The Rise of the Food Bougie (boo-jee)
|April 1, 2012||Posted by Ashley Marie under Miscellaneous Sh!t|
Bougie (boo-jee) adj. 1. Aspiring to be in a higher class, often to the point of snobbery. 2. Derived from bourgeois, or the upper class.
Ahh, the relevance of the food bougie. The grade-A, high-class wine snob of the food world. Whether they’ve acquired their connoisseur-like qualities through four years at a culinary institution, grueling hours in the back-of-the-house of a well-admired restaurant or hotel, or simply from having the necessary funds to enjoy the finer things in life in regularity, matters nonetheless. (Although, having the first two may gain them a bit more validity when it comes to dining out, but that’s only if you can tell the difference). What matters is, the highbrow who slavishly admires culinary superiority keeps the restaurant industry on its toes. Why cook, if not to impress the customers? Sure, the over-inquisitive patron who impressively yet condescendingly informs you that the Silver Oak you poured him isn’t an ’07 like the menu stated, but rather a 2005, can be a bit of a pain in the ass. But he’s right. And he’s not the only snob out there. And the more the snobs spend, the snobbier they become. Now, you’ve gone in the back to correct the issue and to inform the manager that new menus need to be printed ASAP. Problem, solved. So in the food world, things are no different. Now, I’m not siding with the bougies and bougiettes of the world (unless, of course, I am one, and in that case they shall rightfully rule the world one day!), but they’re not all awful. Bougie, unlike snob, can stand alone without its partners in crime like impolite, arrogant, disdainful and impatient. There are plenty of food snobs who just want some damn good food, no questions asked. To the kinder, more gentle ones, I applaud you. You single-handedly drive the hospitality world to have insatiable appetites for perfection, from the moment you walk in that door until the very second you leave. Restaurants that have taken their menus up a notch or five aren’t intimidated by the so-called bougie man. They’ve got culinary cocktails with words in the description that we aren’t meant to know the definitions of. They’ve got Kobe hotdogs, house-made buckwheat noodles, and ethnically-(and accurately prepared)-inspired plates. They have non-traditional fish options and newly fabricated cuts of meat. Everything is locally sourced from their seafood to their produce to their micro-brews. Take one of these so-called food bougies to a place like this and you won’t even recognize them and they’re sleuth-like abilities to point out a joint’s deficiencies. They’ll blend equally with the socialites and the culinary-educated.
So, to the foodies and slightly more pretentious food bougies (definitely not me), I, we, thank you. For being the pain in our side that makes the restaurant industry stand up better. And to the restaurant industry, oh yeah, you’re welcome.