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Is food becoming overblown ?

There are more food commercials than ever. The word foodie ? I have built a $50,000 kitchen for someone who does not cook. There are alot more food shows on TV.Has it become more than just one of the three necessities of life. Food, Clothing, and Shelter?I do enjoy my good food and wine.But I think it's a little bit over the top.

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  1. Well, a 'meat-and-potatoes' guy might argue that food has been overblown since Escoffier or Careme. Obvious solution to this and certain other problems: Don't own a TV.

    1. You're observing two phenomena, the ever-increasing commercial time per hour of TV and the explosion of programming.

      Growing up in the 60's/70's we had 4 or 5 TV channels and there were 12 minutes of commercials per hour. We now have over a hundred channels with 18 or more minutes of commercials per hour. There are networks devoted to food but also to home improvement, hunting, animals, etc.

      So sure, there's more food-oriented TV, but that's justa function of more TV and more commercials. We had plenty of food commercials in the 60's/70's, easily the same proportion as today.

      As for expensive kitchens for non-cooks. I was in teh business over 20 years ago and we were building $75k-$200k kitchns for non-cooks back then too.

      29 Replies
      1. re: ferret

        also, some people look at their home as a financial asset.

        a phenomenal, well-designed, beautiful, kitchen will normally increase the sales price of the home.

        i live in a tract home in a development that has 5 models of home. i can clearly see that the sales prices of the models with bigger kitchens and a real pantry are markedly higher than the sales prices of my model and the others like it with smaller kitchens.

        the home flippers in my area normally remodel the kitchen first.

        1. re: westsidegal

          Keep in mind that if a homeowner does a kitchen Reno they're unlikely to get better than 60-70 cents on the dollar in terms of the bump to their home value. It only makes sense if someone is actually going to enjoy it

          1. re: jgg13

            In certain price points, having a nice kitchen will help sell a house. A high end home w/ an old kitchen won't sell unless the market is super hot.

            1. re: chowser

              That doesn't contradict what I said. You'd still not be getting full value for your dollar.

              1. re: jgg13

                "That doesn't contradict what I said. "

                That wasn't my intent. I'm just saying that in some price points, people don't want to bother w/ renovations. In the $1mil+ range if they need to redo the kitchen, the house is going to be hard to sell. Some people do it for that purpose, not as an investment.

                1. re: chowser

                  Fair enough. But even in that situation it'd be wise for someone who isn't going to use their kitchen to out in the bare minimum in terms of $$ that would meet that goal.

                  Of course, in some areas $1m still involves plenty of Reno work to do :)

                2. re: jgg13

                  You simply can't generalize like that. A kitchen should be about 15% of the home's value. Anything less and the buyer will see it as a liability, something they need to improve in addition to the purchase price. Any more, and you'll get less than dollar-for-dollar value.

                  So a $300,000 home should have a kitchen in the $45,000 range - not hard to do.

                  1. re: ferret

                    My kitchen is probably less than 1.5% of my house's value and that includes the three grills out back and the food in the fridge. But, I can walk to the beach, have a garden in front, and have handcrafted almost every other room. Sometimes, rules and formulas don't actually apply.

                    I guess location really matters, 'cause I could probably get over four hundred for this place after Sandy, but my galley is so tight, I had to put hooks on the wall so I had somewhere in the kitchen to hang my pans. A kitchen worth forty grand or more, that's like goin' on a blind date, walkin' in, and the hostess says, "Follow me." At the end of the walk, you're seated in a dark booth across from a gorgeous brunette and the first thing she says is, "I'm already drunk. Do you live around here?"

                    1. re: MGZ

                      The formula applies with respect to resale value, not personal preference. There are a great many things we do (overspend/underspend) based on our needs and wants. All I was saying about the "formula" is that a typical buyer has certain expectations based on a listing price. The kitchen is the most cost-intensive room in the house (with respect to cabinetry/appliances/finishes) so again, a "typical" buyer will expect the kitchen to be reflective of a 15% proportion of the listing price.

                      Will you find buyers who are aligned with your perspective? Probably.

                      Would you get your money back (or even a little more) if you upgraded the kitchen? Also probably.

                      1. re: ferret

                        Next person that buys my old house is either gonna be a craftsman or gonna have someone come take it away in a coupla thirty yards.

                        1. re: ferret

                          I think the point that you're missing is that the locale affects things like this. You're generalizing far too much. Where I live, a place in the 500k range will generally *not* have a kitchen in the 75K range. As an example, a friend of mine's place is valued ~400K and she just redid her kitchen from the studs - it looks a million times better and it ran her about 25k. Imagine what it was like beforehand.

                        2. re: MGZ

                          Sorry, I don't care how nice the location (and your location sounds like one I would look at) if your kitchen really is that small I wouldn't even consider buying it. The kitchen is a MAJOR buying point for me.

                          1. re: PotatoHouse

                            It's a major point for lots of people, even those who don't cook, because it's an expected part of the home. My mother never cared about the age of her kitchen and it took years to convince her to remodel. She kept saying, "it's not important to me" and I kept pointing out that it will likely be important to a future purchaser and she might as well get some use out of it.

                              1. re: MGZ

                                I am a lifelong parrothead raised on the beaches of California and Hawaii. Beach location is VERY important to me, but so is being able to cook for my friends and family. It's not an either/or, I want both in a house and I will easily find it in another house. I'm sure you would find someone to buy your house, but it wouldn't be me or many people I know.

                                1. re: PotatoHouse

                                  Shit. I can cook a solid dinner for a crowd with nothin' but flint, steel, a coupla logs, and a fish I caught that mornin'. Kitchens and cookware don't matter all that much to me. But, we all have our own priorities don't we?

                                  If you need the fancy clubs to play eighteen, fine. I play with the old Titleists my Grandfather willed to me..

                                  Now, I'm just askin'? These days, I either paddle out on my '63 Noll or the '75 Bolt. I used the former this mornin'. You?

                                  All I'm really tryin' to say, is WOW! That stick must hurt! Clearly you are better off than most. Relish that fact. One percent problems are lost on me.

                        3. re: jgg13

                          even if that were true, the homes with nice kitchens usually get sold much more quickly.

                          hard to quantify how much that is "worth" to a seller.

