. Tintin (Urban Dictionary, June 6th, 2019)



I can’t stop laughing when I read this. And most of my chef friends would laugh as well. We have mixed feelings about the word “foodie.” We find it a bit awkward to handle situations with those who claim to be foodies. When meeting new people, some get excited I’m a “real” chef, and feel compelled to introduce themselves to me as a “foodie” or sometimes a “real foodie.”



“Chef, I am a real foodie. I have been to Daniel in NYC, Oya in Boston, and Alinea in Chicago,” said a lady wearing a three-carat diamond ring. She can’t hide her excitement when talking about her experiences dining in those fancy restaurants. All right. Let’s stop here. If this lady introduces herself in the same way to my chef friends, guess what we think? Let me be 100% transparent with no filter: we are not so sure how much thought she has put into food, but we are 100% sure she is rich.



This is a little confession. None of the cooks or chefs in the food industry would call themselves “foodies.” Since we handle food for more than ten hours a day, we don’t want to continue thinking about food after work. Many chefs find it hard to be friends with those who claim to be foodies. Why? Because it’s almost impossible for anyone who has never worked in a commercial kitchen to understand how brutal it is. If “foodie” is defined by the ability to dine out in fancy restaurants rather than the knowledge of food and the techniques of handling food, chefs find it hard to have a real conversation with those foodies. A common complaint from my friends in the industry is: “They just don’t understand!”



Here at Cooking Beautifullee, we have a different definition for “foodie.” And to welcome you to join our community, I will share the three requirements we have for being a lovable foodie… who won’t be annoying.



Be Respectful

This is a platform open to BOTH insiders and outsiders of the food industry. The insiders include but are not limited to chefs, cooks, dishwashers, servers, bussers, hosts, managers, bartenders. In general, those who work in the industry. The outsiders include but are not limited to food bloggers, food lovers, food writers, food critics. Sometimes, one can be both. We may debate on our platform, but it’s a no judgement zone. We want you to speak your mind, but in a respectful way. Please don’t assume “you know better than others” because you work in the industry, because you have been to many Michelin 3-star restaurants, or because your family member said you are the best cook ever. We also apply a no swearing policy on this platform. People have different points of view, and we understand it can be frustrating when others don’t view things from your perspective. You can be opinionated, there is nothing wrong with it, but swearing is not allowed.



Be Counter-Hegemonic

We want to celebrate all food, cultures, and curiosities on this platform, and we will discuss food trends, food scenes, and many food-related topics. In order to join us, we would like to encourage you to dive deeper into each topic and challenge hegemony. Hegemony means the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group over others. Any phenomenon that is considered the “norm” can be challenged. For example, it’s easy to draw a conclusion that female chefs are, in general, less capable of cooking compared to male chefs because there are fewer female chefs in the commercial kitchens. But when we dig deeper into this phenomenon, we see how difficult the industry is for women. How can women breastfeed when the workspace is not conducive for pumping breast milk? How can they care for their young children in an industry where the hours are not flexible, and maternity leave is a luxury only office people get to enjoy? We want you to be critical and open-minded and think about food-related issues in more depth.



Have Fun

At the end of the day, food is fun. Yes, we want you to be serious about food, but most importantly, we want you to have fun on this platform. We are not here to cure cancer, deal with nuclear weapons, or save the world. We are here to celebrate life and the fun that food offers. So my dear foody friends, please relax, be open-minded, venture out of your comfort zone, learn points of views from both insiders and outsiders, and never ever forget to HAVE FUN!


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