It is enlightening that you come across people from all walks of life. And since I work in the industry where most everything is related with food, I tend to sort out the different personalities according to their characteristics and how they impact my future. Some are great people, and some are not so great. And there are those that are just different and has no bearing on what their reason is for being. One of these types are the pretentious. And specifically the Foodie Pretentious.
The following points are what I feel help me and others spot a Pretentious Foodie from several tables away.
1. Market savvy, or the lack of it - he has not stepped foot in a public market, thereby depriving him of the valuable knowledge of raw materials and their origins. How it is prepared and the varieties of ingredients escapes him, leaving his foodie know-how limited to that taken from textbooks.
2. Can fry and egg, and that's just about it - you can tell he can not cook to save his life. Yet he spouts complex dishes like he was a gourmet chef. But when asked how it was prepared, he is flummoxed, changes the subject, and moves on.
3. Foreign language influence - given that some dishes are hard to pronounce, the Pretentious Foodie loves to show off by waxing poetic about French Dishes, being snobbish enough to say that no other cuisine is good enough. Salad Nikoys anyone? How about some Foy Grass?
4. Sticks to the menu - without knowing the ingredients or how they are prepared, they just go to the usual restaurants, those in the mainstream, in publications and where everybody else goes. They seldom order off-menu.
5. Intrepid followers - going with the flow, the Pretentious Foodie stays within the confines of what other people have discovered, usually one that is followed by the majority. Stays on the popular restaurant bandwagon until the whole contingent moves on to the next bandwagon. Never ventures to discover the rare gem of a restaurant, cook or cafe.
6. Limelight hog - emphasizes his close relationships to chefs to anyone that would pay attention, yet never follows the chefs career or his developments. With the celebrity chef glamorized nowadays, there are a lot of these people who elbow their way into press photos, then go home for their daily fix of chicken nuggets.
7. Equipment - the Pretentious Foodie has an arsenal of culinary equipment that rivals any chef in the industry, but rarely uses it. Huge investments on Wusthof knives line the kitchen wall on magnetic strips gathering dust to make it look 'used'. Cork screws in a myriad of designs, all expensive, but never useful.
8. The use of 'Resto' - come on people. What usually offers a comfortable haven from the world of chaos, and with blood and sweat and tears, should never be labeled with something that sounds like a truckers' motel.
9. Textbook Knowledge - on a date or in a party, the Pretentious Foodie will orate on the characteristics of the perfectly seared 'Foy Grass', imbibing on California reds like it was water. They usually raise up a fuss in restaurants, just to let other diners glean from the interaction that he is in the know.
10. Freeloader - on the food, on the limelight, on the drinks. But never finds ways to enjoy food on his own.