DISCLAIMER – All opinions are my own. Everyone has a right to their own opinions and I welcome those who disagree with me to start a dialogue! This entry comes from my passion in the deep rooted belief that everyone should have access to amazing food, that no one should be made to feel badly or less than in the food community by anyone at any time. Food should be about community, togetherness and fun.
* * *
I never imagined I’d be writing anything about “foodie snobbery.” Writing about food snobs inevitably makes me look like one too. But I’m going to take the risk. And ramble on anyway. Hooray freedom of speech!
During my careless web browsing I stumbled upon this blog entry which, long story short: scoffs in every way shape and form at the upcoming “In the Kitchen with Kris: a Collection of Kardashian-Jenner Favorites” Cookbook.
Look, I have my own opinions of the Kardashian’s (news flash: they’re smarter than you think) but this was the most brashly obscene food snobbery I read in a long time. The blog was riddled with many more examples, but this was the most recent entry.
Here’s some things you may or may not know about the Kardashain’s. First – they’re Armenian. I haven’t been able to get a sneak peak of the recipes in the book, but I would hope they include some Armenian or Middle Eastern recipes. I’d be stunned if they didn’t. This cookbook opens up a perfect opportunity to bring attention to a culture that (unfortunately and totally unfairly) tends to get more negative than positive attention these days. You know what sucks? More middle-eastern chefs don’t get the publicity on the Kris Jenner level that they deserve. But you know what Armenian family does? The Kardashian’s. So hey. That is freakin’ phenomenal. Go Kris Jenner. Maybe her recipes will inspire her fans to branch out when they normally wouldn’t have.
Second of all, Kris Jenner is a lot of things but she’s not stupid. Do I think that the matriarch of the Kardashian clan cooks full on meals for her family when she’s stressed in order to ‘decompress’? No. I’ve watched enough of Keeping up with the Kardashian’s to know better. But I would be remiss to think that she didn’t have top-notch chefs and cooks collaborating with her on these recipes. The Kardashian’s, Kris included, are a brand. Just like mean girl Giada de Laurentiis or the oh so ridiculously privileged Ina Garten.
Let’s just take a break here: can someone explain to me the difference between the ridiculous life the Kardashians put out there every day on their “reality” shows and the multimillion dollar kitchens and the crazy expensive ingredients I not only can’t find anywhere (but couldn’t afford if I did) the Food Network chefs tout in front of me every day? Puh-lease. I can’t afford Kim Kardashian’s Louboutins and I can’t afford Ina’s million-dollar home filled with another million dollars worth of cooking equipment and ingredients. Same difference.
Talking about her new home where she films her Food Network show Ina was quoted in the NY Times as saying : “Because it’s new construction,” she said, “I didn’t want it to look brand-spanking-new. I wanted it to feel like it had patina.”
Girl, I got patina for days – it’s called living in a busted apartment on the outskirts of Atlanta as young woman who makes little to no money. I’ll share my patina with you. I got plenty to go around. At least Kris Jenner doesn’t fake it. Who the hell wants to fake living in something that’s run down? Anyone? No? Must be nice to whittle down something super nice to make it look not as nice because you can.
Anyways: Kris got someone to put together these recipes and she’s using her face and name to sell it. It’s called BUSINESS.
I also am willing to bet you some of those recipes won’t be half bad. If they sucked, it’d be bad for business. And if there’s one thing we all know about the Kardashian’s is that they don’t do this for their health. They’re in it for the money. And good for them. If I was going to get paid $5,000 to write this post I’d write three of them because damn: mo’ money means mo’ food nomming.
Look, I’m not saying Kris Jenner is a professional chef and we should all bow at her culinary genius. I’m saying that food is supposed to be fun. I like drinking my crappy bottle of Riesling and watching 5 hours of E! shows. So sue me.