                        4. re: chowser

                          A high end home with a crappy kitchen will simply sell for less, the buyer will take the need for a kitchen remodel into account in making an offer and the seller will capitulate or wait.

                          We saw a house a few years ago that was priced upwards of $500K. They did a half-assed job installing a lower quality Home Depot kitchen with poor quality tile and other questionable finishes. The realtor was showing off all he "new" features, all I could think about was the wasted money that was now tacked onto the seller's expectations because most buyers would view the "new" kitchen as a $75K-$100K liability.

                          1. re: ferret

                            i've been touring mid-priced homes that have received the "treatment" by house-flippers.
                            it truly is amazing how awful some of their "new" kitchens and "new" bathrooms can be.

                            to me, they ruined the house trying to up the price

                            1. re: westsidegal

                              I'm always amazed how many of these look nearly identical. We get a lot of gut job flips near where I am and they're all so similar to each other it is crazy. The same 2-3 types of granite, the same 2-3 appliances, the same 2-3 flooring options. Contrast that with the homes that have been updated more organically, huge difference.

                              1. re: jgg13

                                jgg:
                                don't forget to add: the same framed, particle board cabinets, the "contractor special" flooring, and all the bathrooms have the same prefab vanities that were manufactured in china.

                      2. re: westsidegal

                        This made me smile because I was calling on a house recently. The realtor told me right off I'd have to redo the kitchen and bathrooms. I saw the photos online. The kitchen looked fine to me. I mentioned it to my mother later that day as she also looked at the house online. She informed me that obviously I had no taste as there were no granite or stained concrete counters. I am a heathen.

                        1. re: Firegoat

                          My whole point is simply about math not individual preferences. If spending $2,500 (i'm just using random numbers) on granite countertops would get you a $5,000 return on a house sale (or let you break even but sell the house quicker) then it wouldn't be a frivolous expenditure even if you personally saw no need for it.

                          That's what the realtor was alluding to, not that your kitchen is unattractive.

                          We had a very nice kitchen which had higher-end appliances and laminate countertops when we bought it. We waited until last year to add granite even though (and because) we were planning on selling the home soon. I truly believe that we sold quickly (within a few days) because buyers' expectations were met in that they had to do nothing before moving in.

                          1. re: ferret

                            My original point was that spending 2.5k on granite countertops was not going to give you a 5k increase in resale value and more likely something less than 2.5k (ignoring some of the tangents that have been raised such as 'can sell it quicker'), in other words one better enjoy what they're buying to some extent as they're not going to recoup 100% of what they put in most likely.

                            1. re: jgg13

                              There are many, who do not care that much about resale value. They want things, for themselves, and if they recoup some of the expense, so be it.

                              Not everyone is trying to flip their homes.

                              We are doing a major renovation, but just for ourselves. We are not asking what we can recoup, and only "is this what we want?"

                              We did the same with our home in Colorado, where we renovated, just for us. Now, we DID recoup all expenses, but that was not our driving intent. The changes were for US.

                              Some only care about recouping every $, and that is their choice. Noting wrong with that. However, if I plan on living in a house for 15 years, it's then about me.

                              Hunt

                              1. re: jgg13

                                jgg13
                                <<some of the tangents that have been raised such as 'can sell it quicker>>

                                speaking as licensed real estate broker and an nmls mortgage broker: the time element in real estate transactions is hardly a "tangent".

                                real estate transactions are very often extremely time sensitive especially during times like these when the market is volatile.

                                time is even MORE important when both the market and interest rates are volatile.

                                1. re: westsidegal

                                  Agreed, although what I was saying was that my original point was purely one of resale value. It was then presented that XYZ would allow one to make a sale quicker, which is *not* the same as selling it for more money.

                                  Also, purely anecdotally regarding my area, many places are on and off the market in less than a couple of weeks. People I know who are actively house hunting figure that any place that's been on the market longer than 2 weeks has something wrong with it and tend to not bother looking closer.

                                  1. re: jgg13

                                    i've been around long enough to have seen both types of markets (three cycles, to be exact. yes, i'm that old).

                                    in a rapidly falling market (for the young people on the board: there is such a thing) the seller of the house makes less money if the house takes longer to sell.

                                    even in a stable market, if the house is vacant during the sales period, the carrying costs (insurance, real estate taxes, mortgage interest,utilities, etc.) will have a financial impact on the seller not to mention the increased risk of vandalism/theft. some sellers put a big chain link fence around their vacant property to prevent the vandalism/theft, and that fence reduces the sales price/demand for that house.

                                    in a falling or stable market, it is FAR FAR better to sell the house quickly. of course, in a rapidly rising market with low inventory all decent homes will be selling quickly in any case.

                                    i know the data about kitchens that you are citing.
                                    the flaw, in my view is that in practically all cases they assume that the market is flat during the time it takes to sell the properties and they don't take carrying costs into account when they do their calculations. ( they look at similar properties that are closing escrow at the same time.)
                                    since most of the time, the real estate market is not flat the value of those studies as a decision making tool is, in my opinion, very low.

                        2. re: ferret

                          All the more reason to stop watching tv. We rarely do except for the evening news and Colbert and John Stewart. We are big readers.

                        3. There are more Viagra and other testosterone commercials than food.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: treb

                            I seriously doubt that. they just stick out(pun intended), because they bother you.

                            1. re: TroyTempest

                              all depends on what you watch. my b/f watches mostly sports. during football and baseball games it's viagra and flomax. during hockey it's trucks. during the local evening news? ads for so many different meds, scooters and diapers i think it must be only incontinent, immobile shut-ins watching.

                              the food network ceased being about learning to really cook when it went from chefs to personalities. i haven't watched in over a decade.

                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                So agree with you on the Food Network, they need to get back to basics.

                          2. I have been in a number of those $50,000 show off kitchens and I can tell they have really never been used. I know exactly where you are coming from emglow.

                            32 Replies
                            1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                              Expensive, barely used kitchen as well as the people that don't really care about food or cooking that have all of the dream kitchen prep tools I could ever want, but they never use.

                              I also knew a woman that lived in a three person household that had three ovens and four dishwashers. Conspicuous consumption.

                              1. re: aasg

                                my kitchen designer designed one like that for a couple that formally entertains large groups regularly.

                                multiple appliances are really a necessity if you are having 3 course, sit down dinners for 20 people on a regular basis.

                                during these dinners there were usually 5 or 6 people working in the kitchen in order to keep up.

                                four dishwashers would allow you to have all the dishes washed and put away before the catering staff left.

                                  1. re: NanaMoussecurry

                                    That's fairly loony. No sane person would install - or waste space on - four dishwashers. We bought a used Hobart commercial dishwasher that runs a full wash and rinse cycle in about 2 minutes (rated at 30 loads an hour). It uses standard restaurant racks. That machine will handle anything you throw at it.

                                    1. re: ferret

                                      Wow. Really? I think it depends on how much you entertain. As westsidegal said, the couple she was speaking of formally entertained LARGE GROUPS on a regular basis (i.e., 20 people). I can totally see needing several dishwashers to keep up.

                                      Oh - and if they can afford 4 dishwashers and to serve 20 people on a regular basis? They aren't wasting space, as I'm assuming their home can more than accommodate.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        Yeah, pretty much really. And as I pointed out there are solutions especially well suited to high volume dish washing so installing 4 is just silly.

                                        1. re: ferret

                                          In your opinion. Obviously the homeowners feel differently. And while I'm not a fan of conspicuous consumption, it's their money - they can do with it what they wish. If that means 4 dishwashers, so be it.

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            I have no issue with anyone doing anything, but I'm free to opine that it's a silly waste of space when there are better options out there. There's conspicuous consumption and there's nonsensical consumption. I designed high-end kitchens years ago (well into 6 figures) and in all our installations I never once saw 4 dishwashers.

                                            1. re: ferret

                                              I am curious what the "better options" are if you routinely serve entire meals to 20+ people? ‘Cause I would love to know!

                                              I serve 12-15 people 2-3 times of year. My dishwasher supposedly holds 16 “place settings" but the reality is that it doesn't hold 16 of *my* place settings. A typical Easter/Thanksgiving meal has me running the dishwasher, packed to the gills, a min of 6 times, some times more if there are multiple courses. I often dream of having a separate dishwasher just for my glassware in my everyday life, never mind the holidays. If I entertained like that once a month I sure as hell would want a more than dishwasher. Now bump that to twenty people?? Yikes.

                                              I guess a home owner could invest in a commercial Hobart but I don’t think that would save any money plus those babies use a TON of water and are not necessarily attractive so where to put the damn thing. Having multiples mean you would only use when you needed them.

                                              1. re: foodieX2

                                                The commercial Hobart is used at nearly every Starbucks I've visited. It's the same size as a standard residential dishwasher and uses much less water. The model we have is a 220V unit with a built-in heater that reaches a 192-degree sanitizing temperature (about a 15-second rinse) and the wash cycle lasts 90 seconds. It's louder than a Bosch or Miele, but the entire wash/rinse lasts about 2 minutes. We have entertained 20 or more with some frequency and I It rarely takes more than 6 loads to clean up afterwards and I'm done (with the dishes, at least) in under half an hour; getting the house back in order takes appreciably longer, but there's no machine for that.

                                                Here's a photo:

                                                http://www.ebay.com/itm/HOBART-LX30H-...

                                                There are, unfortunately, many restaurants that go out of business every month and there are restaurant equipment houses that resell these (barely) used at a great discount.

                                                Again, if someone wants 4 dishwashers, who am I to care? I just think it's the wrong approach.

                                                1. re: ferret

                                                  Got it- so your "solution" for me is to run a dishwasher 6+ times for every party. Hmmm-seems like that is what I am already doing.

                                                  And if I was building/renovating my home the solution is to buy a commerical machine and run it 6+ times as opposed having a couple and running those only a few times.

                                                  Doesn't seem like much of a solution.

                                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                                    You're missing that it's 6 loads IN TWENTY MINUTES. It's a 2-minute cycle. All six loads are clean at the end of the twenty minute period.

                                                    1. re: ferret

                                                      No I didn't miss it. Your "solution" to me was to replace my perfectly good working dishwasher with a used commercial one, one that is loud. I would still have to run it six it times. Time is not the issue, space is. The way you were talking I thought you had a more efficient way of getting the job done when entertaining large groups. Replacing my existing is not what I would call a “solution”.

                                                      And if I was truly renovating I would not want the typical commercial machine in my kitchen for everyday use. I don’t just don’t it need it. I can see someone who has large parties on a regular basis including one or two of those in their catering kitchen or large pantry. However, I still see them as wanting high end super quiet one in their everyday kitchen.

                                                      Heck I went on a house tour for “famous” person around here and his master bath had a mini kitchen with dishwasher between the his/her sides of the bathrooms. There was 1 in his main kitchen, one in the bar area for glassware, 2 in his downstairs catering kitchen and one with his outdoor kitchen. Excessive yes but not when you think about convenience rather than getting them done in the fastest manner possible. Why schlep things all over house and pile them up on the counters if you don’t have to??

                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                        I'm not trying to sell you on anything. If you (or let's just refer to a hypothetical person) have a need for multiple loads on a regular basis then the options are more machines or a more efficient machine. If you (or hypothetical) believes space is not an issue then there's your answer.

                                                        As for noise, a superquiet machine makes plenty of sense when a cycle takes 90 minutes, it's less of an issue when a cycle takes 2 minutes. As for the complaint that it requires 6 loads in one machine, it'll take 6 loads in 6 machines also. And also for 90 minutes. My suggestion means the dishes go from dirty to put away in a half hour. It's also a fine solution for a single load. I often use it to clean the grill grates or pans from our smoker, which may take several cycles in this or any other machine. I'm done and everything is put away in minutes. It's far more energy and water efficient than a residential unit.

                                                        I'm not telling you to go out and get one.

                                              2. re: ferret

                                                Perhaps "years ago", 4 dishwashers weren't the thing to have. Now they are. At least for some. :::shrug:::

                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  Hope they are low on water intake, one day we will all have to worry about our consumption of it.

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    "years ago" automatic transmissions and power windows and power door locks weren't the things to have on your car......

                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                  Unfortunately, I live in a place that, when these people reach retirement, if they haven't saved their money because of conspicuous consumption, they are receiving more government benefits than people who were more frugal and have more savings, so in the end, their conspicuous consumption is my business.

                                                  1. re: aasg

                                                    Hell, I'm so far from bein' a conspicuous consumer. Nonetheless, I can't help but note that that generalization is lousy. I gotta ask, have you spoken with all these folks? Heard their tales? Or, just do you think the government shouldn't help people when they need it? Bitter is the worst taste of all, I assure you.

                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                      It isn't a generalization. My original reference to four dishwashers was about the conspicuous consumption of someone very specific that I know and that in turn, am well aware of financial difficulties created by such decisions. So please don't generalize about what I said by assuming that I was generalizing. Assuming people don't have a rational basis for their arguments because they haven't "heard tales" from people that don't even apply to the specific situation they are referring to is definitely worse than anything bitter.

                                                      Ferret, when I am aware of a specific situation and the circumstances, is isn't jumping to conclusions.

                                                      1. re: aasg

                                                        Just to be clear, you know of one person who did something careless, and then proceeded to refer to "these people" and "they". Umm, I forget, what's that called?

                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                          Sorry, should I have referred to Mr. & Mrs. and their daughter specifically to avoid using they?

                                                          I guess in the end, I should be happy that I don't feel the need to put a dishwasher in my living room to avoid taking water cups to the kitchen like "these (very specific) people." If I meant to refer to some vast section of people, I would I have said "people" not "these people."

                                                            1. re: aasg

                                                              <<Personal pronouns?>>

                                                              I have a few of those, but seldom let them out of my sight - no telling what mischief they might get into.

                                                              Hunt

                                                      2. re: aasg

                                                        Without desiring taking this thread in another direction, it's a bit of a jump to conclude that people who have lavish lifestyles are all doing it on a hope and a prayer and lots of credit. There's an ever-increasing segment of the population spending - and earning - at the highest levels. The rich are getting richer and there are more of them. They'll do fine in retirement without government benefits. I doubt people living paycheck to paycheck aren't blowing it on three ovens and four dishwashers.

                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                    I think it also makes a difference if you keep a certain food religion. I've had several friends with two dishwashers to prevent one type of food contaminating another.

                                                    1. re: Firegoat

                                                      There are always specialized needs for things in a kitchen, especially for maintaining kosher or other dietary restrictions. This is more like buying three refrigerator-freezers because you occasionally need a lot of ice rather than buying a dedicated icemaker.

                                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                                      not only could that particular home accommodate the dishwashers, iirc, the kitchens in their other 4 homes could also accommodate four dishwashers.

                                                      the kitchens were mainly used by the personal chefs, the event planners, and the caterers.

                                                3. re: westsidegal

                                                  I assure you this woman was not having 3 course, sit down dinners for 20 people on a regular basis. My mother has multi-course sit down dinners with options of multiple proteins on a regular basis for 8-10 people and functions just fine as the sole cook with one dishwasher and one oven.

                                                  In any case, the person I knew wasn't bringing staff in to prepare meals and assist on a regular basis. Her dishwashers were also scattered throughout her home, so I doubt there would be people running to dishwashers throughout the home throughout a dinner party. It was so that people didn't have to leave one room to put a cup in a dishwasher.

                                                  But I would say hiring staff on a regular basis to help host guests in your home doesn't make it justified consumption, just even more conspicuous consumption.

                                                  1. re: aasg

                                                    i disagree about hiring staff if one has the means. it allows the host to spend the entire event with guests and not be over a hot stove, carving, plating, serving, bussing, scraping, washing, drying, etc.

                                                    numerous friends i had growing up had live-in staff. it would be outrageous to people in those circumstances to attend a party that didn't have hired help. context, ya know?

                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                      my former roommate used to supplement her income by staffing such parties over the holidays.

                                                      the crews never left the residence before all the dishes were washed and put away, the table was clear and clean, and the kitchen counters were clear and clean.

                                                      i'm sure the housekeeper came the next day to do the floors and the laundry. . ..

                                                    2. re: aasg

                                                      aasg:
                                                      fortunately for them and for most of the folks at that socioeconomic level in their world of international finance, they really don't worry about "justifying" anything to the likes of you or me.
                                                      they have the money.
                                                      they have the real estate.
                                                      they have the cash flow.
                                                      they really don't need to think about "justifying" how many dishwashers or houses they have.

                                              3. Depending how you see it. I agree that there are some excessive marketing going on, like the numerous food shows you were talking about -- when people who watch them do not cook. However, it is not overblown simply because one is to enjoy foods. It is one of the basic things in life and frankly basic human enjoyment in life.

                                                It is one of the necessities of life, but it is exactly because of this that it can also be a great enjoyment. It is something which anyone can potentially understand and appreciate, unlike music or art or spots. The moment we are born, we learn to like and dislike foods. It does not take a great amount of wealth or education to appreciate foods. We don't want to turn into snobs which think expensive food equal great food, but it is a good thing that people learn to enjoy and appreciate food -- appreciate the simple things in life.

                                                Talking about necessities of life. One can definitely find more excessive in the others like clothing and shelter and transportation. Just look at the really expensive clothing, houses, cars. I would argue that food is not where like these three.

                                                1. the $50,000 kitchen is a show. like a TV show. and the ads on the TV.
                                                  I know many kitchens that more than double that price and the microwave is the only appliance ever used.

                                                  like 'mwhitmore' writes below, "a 'meat-and-potatoes' guy might argue that food has been overblown since..." Archie Bunker blew on a spoon of Vichyssoise.

                                                  I have many non-chowhound and non-foodie friends who wonder why I am so 'into' food.
                                                  I wonder why they glue themselves in front of the TV ignoring their family and watching hours of programming I cannot sit through a single minute of.
                                                  there is a lot more TV food programming as well as a lot more of everything. we focus here. on food.

                                                  there are tv shows and websites about everything under the sun today.

                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/896922

                                                  1. I too feel it is over the top, and waiting for the inevitable decline. Used to be only hard core devotees, now it's everyone who wants to be trendy. Not saying it hasn't brought a few worthy souls into the fold, though. So not all bad.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: coll

                                                      "not all bad", but, coll, you're right. I think of all those that dropped their corporate careers for culinary school and most can't even grill a burger to save their lives. not that "it hasn't brought a few worthy souls into the fold, though." just a few too many that were either 'one hit wonders' thinking that they can do everything "food", or a weekend grill guy who thinks that his coffee crusted loin of ostrich was the be all and end all of the culinary world.

