I love Masterchef. In fact I love any cooking show on TV because they usually combine so well all the things I love – cooking, eating and er cooking and eating. So you can imagine my delight the other night when I switched on the TV and 50 of Australia’s top aspiring chefs were peeling and chopping potatoes.
Finally! Something that I could do without a recipe and something that I could do as well as the rest of them. Or so I thought.
I can peel a potato really well but it’s not listed on my list of “Things That I Do Really Well” because frankly I didn’t think it was a actually a skill. Nor did I think taking the knife to the potato and creating rectangular shaped pieces of potatoes was something that took much precision or expertise. But on Masterchef they had to cut their potatoes so that each chip was the exact same height and width. Like soldiers. Except that soldiers don’t really have to be the same height and width as each other.
I just don’t get it. If we went out to dinner and my husband got all the big fat chips and I got the straggly thin ones I would be a bit put out because I really like chips. But then I’d take some of his fat chips and carry on eating my dinner.
But that’s not how fine dining works.
I have been fortunate enough to eat at some “fine dining institutions” and I am not sure I get them at all. Soldier chips or not. I understand the subtleties of palate and the balance of flavours, I appreciate the nuance of flavours as much as the next diner but more importantly than that I just like to eat because I like to eat, I like food, it’s as simple as that. I don’t get the foams and the truffle marshmallows, the twice baked soufflés and sorbets of pione grapes and maybe that’s because I am not a foodie.
Jessica Seinfeld, author of two cookbooks and wife of Jerry Seinfeld, summed it up perfectly on her blog Do it delicious. She talks about her experience at an”it” restaurant, the very average avant garde food and the receiving of the bill. She writes:
“Yes, we fully understand and respect how labor intensive it is to prepare dishes so delicately and how much training it requires to be capable of doing so. But, when we compared the cost to our level of enjoyment, the numbers just didn’t make sense to us. And it was then that we came to a revelatory conclusion: WE ARE NOT FOODIES.
This was a major admission on our part. We love food, and we like to think of ourselves as open-minded and adventurous eaters. But the cult and fetishization of fancy food is simply not us, and we are comfortable with that. As my husband—who has coined a phrase once or twice in his life—eloquently said, “We are not foodies, we’re EATIES!”
YES! We are EATIES!!! Simply put, we just love to eat good food that is not complicated, overwrought, and over thought.”
Do you love to eat out? Are you happy at the corner fish and chip shop or do you yearn for the fine dining experience? Are you a foodie or an eatie and what do you love to eat?