Watch out gastrosexuals: 11 ways to spot a food tosser
Typical. Just as the world peaked Paul Levi, the man who had no small part in bringing us the slightly dubious word “Foodie”, launches the Gastrosexual, a man with more dazzling kitchen tools than penile length.
I’ve never had much truck for foodies (although a few of you are okay). I’ve met too many who know nothing whatsoever about food.
If you would like to see this variety you only have to watch Masterchef which is packed full of wannabes who mostly have no idea how to shop (cottage cheese with sun dried tomatoes) or cook (raw chicken, insipid tarte tatin) for that matter.
I’ve met too many foodies who know nothing whatsoever about food.
The Gastrosexual is pretty scary too although now thanks to the global financial crisis is an endangered species. I think I’ve seen a few at the Farmers’ market on a Saturday morning with the trendy haircut and sunglasses, the designer kid and a yummy mummy pushing a SUV-sized pram with sharp knives attached to the wheels.
The problem is that nowadays there is as much food wankerdom and wine wankerdom and both of the above contribute to these pandemics. And it needs to be stopped.
Here are the sure-fire signs that you have become a food wanker:
1. Only ever eat single origin chicken.
Yes, you insist on knowing the origins of everything you eat. “Oh is this Bangalow Pork/free range Barramundi,” you ask. Well, yes those vegetables are straight from the Werribee sewage treatment plant. “Oh, that’s okay then.” Can we all afford the $20 Louise Vuitton chicken nowadays? Perhaps it’s time to switch to the perfectly good $6.95 one at Coles.
2. Order only Spanish Jamon
What? “Is Don. Is no good?” You have to have Jamón Ibérico de Bellota made from the famous black Iberian pig which is fed (free range of course) only on fallen acorns in an ancient forest. But you lost your job in investment banking/advertising/property development. So you buy some of the cheaper Spanish stuff ‘cos Spanish is best. Sorry pal, but most of that ham is made from Canadian pig carcasses imported into Spain, cured and exported to gullible Australians. There is, if you look hard enough, plenty of good Australia small goods being made. But we are obsessed with everything European. The only thing worse than eating this ham at home is paying five times the price in a restaurant, usually somewhere around $1 a gram.
3. Shop at Farmers’ Markets
First there are the people (see above) and then there is the produce. Gnawed on apples, bullet hard peaches, some sort of Jam and/or chutney containing inappropriate ingredients, over smoked bacon and weepy looking cheeses. And it costs more than the supermarket, where I have never yet trodden on dog shit.
4. Always drink unpasteurized milk.
5. Only ever cook in expensive copper pots.
All the better if you’ve bought your a complete set of second hand copper pots from “a nice little man” in Provence, shipped them back to Australia at huge expense. All that to burn them making a truffle oil (a sure wankerdom sign) risotto in them.
6. You experiment with Ferran Adria style cooking and spherification.
The trouble is everybody who came round for supper went home with diarrhoea because you didn’t wash your hands or equipment properly. Here’s some news: Ferran Adria has moved on from spherification and foam. He is also a genius. You are more like Aaron from Masterchef who destroyed some peas only to reform them with added chemicals.
7. You have a set of Japanese chef’s knives with a “Damascus” blade.
Your knife skills are lacking though and you can’t even cut an onion properly. Then you sliced an apple which took on the onion flavour. Oh, and the first time you washed them they went rusty. That’s a bit embarrassing.
8. You own a $5,000 Pacojet.
This is a new-fangled machine that freezes and then finely shaves your “frozen matter” into the occasional sorbet (unless you are a working chef). If it is so good then why do you have a 5 gallon tub of Blue Ribbon in the freezer?
9. You spent over $3000 on a coffee machine.
Fair enough if you are into coffee. But this particular model is grey and plastic, a Saeco Primea Touch ($3,399), and looks like the dashboard of a cheap Mercedes. Couldn’t you at least buy something big and shiny with steam engine like controls for the same price? Opps, sorry your friend did. He can’t make decent coffee either?
10. Offal, offal and bones everywhere.
Who’d have though offal would have become so pretentious? Nobody really wants to gnaw on a discarded section of pigs anus. The same goes for fish or any animal bones or the hairy bits. Chicken breast or sausages please.
11. Take photos of your food
This is the most highly suspect practice of all. But at least you’ve learnt enough the switch the flash off and open the aperture for guerrilla restaurant photography. The fact is that your friends are all feeling a bit embarrassed about it and would love it if you would just put it away…I’ve been told.
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