                                                      an "inevitable decline" would be welcome to clean and clear out all the posers. JMHO

                                                    2. As I guy, there are two things that I don't think can ever be overblown food and . . .

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                        Yes, but sex doesn't make you overweight.

                                                        With the AMA deciding that obesity is now a 'disease' I think the overemphasis on food has become an obsession and, in many cases, an unhealthy one.
                                                        Love food, the taste of food and also be watchful of what goes into our bodies.

                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                          "Yes, but sex doesn't make you overweight."

                                                          All I was suggestin' is that if I have to live in world where I don't get both, I'm gonna put the rifle to my chest.

                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                            <Yes, but sex doesn't make you overweight.>

                                                            Yes, it can.

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                Ha. That one took me a second to get. But true.

                                                          2. I just experienced this yesterday. A new ShopRite opened in my area. The store took over the retail space of what was once three stores; including a former Foodtown there only a year. For a giant food market to close so quickly was odd but this new Shop Rite spent millions and very quickily. Okay, so they had their grand opening. It was something out of a movie premiere. Including Bon Jovi's father's commercial truck for his line of tomato sauce parked in the lot. The place was packed with dozens of corporate suits, every hired employee with only 2 weeks of traning under their belts..a 58,000 square feet store of food-a food mall and hundreds of customers. Security guards directing traffic (with security guard written on the backs of their shirts). Balloons, free coupons at the door, a one sheet on the store layout....and people buying food like it was theiir last day on earth.

                                                            overblown?

                                                            I went in. I spent $25.00 in order to use the free coupons. Nice cheese dept. Not one employee knew where most things could be found=yet.

                                                            My biggest issue the parking lot will not carry the size of the store. Too small. Carts got most of the real estate. This shopping center is sharing a lot with six other large retailers and a McD's.
                                                            The lot will be the nightmare.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                              Wait. I used to live in NJ some time ago and went to a local dumpy ShopRite in Rochelle Park on Sundays because it was open (with alcohol being sold). But this new one is 58K sq. feet? And the parking lot is too small. :::Shaking my head::: So now supermarkets are McMansioning.

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                All true. The A&P open, closed and reopened with a fireplace installed a few years back so the Starbuck cafe customers could gather around the fireplace and enjoy their latte!

                                                                I have 14 different grocery or food store shopping options in a 5-15 mile radius.

                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                  Rest assured that no one is opening a grocery without first evaluating need. Given the near-zero margins in the business, unless the store believes the population density exists to support it, it's not going to be built.

                                                                  1. re: ferret

                                                                    Rest assured that some markets (Top Tomato, Foodtown) have closed within a year and been replaced by other markets (ShopRite) even if they are evaluating need. I don't believe the decision to invest or invest more into their brand (Stop & Shop, A&P, Aldi) is based entirely on population density anymore. I think competition drives owners at the corporate level to keep trying and testing.

                                                                    But, I don't evaluate markets, I shop at them. All of them. Do you eval markets for a living, ferret? If I am any indication of the type of NJ shopper that exists today I'm spoiled by so many choices that I no longer need to be loyal to anything other than price per week.

                                                                    And under the overblown message discussed here -markets have become overblown food malls--and enough have failed at keeping customers coming back for me to believe that not all corp. suits know what they're doing.

                                                                    Did A&P need a fireplace after the last remodel? Even in NJ where food markets are plentiful in every county new locations for WF & TJ are considered and reconsidered while anxious customers wait and wait.

                                                            2. While myself and I guess every other member of this sight is guilty of it, yes, our national obsession as well as our view of food is way overblown.

                                                              What is the phrase "Eat to live, not live to eat"? While I do obviously enjoy my food, there is no way I can sit here and truly justify that my consumption of food is either healthy, nor wise. Especially given the global state of affairs regarding starvation and malnutrition. Like so many things, I think our "obsession" with food, is just one of our many downfalls. (again myself included in this)

                                                              1. No more than the other necessitites. There are plenty of home improvement, home buying, outrageous home shows and there's an entire channel devoted to fashion. For every basic need in life, someone is spending obscene amounts of money on it and someone else is dying to see what that person is doing.

                                                                1. I don't know if I consider it "overblown" but it has been turned into an actual hobby that most folks (save for the extremely poor) can participate in...where it wasn't before. Cooking, blogging about food, specialty foods and special diets, eating in different restaurants, even documenting and reviewing your meals on social media are hobbies all by themselves now. I think hobbies are good things in general. They connect people.

                                                                  I think it is great that so many different people from all walks of life, can have such a common passion and connection. I am in my 50's and I regularly read a food blog written by a teenager ...we have a lot in common...whodathunk? I love it.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                                    I agree! Me and a coworker couldn't be from further sides of the planet, but we realized that when it comes to cooking and all thing culinary we complete each other sentences and can fascinate each other with cook-speak such that we are now very close friends.

                                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                                      Love this, sedimental, and 100% agree.

                                                                      1. re: sedimental

                                                                        i remember my mom and all the other stay-at-home moms sitting around and swapping recipes for a whole afternoon.

                                                                        lots of time was spent conferring about serving food at dinner parties.

                                                                        there were more than a few housewives that subscribed to GOURMET magazine those days even though there was practically no chance that anyone in their family would actually eat that type of food.

                                                                        this doesn't seem "new" to me--just is taking a different form

                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                          Agree. I grew up in the 60s & 70s. My mom and her best friend were always swapping recipes cut out from the newspaper, McCall's, Family Circle, etc. trying to keep current with the day's trends in food. Also, my mother watched Julia, the Galloping Gourmet and one or 2 other cooking shows religiously in the 70s (as did I).

                                                                        1. Really with you on this - if one thing's really overblown is the attempt to fetishize every stupid fast food item like it's ambrosia.
                                                                          Example: I saw a comment recently on 'Serious Eats' by J. Alt-Lopez that it was hard to find a good burger outside the US. Pleeaaase!! What a douche. That site has interesting recipes for the home cook but their reviews of stuff like pizza, hotdogs and burgers at different establishments are really grating and pretentious.

