I’m not a foodie; it’s hard to be when you’re a vegetarian who learned how to cook in the 1970s. But my husband loves fine dining, so we’ve gone to restaurants run by celebrity chefs like Ming Tsai. We’ve imbibed a “Tomato Martini.” We’ve eaten copious amounts of shaved truffle on mesclun in Provence. Years ago, we almost went to the storied elBulli north of Barcelona.
If you’re a fan of elite eating, you’ll get these references; perhaps you’ll revel vicariously in every detail. But if you’re not, this kind of writing probably bores you senseless.
I know it bores me. It’s no surprise that the media hypes any trend like this as if it were beating viande chevaline. But in the past couple of weeks, several things have made me realize that food writing has reached a choke point.
First off, I recently attended a reading by Adam Gopnik to promote his new book The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food.