An Equal-Opportunity Food-Lover

Given that Achewood, the wildly popular online comic, regularly references obscure cheeses and molecular gastronomy, why did its creator decide to fill his first cookbook with recipes “for guys who are just out of college and have one pan and one electric burner”? Salon finds out in a Q&A with cartoonist Chris Onstad (which happens to be written by our very own James Norton). Onstad may be obsessed with difficult cookbooks of the Chez Panisse ilk, but he hates the term foodie as much as any old-school Chowhound user:

The first time I ever heard a friend say [the word], the hair on the back of my neck stood up, my gut twisted, and I felt angry for some reason. Why do we need this fake new word? There are so many words that already describe the concept of people who like food, or enjoy cooking, or enjoy knowing about cooking. “Foodie”: It’s like the infantile diminutive—you put a “y” on the end of everything to make it childlike. We don’t need it. It’s embarrassing. “I’m a foodie.” Oh my God.

But here it sounds like Onstad’s distaste for the word is more of a linguistic issue than a philosophical one. And that made me wonder: Has foodie become less of a moral affront to Chowhounds over the years? It still makes me wince, but I know plenty of houndy types for whom it doesn’t carry any stigma (and others who avoid it purely because, like Onstad, they think it sounds lame).

See more articles
Share this article: