Food Nation

The 13 Most Overcooked Food Trends of 2013

Page 4 of 6

Cheryl Baehr
Haute Chicken and Waffles In a 2008 episode of his television show Fatherhood, Snoop Dogg took David Beckham to his favorite dining spot, Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, for a taste of L.A.'s famous soul food. The tables were formica, the menus were covered in plastic sneeze guards, and a wine pairing meant ordering a Bartles & James from the beverage list. Roscoe's wasn't being ironic. It was just serving honest soul food, smothered in syrup and grease, to those looking for Southern-inspired comfort. Fast-forward five years, and this once humble fried fare has found its way onto the chicest menus in town. Sandwiched somewhere between foie gras and truffles, chicken and waffles has achieved haute status. No longer is simple maple syrup sufficient for such an elite dish. Now highbrow, they come topped with everything from poached quail egg to sriracha aioli. There are online resources dedicated to chicken-and-waffles wine pairings, and even the venerable Thomas Keller has gotten in on it. Granted, some of the world's most notable dishes had humble beginnings -- think cassoulet or pizza -- but this seems like more of a short-lived trend than a permanent fixture on upscale menus. Any excuse to don eveningwear and dig our manicured fingers into a platter of diner food is good by us, but being charged a week's salary for something we can get at IHOP feels a bit like a rip-off. -- Cheryl Baehr

First one to touch his or her phone during dinner has to foot the bill.
Foodstagramming Foodstagramming. The fact that there's now a portmanteau for it makes my skin crawl and my iPhone shut down in protest. The word, which doesn't exactly trip off the tongue, refers, of course, to the trend of photographing everything we eat, and then editing it to make it appear somehow more hip or luxurious. But the fact is no one wants to see what your bowl of cereal looks like when you stick a Kelvin filter on it. We also don't want to see images of gourmet meal after gourmet meal. Let's be honest: It's not about the food anymore; it's about self-promotion and showing other food-lovers (and, you know, the rest of the wired world) what a foie-gras-and-white-truffle-filled life you live while ignoring those around you in favor of getting just the right angle to make that foam not look like spittle. Dr. Oz has even warned that consumption of "food porn" signals an unhealthy preoccupation with food. How about we just enjoy the act of eating it and the company around us? Take a deep breath, and put down the phone. Eat your meal, and converse with your friends, because that's what dining is really about. And I promise that hamburger will taste just as good without a Valencia filter. -- Kaitlin Steinberg

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Eating Our Words