Every army has a pecking order, and the Amuse Douchers are no different. To rise in foodie rank, you have to be bold, you have to be fearless, and you have to...basically not have any other interests, hobbies, or loved ones that check in on a regular basis. We ALL suffer for our art, but unfortunately, if you're sitting at the same table or even in the same restaurant, everyone else in suffering along right with you.
Here are the highest offenders, based on my experience alone, of foodies that not only crush the boundaries of good taste, but also do it while they're swallowing or popping capers with their teeth. In order from highest to lowest, may I present the Army of Foodies:
The Lecturer The guy who believes himself to be Pliny the Elder and educate everyone at the tables to the layers and nuances of each dish. Sometimes, when jealous, he even stands up and will wander over to your side to test your assessment of the dish you ordered, are trying to eat and will pay for. He will correct you when he sense you have erred, saying, "No, I'm afraid your palate is experiencing a user error. That was a atom-sized particle of cumin I detected, not coriander." This guy also works at Wells Fargo in marketing, and after drinking slightly, tries to emulate the puddle of spit that gathers on the bottom of James Oseland's bottom, somewhat droopy lip. He, at times, will hold up his hand during dinner, whip out his Moleskine and will take notes while going for the big mouthfeel.
The Up-and Comer He has a list in his head (and probably hidden somewhere deep within his hard drive) of how many chefs know him by sight: "Chris Bianco waved back at me tonight. DID YOU HEAR WHAT I JUST SAID?" "I know Matt from Matt's Big Breakfast. Used to be a bartender. Cool guy. Once we talked about rosemary. Now he uses it in his breakfast potatoes. But I am cool with that." In his studio apartment on 35th Street and Indian School, there is a collection of volcanic sea salt in a variety of earth tone colors. One of them has the word "clay" in the name. They are not to eat. They are simply to be admired. Looking only, please. He would draw from his sagging 401K if the right truffle came along. Just for the story, just for the legend. His screen saver is a picture of him smiling at Binkley's. The blur in the background may or may not be Kevin Binkley. What that picture doesn't say is that he took the photo himself.
MFA Fat Girl with Pink Hair I believe there are at least 17 copies of the same drone in a square mile radius of downtown Phoenix alone, possibly on assignment from an Original Queen version to cover more ground efficiently. She's at every opening. She's at every "Taste of," "Culinary Festival," "Ben and Jerry's Free Scoop Day" and "Chef's Night" event. She's also at museum openings, but you will only see her by the tower of cake balls. She once considered applying for the Cordon Bleu, but decided she couldn't stand up that long. Her marriage is on the rocks because her code writer of a husband has Celiac's and won't bend to the pressure. It's sad. But food's not. She'll write you a short story about it. She is also oblivious that the "edgy" expiration date for pink hair was in 1993. Modern, Cutting-Edge Parents You know, those who refuse to leave baby at home and brag that their offspring's first "chewables" were roasted beets and chevre. "Oh. Parsley LOVES arugula. LOVES. Has since she was nine months old!" Babies don't belong anywhere in which the place setting includes two forks, and not because your baby threw the first one on the floor. I will fight you on this. As in a parking lot kicking fight. You had a baby; now stay home with it. It's not cute, you're not progressive and it's only untrodden territory to bring along your baby if your baby is a dog. Because people like dogs. People don't like Baby Foodies. All you're really doing is showing us that two selfish people have devoted their lives to raising another selfish asshole. Thanks. We really needed another one.
"Now What I Would Have Done" Who likes to dissect the menu and alert all dining companions to its flaws and what he would have done instead after a semester in culinary school, although his current job is cooking up burgs and fries for a place called "Quackers." He Tivoed all episodes of Top Chef and refuses to delete them, "just in case." He favorite game is playing "Guess What Shit I Just Put In Your Mouth" blindfolded because he once got offal (the organs of an animal, such as the brains, spine and stomach) right and a drunk girl clapped for him. His biggest nemesis is mayonnaise from a jar, and once had a hissy fit in the condiment aisle at Whole Foods because passers-by "just weren't getting how easy aioli is to make with a simple immersion blender." The Food Slut The recent enthusiastic college grad, now in PR, who is present at every new restaurant the night it opens, drinks the water, takes a bite and then goes home and vomits it all up. A variant version detours the bile issue and just keeps the morsel of food tucked between an enamel-less molar and her hollow cheek like a squirrel that can't wait to grab a napkin and find a dark corner. Weighs as much as a diabetic newborn, has been in party pictures in Java magazine almost four times. She once dated a waiter at Sanctuary as an undergrad. She denied it in a press release.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.