The Foodie Inside of Me

A lover of culture, consumption and New York City, the metropolitan dining scene would seem like an obvious interest of mine. I’ve even had mild exposure to the industry: Last summer, I worked as a copy editor and fact checker for at [REDACTED]. Along with ensuring comma agreement, I read hundreds of restaurant reviews.

This job would make anyone interested in checking out new restaurants. During that summer, Jason, Radhika and I had so-called Beta Dinners, where every Thursday the three of us would have a decadent meal at a restaurant whose hours I had confirmed earlier in the week. But ultimately, the job made a foodie out of Jason, and made me a zealous anti-foodite.

My co-worker at [REDACTED] was a 31 year-old aspiring micro-manager named Kim*. She had been doing temp fact checking for the site at $15 per hour for the past six months. As a co-worker and aspiring boss, she was awful. She talked incessantly, and once made me console her about buying a gift for her brother-in-law off of his Amazon wish list only hours before his birthday. Once when I lamely blamed my trouble with HTML coding on my weakness with computers, she responded, “You’re bad with computers? You certainly seem good with emailing.” Thanks, I am good at emailing. But HTML isn’t the same as Gmail. And besides, at a job that required about two hours of actual work a day, what else was I supposed to do with my time? Learn HTML?

This woman had few interests outside of food. From her, I came to understood foodies as people who aspired to have cultural interests, but were lazy, so pretended that eating a good meal was equivalent to reading a great book. But gluttony ain’t culture!

The class element of foodie-ism also bothered me. The whole “culture” was restricted to those who could afford it. In flaunting their knowledge of the restaurant scene, foodies are also flaunting their wealth. By saying that Per Se is overrated, in effect they are saying that they can afford to be disappointed with a $300 meal.

However, I must relent. Recently, I had dinner with old friends at a mediocre Italian restaurant of their choosing. I’ve been known to eat oatmeal for lunch and canned soup for dinner, but to eat overcooked pasta out in New York? I could have enjoyed that meal in Westchester. I still don’t believe dining is a culture equivalent to music, art or literature, but with so many restaurant options in New York, eating a bad meal in this city should be criminal.

Recently New York Magazine published its