                                                                          1. Depends on whether you eat to live, or
                                                                            live to eat. I enjoy variety. Alls good either simple, or complex.

                                                                            1. It is becoming mainstream to care a lot about eating well. That is great, because demand for higher quality will benefit everyone. Grocery store foodstuffs, farmer's market, and restaurants in general have improved tremendously thanks to the average person's increased interest in eating well.

                                                                              If somebody wants to spend a lot of money to build a custom kitchen and never cook in it, they can do whatever they want. What matters is that their demand for high quality food stuffs will result in supply of such (better local restaurants and groceries) which will benefit me.

                                                                              Honestly, if food is simply a matter of sustenance to us rather than something we are passionate about none of us would have joined chowhound in the first place. For a CH to call out a person not on CH as "taking food too seriously" seems a little dishonest to me.

                                                                              1. It must be, because I'm getting fat.

                                                                                1. Uggh! If you think it's overblown, never sign back in! Otherwise, bring this sick old 'hound a pizza . . . .

                                                                                  1. "Has it become more than just one of the three necessities of life. Food, Clothing, and Shelter?"

                                                                                    Like clothing and shelter are not "overblown?" Look at the fashion industry. Look at the houses some people build, the home makeover shows, etc. Everything in American culture is "overblown." If you can make a buck from it, why not?

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                      Dude, given my comment upthread, what you just posted made me spit my seltzer across the room. Neither the cat or my wife are happy with me, but I'm gonna go wipe both of 'em off.

                                                                                    2. Another way to look at it: This is a First World Problem. Nobody in Haiti thinks food is overblown.

                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                        Your right. Even here in the U.S there are people going hungry.Thanks

                                                                                        1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                          Absolutely. Thanks for pointing this out, @mwhitmore.

                                                                                          1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                            When you get down to it, 99% of the gripes on this board are first world problems.

                                                                                            1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                              Believe it and none of us should be shamed by loving food and supporting world hunger issues while discussing an OP.
                                                                                              fastest way to kill any CH thread is to lay some unnecessary guilt on the flow of conversation.

                                                                                              On topic, where we buy our food, how avail it is, how high profile the topic of food is already a decade or more in the making this also helps elevate programs that
                                                                                              support families struggling to put food on the table. Everyone needs to eat! The dialogue extends to feeding everyone better.

                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                    sorry, that was a low blow. I'm in a surly mood today.

                                                                                                    1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                      I gave you the benefit of the doubt :)
                                                                                                      so you are welcome, I meant every word...rough as it may spill out. I leave my best words for real work.

                                                                                            2. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                              There isn't something much more overblown than the consumption of the tiny Haitian élite.

                                                                                              Haitians love to cook (very well) and receive guests if they have access to decent food. A blessing here in Montréal, where there are many Haitians.

                                                                                            3. Overblown. I've heard there are entire web sites devoted to people who love to talk about food, best places to eat, best way to prepare dishes, even down to the best way to tip...

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                That is just too much...... Crazy.

                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                    Yeah, I wish someone would start such a website, I bet it would be pretty popular. If only...

                                                                                                  2. Food programmes are relatively to cheap to produce and easily link to advertising or other marketing opportunities. No surprises there's an increase.

                                                                                                    1. Couldn't agree more about the kitchen-mahals, but heck, this IS a food website...prolly not the best place to be pewling. Could be worse, we could be pontificating about golf

                                                                                                      1. I think it's just a function of the ubiquity of TV shows and associated magazines that relentlessly push the newest and greatest (and most expensive) fill-in-the-blank.

                                                                                                        So many home shows make a huge fuss about gourmet kitchens for people who eat out 60% of the time. Heck, , when you see 20-somethings complain that a starter home "doesn't have granite, and it's from the 90s" I just want to scream at them: start in a starter home, you spoiled kids (okay, rant over).

                                                                                                        It's in bathrooms, too. We're remodeling, and just today, we saw a $1,500 bathroom faucet--not including the shower/tub faucets, mind you, sink only. Everything is just so aspirational these days, mostly cause some insecure people see it on TV and think they "must" have it.

                                                                                                        Hurumph. And get off my lawn.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: pine time

                                                                                                          Granite has plummeted in price over the last two decades while man-made materials are only getting pricier. So the mindset that granite is a luxury material is misplaced. You can find granite on sale for as little as $20-25 a square foot.

                                                                                                          1. re: ferret

                                                                                                            agree with ferret.
                                                                                                            i can easily get a prefab 96" granite counter for $85.
                                                                                                            delivered, fabricated, and installed, the total cost was $390.

                                                                                                            the manmade quartz material i had installed in my kitchen was FAR more costly!

                                                                                                            1. re: ferret

                                                                                                              agree with ferret.
                                                                                                              i can easily get a prefab 96" granite counter for $85.
                                                                                                              delivered, fabricated, and installed, the total cost was $390.

                                                                                                          2. I find food no more overblown then a 62 inch flat screen TV or a $50,000 car. Not to mention the RV, boat, or trips on cruise ships or visiting Disney.

                                                                                                            1. I would say that food and kitchens are becoming aspirational.

                                                                                                              Certain brands and products are becoming status symbols that some segments of society will desire simply for their cachet, but perhaps not so much for their functionality.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. Every time I look at a news video on my computer, the ad is for a frigging car. I'd much prefer food, though with my luck it would be for crap fast food or some buffet.

                                                                                                                1. while there have been food outlets, cooking shows, magazines and gourmet shops just to name a very general few for a good long while, the new media-online outlets, blogs, vlogs, Internet programming like YouTube, self published chefs, Twitter, FB, social media clones, coupons online, hell everything is online or leads you to an online situation, restaurants menus for instance. all these new options and clones tend to make the topic of food feel overblown and more important then ever--and i'm just rushing thru a short list.

                                                                                                                  don't you feel that nothing is left unsaid these days.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                    I was going to say the same thing (but never got around to it!) I too think it's an internet thing, more than anything else.

                                                                                                                    And yes I do feel the same as you do.

