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Guilty Pleasures, Food Snobs and Celebrity Chefs

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Anthony Bourdain's guilty pleasure
Anthony Bourdain's guilty pleasure

If you ever read in one of the many helpful guides to navigating the Twitterverse, or any social media, that you should never talk about food or post pictures of what you ate for lunch — ignore the advice.

We love food. We love to talk about it and we love to eat. We love to look at pretty food pictures. Did you know that you can take classes to learn how to take pretty food pictures? Well, now you do.

There’s a lot going on in food culture right now. We’re talking about the local food movement, the food bill in Congress, organic and sustainable food, healthy meals in schools, CSA’s… the list goes on.

But what about guilty pleasures? With so much focus on what’s good for us, those pleasures are guiltier than ever. I don’t need more guilt. I really don’t. Like Chef Dan Barber told TED when asked if he had any guilty pleasures, “People always ask me this. I should come up with one! But the thing is, I feel guilty about everything. I’m an upper East Side Jew. What don’t I feel guilty about?”

Which leads to celebrity chefs. Huffington Post outed the guilty pleasures of 20 celebrity chefs, except Chef Barber. Looking at the list I feel much better. Alice Waters can’t get enough caramel corn. Mario Batali eats Doritos and salsa. Thomas Keller enjoys hot dogs and peanut butter. Anthony Bourdain loves KFC’s macaroni and cheese. Really? I’m feeling much better.

Particularly when 10 of my favorite guilty pleasures can be found on Slashfood’s list of Top 11 Guilty Pleasures. Chocolate, fried chicken and french fries for the win.

Here’s the takeaway from all this. Don’t let the food snobs take away your pleasures. Especially when you can add making fun of food snobs to your pleasures with the help of the Food Snob’s Dictionary.

“Part groupie, part aesthete, part stark raving loon, the Food Snob is someone who has taken the amateur epicure’s admirable zeal for eating and cooking well to hollandaise-curdling extremes… he has gone to great lengths to distinguish himself from you, the mere food enthusiast, for whom watching Giada De Laurentiis on TV and cooking Mark Bittman’s “Basic Pot Roast” is kinda fun… Though they are sometimes impossible to live with and are wont to sharply order us out of the kitchen, Food Snobs are often our friends and loved ones. We must understand that theirs is a heavy burden to bear; uneasy lies the imaginary toque.”

Read more on the website. Trust me, you want to.

So yes, sure, you should eat guilty pleasures in moderation. We already know that. Just add one more line to Michael Pollan’s food rules. Enjoy life.