I fully believe in Chef Gusteau’s philosophy that “anyone can cook.” Thing is, not everyone can publish a cookbook. Kris can, so she did. She’s an easy target. I don’t like people who choose the easy way out over writing about something interesting or new. Picking on the multimillion-dollar businesswoman doesn’t make you look smart, it makes you look petty, jealous and short sited. That’s why she has big money and you have a blog.
If you want to buy her cookbook and intelligently critique her recipes I’m on board. That’s a blog entry I want to read.
If not your voice has just once again, been lost in the shuffle of all those who resent women who know how to hustle and make a dollar. #Boss
Kooking with Kris will retail at $19.99
Ina Garten’s Cookbook retails at $35.00
Way to isolate a home girl.
Other ways in which foodie snobbery has totally blown me away aka don’t do these things because they’re awful:
Don’t make people feel bad about the fact that they’ve never eaten XYZ food.
Newsflash: the fact that you get to choose what kind of food you eat, go to farmers markets, try out brand new restaurants is an exceptional privilege. Don’t openly berate someone because they’ve never had duck confit before. From personal experience those folks who were brought up on chicken nuggets and fries were brought up that way because Mom was working three jobs and didn’t have time to cook Duck Confit with Potato Leek Ragout between her morning and night shifts. If they’re there willing to try new food then that’s what counts. You don’t know peoples stories, or why they eat or don’t eat what they do. Keep your mouth shut.
Oh and you want to publicly mock the person on your blog that’s in your way at the food sampling station in Wegman’s eating that $17 cheese that you “know” they won’t buy but “I will, so move out my way?” Bite me. Maybe they can’t afford $17 cheese but I’m glad they had a chance to sample it. You over privileged goon. Good cheese is a treasure and good food should be shared with everyone and anyone. If that’s the only time I’m ever going to be able to try that $17 piece of stinky French cheese then YOU need to move out of my damn way while I enjoy something Wegman’s has graciously and generously made available to me.
Don’t pretend to be a lover of food and then berate someone’s food preferences, especially if you’ve never tried it before!
You know what the right way of going about that is? It goes like this:
“I tried chouriço in a meal a few months ago. The flavor was a little too smoky and spicy for my taste and I felt like it over powered the dish.”
The wrong way?
“Chouriço? Ugh. Gross. I had that before and it was nasty.”
“What? Is that some type of sausage? Oh it’s a Portuguese sausage? Who cares…like, who even eats Portuguese food anyways? That’s why you see so many more Italian restaurants. It must not be good or there’d be more Portuguese restaurants.”
Don’t worry, that was just my entire culture you insulted in one breath. I can’t wait to share this meal with you now.
The traveling food snob.
Everyone is allowed to not like a certain food. I mean, c’mon let’s be real. But if you’re traveling to a new destination and you try a local food you don’t like just keep it to yourself. Be subtle. Don’t wrinkle your nose, loudly exclaim “EW WHAT IS THAT?!”
Look if you’re really a “foodie” then you know how important food is to people. Food is culturally significant. It is the one thing that binds all cultures together. Sharing a meal with family or even strangers is a worldwide commonality. You don’t have to like the Peking Duck, just shut your damn mouth about it.
I could come up with a million other ways in which I’ve experienced “foodie snobbery” but why ramble on when I’m sure you have had your own experiences! Comment on Facebook or tweet me at @_goodeats to tell me about your horror stories!
But more importantly let’s focus on being self aware! Of welcoming people who want to try new foods, learn to cook or just join you on a dinner they normally wouldn’t have sought out themselves. If your new newbie friend comes over with Kris Jenner’s cookbook, don’t show them your “much better books.” Explore it together! Food is about joy and fun. Let’s keep it that way!
Correction: As one reader pointed out, my line “But you know what Armenian does [get more attention]? Kris Jenner.” is false. Kim, Khloe, Rob and Kourtney are Armenian because their Father was. It now reads “But you know what Armenian family does? The Kardashian’s.” My point still remains relevant, and I appreciate the reader pointing this out.