                                                                                                                    1. Maybe we're just late to the party. Europeans have been fanatic about their food for centuries.
                                                                                                                      Of course, our media and devices these days makes food information so much more accessible. We'd be crazy not to take advantage of that.

                                                                                                                      1. For me it's become overblown as a necessity to cooking healthy meals. Not necessarily gourmet meals, just avoiding the garbage in so many foods, The ingredients are key, and finding good unadulterated food items is becoming harder and harder. For us to eat a variety of tasty meals, I have to work harder than when I was not above serving chemical casseroles, chemical laden sausages, hot dogs, and scary premade frozen hamburgers(which I still see recalls on, and from which a friends child became dangerously ill for 3 months).
                                                                                                                        If hunting down fresh, flavorful, and safe ingredients is over blown, then I am the epitome of overblown

                                                                                                                        1. The media has gone astray on what food is about as far as I am concerned. I enjoy a really good cooking show but of late none impress me really. It has become about the set, the high end kitchen, the perfect host, the glamorous guests. As well the contest shows for me are ridiculous, obscure ingredients, challenges that no home cook would undergo and snobbish judges assessing the end result. Would love to see a back to basics show which focuses on learning how to cook.
                                                                                                                          Also find some of the shows which feature tasting mega portions of foods so distasteful. Some people have very little if anything to eat.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                            TV happens to be about entertainment. You want to produce a show about tuna casserole cook-offs in residential kitchens? Maybe there's a market for it. But just like "Real Housewives" being nowhere near real and hardly about housewives, people like their entertainment a little unrealistic.

                                                                                                                            1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                              I do see your point ferret, it is about entertainment, but I would like to see more focus on the preparation of good food that is realistic to make without all the bells and whistles. As for tuna casserole, it is food all the same but I think good food can go well beyond a tuna casserole. Let's take a Julia Child show, entertaining, educational and interesting to watch. A quality show of that nature is what I would like to see on television. The current ones are lacking and most are repeats.

                                                                                                                          2. Yes I agree. Not that I don't think food is important, but because often the food just isn't that good, or a simple street-food type product is overhyped to the point of long lines, exclusivity, shortages etc (see tacos and donuts here in TO...).
                                                                                                                            Finding this a lot with beer too. There's a huge interest in craft beer here right now, which I love, it's great. But at beer tasting events I find the breweries have often hired nice young people who either don't know much about beer or don't care to talk about it. Or the events featuring a billion experimental ales - I've realized I'd rather just try the finished products that make it through a selection process, TYVM. It'd be more interesting if the people serving could/would talk intelligently about the beer but see point #1 :) But it's good to live in a world of TOO MUCH interesting beer to try. I've just realized that I'm happy to do so on my own without pretentious beerhead events that fail to live up to the hype.

                                                                                                                            1. I'll admit, sometimes I think I am a bit obsessed.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: salsailsa

                                                                                                                                I'm with ya on that one, it's just such a good time.

                                                                                                                              2. I went from a couple of ridiculously huge kitchens to the small one in my current apartment. It has been a challenge. But then I watch "Come Dine With Me" and look at how crazily compact some of the kitchens are, often with washers and dryers hooked up under the counters and tiny little fridges.

                                                                                                                                27 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                  Watch Rachel Khoo on youtube in her Little Paris Kitchen, she seemed to manage very well.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                    A small kitchen, well kitted and stocked, can out-cook a large one (in the right hands). Sometimes perceived limitations can be a blessing.

                                                                                                                                    Edit edit edit!

                                                                                                                                    Cook, reassess, Edit again as needed.

                                                                                                                                    I find the more I age, the less I need.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                                      The size of the kitchen or the type of equipment only give options to the users. If you know how to cook you only need some type of heating element, plate or recipient and utensils and you are ready to go. Anthony Bourdain's show about food on CNN certainly highlighted cooking goes on despite our circumstances.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                        My mother, who was a solid, self-taught cook, used about 3 or 4 mismatched pots and pans to cook with and whatever knife was available to prep, so I often chuckle at the obsessiveness of individuals who need the perfect pan/knife/cooktop, even to the point of arguing about the type of steel used for a knife or the honing method employed.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                          See. That is exactly the point. Jeff Beck could make dental floss and a twig sound good.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                            chefs in pro kitchens generally have, at most, a few feet of personal prep/cooking space.

                                                                                                                                            homeowners who "need" big kitchens... don't.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                              I believe the standard in a restaurant kitchen is everything within three feet, which is the length of your arm. But speed is of utmost importance to them; running back and forth is not an option. At home you could go a little bigger, if you have the space, I'd say. It feels good to take a few steps once in awhile!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                am just saying miles of granite aren't required to put out 3-star michelin food. most home cooks don't even know the basic rule of cleaning as you go, so lots of counter-space just permits more dirty pots/pans/utensils to accumulate. i've been to friend's homes where it seems the kitchen blew up vesuvius-like before a dinner party. you can't even fit a spoon in the sink and the dishwasher has yet to be run.

                                                                                                                                                i know there are homes that have "show" kitchens, and then smaller kitchens in which the homeowner (or staff, i guess) actually do the family-cooking. that's ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                  It depends completely on what the owners want, or need.

                                                                                                                                                  We are expanding our kitchen, and by a fair amount. In the past, we have had chefs preparing meals for dozens of guests in our current kitchen, and have even had two chefs do demos, for up to 250 guests. That barely worked. In several catering cases, the chef set up in our garage, and did OK, but not as well, as he/she could have.

                                                                                                                                                  In our case, we will have a combo, of a "show kitchen," plus a "working kitchen," plus have an active "butler's pantry," with the capabilities to take the overflow. We have reasons for such.

                                                                                                                                                  However, I know several folk, who have 3K sq. ft. "show kitchens," and never cook, or entertain. They just wanted them. Imagine 2 side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerators (and two freezers, next to those), without even a jar of mayonnaise. I assure you, that happens.

                                                                                                                                                  It just depends.

                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                    However, I know several folk, who have 3K sq. ft. "show kitchens," and never cook, or entertain. They just wanted them. Imagine 2 side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerators (and two freezers, next to those), without even a jar of mayonnaise. I assure you, that happens.

                                                                                                                                                    ~~~

                                                                                                                                                    yup, have been in those homes too. the wives live mostly on starbuck's and the husbands eat out.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                      Yes.

