The Food Year in Review, 2011

[From 2009 to 2012, I had a blog called A Hungry Artist. It mainly functioned as a creative outlet for exploring abstract topics as it related to food. The following post was selected from that archive. Some copy has been edited for clarity.]

Following up on last year’s popular blog post of the food year in review (in case you haven’t read it, read it here), here are the food highlights from the year 2011.

One year later, I know that I was very extremely wrong at the end of 2010. Food in 2011 hit the fan and exploded like a badly fried turkey. Referring to food as simply it, it became the topic on everyone’s tongue. If you didn’t like food, you were not cool. Period.

Someone even told me the following: “I’m only into food because it’s trendy. I could not care less.”

It was trendy to not only be a food lover, but to beat your friends at knowing anything about the subject. Newest restaurant? “I went on opening night. My review’s already up on Yelp.” Food Network & The Cooking Channel soared to new levels of coolness and everyone became an excellent cook.

How many dinner parties did you go to? At homes where ingredients like radicchio and okra would have never existed amongst the Bagel Bites and Cheetos? Anthony Bourdain- he’s now a household name. Who doesn’t know or love him? At THIS point, I’m just waiting for his doll to come out. I’m pretty sure it’s already in the works. If not, at least a movie or a video game.

People still loved Ruth Bourdain. His/her identity may have even been revealed- here and here. I’m still on the fence about this one. Everything was deep fried and everyone loved/hated Paula Deen. Lucky Peach made its great debut along with 5 million food shows. I hate you The Chew. Tom Colicchio was in The Smurfs, say what? And even The Simpsons had a food episode.

This past year showed us that we are closer to a world like Soylent Greenhere, here, here, and here. Ferran Adria’s El Bulli closed its doors and we all died a bit. Next, by Grant Achatz, opened and WW3 broke out trying to procure tickets. What else was cool? Pork everything, food trucks, food responsibility, macaroons, liquor popsicles.

Steve Jobs passed away and references to his involvement with food spawned everywhere- only natural since his company is named after a food product. The only Kardashians’ involvement with food was Kim’s ass which resembles two huge slices of Challah bread. Hell hasn’t frozen over just yet, but maybe they’ll open a restaurant next year.

Locally, Miami had plenty of fun with food trends. Fro-yo shops, cupcake shops, gastropubs, burger joints, and food trucks populated like bunnies. SoBeWFF celebrated its 10th Anniversary. The city’s first ever pop-up restaurant, Phuc Yea, debuted with a follow-up to open in 2012. Lee Klein got into some fun altercations with Route 9 and Micah Edelstein of Nemesis that sent the Twitterverse amok and Anthony Bourdain did a layover that wasn’t all that great.

Taking inspiration from that saying, how does it go? … Everyone and their mothers started a food blog. I have a bone to pick with all you new and unethical food “bloggers”: 1. FYI: you’re not supposed to tell a restaurant that you’re headed to their spot to review them, 2. If you only have a blog for free food, you’re a douche. On a more positive note, let’s praise some of the forefathers of the local blogosphere, thank you for always keeping it real Food for Thought, The Chowfather, and mango&lime.

All the while, I’ll admit I’m no angel as I was a big part of the popularization of the trend. Food fluff, like sex, sells. In the upcoming year, I hope for a return to the real beauty of food and the real issues that should be spoken about, a look outside the boundaries of restaurant openings to the real food issues that matter- food justice, genetically modified foods, the evil world of Monsanto, the history & preservation of food tradition and ingredients.

The word foodie needs to regain its true definition, one that isn’t tarnished by the posers. 2011 was the YEAR OF THE FOOD POSER. So again, I ask, WILL THE REAL FOODIE PLEASE STAND UP?

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