WBEZ | foodies http://www.wbez.org/tags/foodies Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en How foodie culture is a mini-luxury http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-04/how-foodie-culture-mini-luxury-106869 <p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/fete1.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="(Courtesy of FĂȘte Chicago)" /></p><p>The wait in line was not as long as it seemed. But seeing so many people like you &ndash; young, eager, and hungry &ndash; has a way of warping one&rsquo;s perception of a situation. The crowd was waiting to enter <a href="http://www.comefete.com/" target="_blank">FĂȘte</a>, a Chicago pop-up market featuring vendors of wares and food. The food part was what most enticed me and from my observations later in the evening, probably the crowd as well.</p><p>Chefs from established and not-yet opened venues such as Trencherman, La Sirena Clandestina, Mott Street, and Parson&rsquo;s Chicken and Fish prepared elaborate, yet portable bites for a fraction of the cost of what is normally served in their restaurants. Lines snaked around the room as customers anticipated the treats they could indulge in.</p><p>It is perhaps easier to love and nurture an appreciation for food than in other capacities. My friends who are a part of this culture do not own cars or homes and make low incomes in entry-level positions. They save accordingly, live responsibly, and are generally knowledgeable about what they lack in finances.</p><p>This food culture, then &ndash; the going out to eat, the elaborate meals at home &ndash; is a way for them to participate in a culture of luxury. Richness in this case derives from flavors and ingredients, even heaping amounts of fat. In some cases, they literally devour to excess. Not all of their food is over-the-top. But it is always good and through this good food they find pleasure.</p><p>This burgeoning and contemporary foodie culture is a more accessible form of luxury.</p><p>It would be wrong to say that it is accessible to everyone in a country (and city) that has yet to address its rising rates of hunger and food insecurity. It is a privilege of wealth and access, period. That should not be ignored or tempered by an indulgent appetite. But in the context of many young consumers like the young women I know and myself, it is easier to &ldquo;buy&rdquo; into what is being sold. The actual costs &ndash; say, a maple bacon donut from Glazed and Infused &ndash; are relatively low. The stakes are easier to broach.</p><p>Unlike designer clothing or a luxury home, &ldquo;good&rdquo; food can be found high and low. Chicago is the perfect place for foodie culture with its abundance of experimental chefs and mix of high and low establishments. The access to this world (and it is great and spans the city) can be acquired with little effort. There are pop-ups and night markets and small shops making food that hits just right. If memory is sensory then a great meal can last forever.</p><p>If anything, the culture of food and eating together re-establishes a social environment in a society that is increasingly unsocial. In a rebuttal of sorts on <a href="http://eater.com/archives/2012/03/29/diane-chang-new-york-mag.php" target="_blank">Eater</a> to a New York magazine <a href="http://nymag.com/restaurants/features/foodies-2012-4/" target="_blank">piece</a> criticizing the rise of foodie culture in young people, featured subject Diane Chang said, &ldquo;I learned that food engenders camaraderie and stimulates curiosity. It brings people together; it offers insight into different cultural experiences and perspectives.&rdquo;</p><p>I am reminded of the day after a powerful storm ripped through the city. The expressway was shut down for flooding. My best friend and I both lived in Oak Park at the time and as we walked to the Oak Park blue line station, we saw how the strength and force of only a few minutes of weather could debilitate whole swaths of the city. We were on our way to a pop-up restaurant at the now-defunct Logan Square Kitchen featuring eats from Bill Kim, among others.</p><p>After numerous calls, rides, and transfers, we finally made it to the <a href="http://britticisms.tumblr.com/post/855054758/logan-square-kitchens-pop-up-restaurants-country" target="_blank">event</a>. Outside on a rickety table, we ate lemongrass chicken with lettuce and hoisin barbecue sauce and bacon butterscotch and blueberry creme fraiche donuts. I remember because the food was good and cheap, totaling under $10. I photographed my food but then stopped a moment or two later. This documentation is a growing part of the rise of foodie culture, but it&rsquo;s one I do not need to participate in. The journey to the space and the experience itself was enough.</p><p><em>Britt Julious blogs about culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for <a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a> or on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Sat, 27 Apr 2013 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-04/how-foodie-culture-mini-luxury-106869 In France, modernists and traditionalists clash over the definition of French cuisine http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-09/france-modernists-and-traditionalists-clash-over-definition-french-cuisi <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-09/french1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>France has long been a country with a reputation for some of the best food in the world. But in recent years, many critics have argued that French cuisine has lost its way.</p><p>Today, there's a new generation of food-lovers hoping to reclaim France's place at the top table. But what do the traditionalists make of it all? Robyn Bresnahan reports.</p><p><em>This segment originally aired on the BBC's <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002vsn0" target="_blank">Assignment</a>. </em></p></p> Mon, 09 Jan 2012 15:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-09/france-modernists-and-traditionalists-clash-over-definition-french-cuisi Need A New Kitchen? Casting call wants you! http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/need-new-kitchen-casting-call-wants-you <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="468" width="350" alt="" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//corner-of-the-kitchen-fooferkitten-flickr.jpg" class="size-full wp-image-19099" /> <br /><em>Photo by Fooferkitten via Flickr</em></p><p>A colleague of mine is working on a new series for A &amp; E, part cooking and part design-related. Here's the show in a nutshell: they're going&sbquo;&nbsp;to surprise a frustrated gourmet - someone who has a&sbquo;&nbsp;real&sbquo;&nbsp;passion for cooking but is trapped in an&sbquo;&nbsp;awful&sbquo;&nbsp;kitchen - with a brand new one. There are a couple of other surprises along the way - which&sbquo;&nbsp;they can't divulge - that will make it a real treat for a true foodie/amateur gourmet. They are currently booking 6 episodes, one of which will be shot in Chicago.</p><p>Here's the official casting call: </p><p><strong>CASTING NEW KITCHEN MAKEOVER SHOW - FREE KITCHEN!</strong> </p><p>Do you have a friend or loved one who has a real passion for all things food -eating, restaurants, chefs, and especially cooking - but is trapped in an outdated, nonfunctional and really ugly kitchen? Now's your chance to nominate him/her to receive a kitchen worthy of a gourmet chef for free! We are currently casting dynamic homeowners who <em>love </em>to cook but are in <em>desperate </em>need of a completely new kitchen. We're also looking for you...our accomplice in this mission. If selected, you would help our team install a state-of-the-art kitchen for the frustrated foodie in your life. If you're interested in nominating a cook and being a part of our exciting new show, please email us the following information:</p><ol> <li>Your name, address, phone number, occupation, age and relationship to nominee</li> <li>Your nominee's name, address, occupation and age</li> <li>Photo of you (2 pictures max)</li> <li>Photo of nominee (2 pictures max)</li> <li>Photos of the nominee's kitchen (3 pictures max)</li> <li>Tell us why you are nominating this person.&sbquo;&nbsp; We want to hear about his/her love of cooking - favorite type of food to cook, favorite restaurants, favorite chefs - and what she/he doesn't like about their current kitchen.&sbquo;&nbsp; The more personality/detail the better!</li> </ol><p>Only submissions including all of the above will be considered. Our email address is kitchenmakeovershow@gmail.com. We will be shooting in NYC, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New Haven, Washington D.C. and Chicago. Be sure to put the name of your CITY in the subject line. </p><p>ACT NOW. We're casting the series IMMEDIATELY! </p><p>So good luck, and hey, if you or your friend get the new kitchen, you have to invite me over for the premiere dinner!</p></p> Fri, 26 Mar 2010 10:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/need-new-kitchen-casting-call-wants-you