                                                                                                                                                      Mostly, the wives (and any children) live most of the year in La Jolla, and the husbands often commute to the Coast.

                                                                                                                                                      OTOH, I often target them, for our charity events in La Jolla, and am often surprised, when they pledge great support. I should not throw too many stones!

                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                            2. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                              We might disagree on the value of a high priced kitchen but on this we agree fully. A lot of the niceties simply aren't necessary at all. If anything I've regressed in terms of my needs/wants as I've seen how unnecessary it is.

                                                                                                                                              A gross generalization, but the people that I know that fetishize this stuff the most tend not to be the ones churning out the highest quality food (if they churn out food at all).

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                                I think your average knife nut (and I'm one) views an expensive, hand-sharpened knife not as something that's 'needed' in the kitchen but as something that makes the cooking process more enjoyable for us.

                                                                                                                                                Some people are convinced you can't cook well without top of the line equipment, spacious kitchens, etc. They're wrong. But some people just enjoy using the big kitchen, the copper pans, the enameled cast iron, the expensive hand-sharpened knife, even though they could cook well with much less.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                  Well put. For years I resisted a kitchenaid stand mixer because I thought it was just a big showy piece of equipment that took up too much space and I was doing fine kneading by hand, mixing w/ a hand mixer (which was a step up from using a fork or two knives which I did in grad school). Each step up has been a nice change. Sure I could go back to my fork and hands only but if my stand mixer broke, I'd replace it in a second. Better equipment that is used can make a cook better. Unused fancy equipment is another story.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                    Absolutely! When asked what one item they most needed in their home kitchen, the vast majority of professional chefs said a Kitchenaid stand mixer.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Virginian

                                                                                                                                                      Considering the point was that many people think they need equipment that professionals don't have in order to cook well, if pros swear by the need for a KA it doesn't fall under the umbrella of this category :)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                        Not many 'need' a KA. It makes cooking easier and more fun. Which is a perfectly good reason to have one (though I personally don't).

                                                                                                                                                        But while we're on it - I might point out that pros make up no small part of the market for high-end knives and sharpening stones. First person to sing the praises of a vitamix blender to me - also a pro. High output ranges - I get the impression pros like them too.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                          ha! liking, having, needing, using. all different points on the kitchen spectrum.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                            I wanted a KA stand mixer for years but couldn't justify the price. I made do with a hand mixer and an old sunbeam I picked up at a garage sale. After I moved into a new apartment with a small galley kitchen I finally splurged. It makes me smile every time I walk by it, even if it does take up a chunk of my limited counter real estate.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                            At the same time, home cooks probably need far more aids in the kitchen than a pro, eg. food processors for chopping vegetables.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                        sort of disagree with you:
                                                                                                                                                        when i got stove with a HIGH heat burner and a convection oven it was a revelation.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                            my comment wasn't directed at you, rather it was directed at ferret.
                                                                                                                                                            dunno how i mixed up the thread.

                                                                                                                                                      3. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                                        ferret:
                                                                                                                                                        i used to cook like your mom, and i used to pooh-pooh good kitchen equipment/utensils the way you just did.

                                                                                                                                                        then i tried cooking a couple of meals using a kershaw shun knife.
                                                                                                                                                        there is no going back.

                                                                                                                                                      4. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                        Agree and I have made some amazing meals in small kitchens with minimum utensils/equipment. However I can't argue that it's nice to have more than one good knife, a variety of sizes in well seasoned CI pans, a good stock pot, a hand blender or FP and couple heavy bottomed enameled pans with tight fitting lids. Do I *have* to have them? No but they sure make cooking more pleasurable and easier too.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                          I do have a well-equipped kitchen, some of my purchases are second hand. I am amazed how Rachel Khoo worked a restaurant in that small kitchen of hers and she had very high end accessories.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                      Also my corgi doesn't get under my feet in the kitchen which helps. But if we visit my mother's house she is smack in the middle of the kitchen waiting to help. I don't know if she's saying my mom is clumsy or if she's saying my cooking sucks.

                                                                                                                                                    3. With so much misinformation out there, on TV on the internet, there is a sense of food being "overblown".

                                                                                                                                                      Food trends and how they change, the 10 year was 20 year before, now it's usually less than 1 year before a chef comes out with something that gets a great review and its on the menu at McDonalds.

                                                                                                                                                      Beet root carpaccio. Braised short ribs. Crab cakes. Ribs. These are all different examples of different ways food gets overblown by pedestrian consumers and cooks/chefs.

                                                                                                                                                      If it makes money....

                                                                                                                                                      1. Today I made some ramen noodle soup. It was so hot that I blew and blew on it until I overblew and the whole bowl flew across the kitchen and smashed against the wall.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Daniel Littman

                                                                                                                                                            Oh dear what a dilemma, hope you have recovered from this event.

                                                                                                                                                          2. If by "food" you mean "modern food media" then yes it is overblown. But when all of our topsoil has flowed into the Gulf of Mexico, all of our fisheries have collapsed, and world population hits 10 billion, triggering the Cannibal Wars of 2025, we'll look back on this time of cheap calories and frivolous food media as a golden age.

                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                                              Wow that is a really cynical point of view....We will probably die of thirst deprivation before we get to the Cannibal Wars.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                You're probably right, but 'Dehydration Wars' doesn't have the same ring to it as 'Cannibal Wars'. Either way I think we are in for a really interesting (read: shitty) next 50 years.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                                                As my husband says, we don't need to 'save the planet'. We need to save ourselves. The planet will go on just fine without us after we cease to exist.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                                                                                                  The widespread adherence to that belief will, ultimately, result in the fact that someday it is proven wrong. Be selfish, deny that you exist among a community of other humans, and reject the fact that the Earth is finite, but don't pretend that that is not what you're doing.

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm certain the will come when you're progeny thank you for it.

                                                                                                                                                              3. When I lived in New Orleans, I understood food.

                                                                                                                                                                Then, I moved to Denver, way back when. There is discovered that most people ate to live, where in New Orleans, they lived to eat.

                                                                                                                                                                It all depends.

                                                                                                                                                                So far, I have never had to go naked, to feed my food habit - or my wine habit.

                                                                                                                                                                Hunt