by | Sick to death of foodies? I know I am. Where did they all of a sudden come from, anyway? The rise of the internet and the quick democratisation of journalism (aka “blogs”) may have had something to do with it, but I’m going to go with a different answer. Foodies are from hell.
And as deranged as you’d expect the most defiling demons to be. We’re talking shit-for-breath gargoyles of both sexes photographing every dish they consume and spending countless hours bantering on echo chamber food blogs and magazines, Scout included. They are the weirdest sub-species since the Mods, the North American answer to Japan’s harajuku freaks.
It’s all the rage right now in Vancouver. We have more foodies digging organic that and locally-sourced this than we do restaurants offering either, and for the most part they all appear to be armed to the tits and hipster moustaches with laptops, smartphones, and accounts on every social media platform known to man.
On my end, if I hear another “scrumptious” or “yummy” in the restaurant or have to deal with another foodie blogger because says “it’s good business”, I will totally lose it. In that vein, if I ever arrive at a dinner party and see a clique of online foodie friends trying to mount the fridge, I shall scream. Similarly, if I have to listen to one more baconista burst perverted about a tasting menu they don’t understand or a chef they’ve never met, I will totally puke.
So I’m grateful to finally have a platform from which I can do exactly that: lose it, scream and puke. I hope you don’t mind.
For this first installment, I’ll conclude with a little on camera etiquette…
If you take a photograph of what you eat in a restaurant and share it on the internet, then you are probably a social leper who was picked on mercilessly in high school. You are most definitely a nerd, at least until you put the camera away. If you don’t, but rather use it repeatedly and brandish it as a means of access, you are a nerd in addition to being a (possibly) gangrenous demon.
There are many other types (further classifications will be forthcoming in future editions of Anti-Foodie), but these can be some of the sneakiest. The ones I’ve had to deal with are tricky fuckers with really big cameras, the kind that show up at my work and blow my night without warning.
Like a few nights ago…
entered with a few of her online foodie friends and started by taking a few indiscreet interior shots of the dining room to attract the attention of and . The lens on her camera was as big as her arm. Everyone looked at her as if she’d brought in a fucking RPG.
At this point a business card was handed over, a cheap one done on a home printer declaring the yelping twitterer to be none other than Ms. Iworkat Thegap, CEO of some online piece of Hello Kitty evilness with a name that was particularly shiver-inducing. Let’s call it CupcakeQueen.com.
Her jig had just begun.
They ordered no drinks. No surprise there. Just water, iceless but with lemon. @cupcakequeen then proceeds to take obligatory photos of the room from her vantage point, a curved banquette that faces out to the whole dining room. In my opinion, it’s the best table in the house.
Amuse bouche are rushed out with a wine pairing, which annoys me because my other tables are like, um…WTF?…why don’t we see that action, too? I have no answer except to avoid looking at them.
is pissed because now he has to perform for these morons. He, like most cooks, loathes “foodies” as much as I do, particularly those with the big cameras. When he looks up from his open kitchen after I whisper the table number to him and he sees @cupcakequeen photographing his menu, he turns to me, shakes his head as if to say I don’t want to cook for these idiots. Kill me now.
He hates too, mostly because we all agree that he’s a bit of an affected pussy. The guy practically lays an egg every time he sees a big camera come out of a Whole Foods recycling bag crowded with $90 blocks of cheese, jars of dumbness from Meinhardt’s, moose chorizo dildos from Oyama, and more crappy business cards. “This person is really influential within the whole social media foodie scene, so really…” pauses for emphasis, horn-rimmed glasses quaking and accent warbling, “…really take care of her and her friends.”
Yeah, like I’d do anything less, right? Goof. I have a student loan and a mortgage to worry about. I fucking treat everyone nice.
“I’ll pour the wine.” says . “You tell to make them that and I’ll get the to go with it. You’ll run the food and…you know, hover…entertain.”
When the complimentary appetizers are delivered, the camera is waiting. A candle is lifted to the edge of the plate for dramatic lighting. Click. Settings are hurriedly changed on the honkin’ Nikon, from high ISO default to a low flash. Click. “Ooh…” her friends ejaculate. “That looks so good.”
The obligatory iPhones are whipped out for secondary shots, which are spasmed upon and promptly uploaded to Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter.
@VanFoodIdiots Our dinner @ is scrumdiddly-deelish. is a genius.
Other than the amuse bouche, they’ve yet to take a single bite.
My three other tables are in a good spot – two enjoying their mains and the third paying their check – so I lean in and listen, pretending to be polishing glasses at the empty table next door. Predictably, they’re talking about what they’re reading on their phones, which they hold up to their faces like portals to a parallel dimension.
“ is at the opening in .”
“I read his tweet. Sounded yummy. Goodie bags and everything.”
“I would go later but I’m at the tasting with and .”
“I’m going after yoga tomorrow.”
“Ugh. wants to be Facebook Friends with me when I’m already a Fan. What do you say to that?”
“OMG, I’m seriously like so close to being Mayor of Yaletown on Foursquare.”
“Guys, refresh and retweet this…like right now.”
I assume her ‘tweet’ went something like this:
@ Dinner totally #delicious #foodwins at @restaurant. Joined by @foodouche @yamlover
Gosh, I thought. That a dining experience that hasn’t yet happened can be rendered into 140 character inkblots that code the #bizarre nightly rituals of #sociallepers, then wow, #holyfuck, my staff beer in two hours can’t come soon enough.
“I’m starving. Where do you want to go next?” asked @cupcakequeen of her friends, snapping photos of my other customers, who pay no attention.
Pardon me? You’re thinking about leaving? OK!
I really hate having to spend time serving people I’d sooner jump and dummy in the alley around the corner. This was an otherwise good evening under threat of being shriveled, so I put down the wine glass I was polishing and pounced to see how they were doing with their salads. A couple bites here and there, that was it.
“Ladies, are you enjoying the salads?” I asked, rubbing my hands together. I knew what was coming next.
“Yes, but we actually have to go. Like, now.” said @cupcakequeen while taking my picture. Click. “Can we get separate bills?”
Sure. My face must have had the widest smile ever recorded on film.
“I would, madam, but you and your companions haven’t actually ordered anything, so there are no bills for me to separate.” I told her. “You may go on your merry way, and before finds out you’re leaving if you please. He was so happy to see you that you’d finally come. I hope I’m not the one who has to tell him you’ve left!”
I dutifully pull out the chairs of @foodouche and @yamlover while @cupcakequeen wiggles her way out of the banquette, her enormous camera held high with her other hand texting @randomdouchebag.
When she stands I gesture toward the kitchen and she looks over at , who waves his knife at her, smiling like he’s just been given a cold beer. “I do hope you enjoy yourselves wherever you arrive next,” I say. I’m angling for a tip now, as I’ve noticed they’ve left me nothing at all on the table.
This demon may be evil, but she’s no fool. “I’d tip you but I’ve only got plastic. No bill, no tip.” she shrugs. “I’ll get you next time.”
Yeah? See you next time.