The Atlantic declares “Foodie Culture as We Know It Is Over”
By Phil Lempert, CEO, Retail Dietitians Business Alliance
And in a way, I’m glad to hear it.
The overly obsessive focus on food has gotten carried away over the past few years. It’s a must-read article for everyone in the food world.
The Atlantic writes that food media during the pandemic have, sometimes surreally, seemed to abandon elitism in favor of a less ostentatious approach to cooking. These cultural products don’t just emphasize accessible ingredients and techniques. They also present an inclusive vision of foodie culture that’s refreshing all on its own, especially at a moment when audiences are craving programming that cares about their daily realities.
The article offers real examples of how this new crop of food entertainment may well lead us to a new model.The Great British Baking Show , they write, comforted viewers with its friendly, low-stakes competition—the spirit of which was captured by the Season 6 winner, Nadiya Hussain. Now the culinary champion is among those bringing that attitude afresh to American TV, via her Netflix cooking series, Nadiya’s Time to Eat. With good humor and charm, she visits “time poor” households and shares speedy recipes, celebrating food without sacrificing pragmatism.
The series is an engaging watch in large part because—like many other recent shows, YouTube channels, books, and blogs—it seeks to democratize the often-elitist landscape of food media.
Certainly we will be cooking more at home, even as the restrictions are lifted. More restaurants and chains are permanently closing. And those that do not will be changing their facilities to accommodate social distancing and less tables. The restaurant experience, that used to be steeped in social as much as for the food itself, has been changed forever – so this new breed of cooking shows is coming at just the right time especially with the downturn in the economy and people shifting to a more food-frugal experience and seeking out bargains.
Another Atlantic example is the Home Cooking podcast which seems to accept that the pressure to perform a perfect version of domesticity is more unrealistic than ever. The podcast assists listeners in making sense of the disparate ingredients already lying around their kitchen—an approach that, in the not-so-distant past, might have seemed less focused or uninspired, writes the magazine.
A welcome refresh for cooking shows.