Food Bitches

While hosting my annual Christmas party, one of my inquisitive guests approached me in my kitchen and asked if I was a Foodie. He loves to watch Andrew Zimmern and, like most people I know he is interested in the culture of food. My circle of friends all like good party, good alcohol, good company and good food, (who in their right mind doesn’t) and I’m a bit of an anomaly amongst them because of my former chef status and total of forty years involved in cooking and kitchen design.

The question caught me off guard a bit, or maybe I was just thinking a little slower than usual, with a relentless migraine, morning codeine pill, a marathon afternoon in the kitchen and now a glass of California Cabernet under my belt. “It depends on your definition of a Foodie,” I answered, oh so scholarly, while slicing perfectly medium rare Black Angus tenderloin into circles to refill the platter.

“Well,” he explained, “someone who’s willing to try new things all the time. Excited to try new foods. Like Andrew Zimmern.”

I must have sneered.

“Not bugs and stuff ––”

I cut him off. “Well, no, I’m pickier than that, I think there should be a different word for me. Cuz anyone can be a ‘foodie’ by your definition. And I’m not anyone.”

(Did I ever mention that to work in a kitchen you need a big ego? And to be a woman working in a kitchen you need a REALLY BIG ego? Then, to further work in the man’s world of design and construction and equipment sales you need a SUPER REALLY BIG ego? I’ve spent 40 years cultivating my ego.)

The beef looked beautiful as I arrayed the pink and red slices on the platter. “I’m more concerned in the execution of good food and respect for the dishes. A lot of things really rile me that seem to never change while everyone has their mind on all this fru-fru shit on the Food Channel instead of the basics. So I’m more like a … a … Food Bitch!” I went on, proud that my migraine-drug-wine-pummeled brain could coin such an awesome phrase for myself.

“Oh?” Friend asked, “Like what kind of basics?”

Someone scurried up to take the platter to the table and I wiped my hands on my crawfish apron protecting my black dress. “Well when I go out to eat and spend my hard earned cash, I expect certain things. Like hot food served on a hot plate, a salad on a chilled plate. And I don’t want to spend 30 bucks on a fresh piece of Cobia and have it seasoned to death. Those types of things. The food doesn’t have to be extravagant. So I’m not a Foodie, I’m a Food Bitch,” I reiterated.

“What about your daughter? Is she a Foodie?” Friend asked.

Daughter, who was not at my Christmas Eve party that night — her first Christmas away from home. Who took my cooking for granted until high school, when inviting her friends to my food parties was all that. Who could crack an egg one-handed since grammar school. Who is an English major and a kick-ass server at a trendy restaurant in New Orleans. Who is training in craft cocktail culture to support her theater aspirations in New York in her future. Who has dined her way through New Orleans. Who dines out regularly with her friends and gives me the food and service report afterwards. Who will miss that wedge of brie softly oozing on the cheese board.

Who is a chip off the old block.

“My daughter? Oh, yeah. She’s a Food Bitch too.”

Food Bitches at Tivoli and Lee, New Orleans 2014

Food Bitches at Tivoli and Lee, New Orleans 2014

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4 responses to “Food Bitches

  1. Ugh to the term “foodie.” I think anyone who has worked in a professional kitchen has an adverse reaction to that word. It literally makes me gag a bit. I also hate it when people say stuff like “Since you’re a foodie, you’ll appreciate this — I was watching Guy Fieri ‘s show and blah blah blah.” Nope. Not at all. I just want to smack them. I think Food Bitches is a perfect term!

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