The Foodies: The Culinary Jetset documentary just screened at the HotDocs Film Festival and it was the first one I had zoned in on as a must see for anyone who considers them a foodie or food blogger. Actually it’s great for also the chefs, publicists, etc., who work in the business.
The film is about how food bloggers have changed the landscape of the food scene. While the traditional food critics are still highly-regarded there has also been a surge in a subculture of foodies with opinions now voiced on social media… and there are TONS of them.
This documentary validated some of my personal feelings I’ve had for a while about food bloggers. Is it about chasing the dream? Bragging rights? Or do they actually have something interesting to say? For some it’s about the experience and others it’s checking off a bucket list. They all do it for very different reasons but they are all passionate.
It did make me question myself and why I blog. For the record, I blog about food often but only because I enjoy eating out…alot. I started writing about food because friends of mine were always asking where to go so I wanted to somewhere to put my thoughts down and not have to repeat myself. Then I started getting invitations to dine at restaurants. I’ll sometimes accept an invitation but will always return without notice for a second and sometimes third meal before doing any sort of write up and I will pay up for my meal as I understand how hard the restaurant business is. My grandparents owned a restaurant when they came to Canada so it’s something that’s always in the back of my mind.
While I don’t believe I’m a food snob and I definitely don’t profess to be any kind of food critic but I do know that people will look at my blogs when trying to figure out where to go for their next date night or family meal.
Having said that, I always tell people to take write-ups with a grain of salt (including mine)..because, thanks to social media, it seems that everybody has something to say. And let’s be clear, there’s a difference between being an influencer and a critic. This film stirred my emotions in that sense and if you had a chance to catch it during the film festival, I’d love to know your thoughts too.
The food bloggers featured in the documentary ranges from the seasoned to the relatively newcomer featuring Andy Hayler (Andy Hayler’s Restaurant Guide), Steve Plotnicki (Opinionated About Dining), Aiste Miseviciute (Luxeat), Perm Paitawyawat (The Skinny Bib), and Katie Keiko Tam (K’s Luxe Dining Table). Each of them have more than 100,000 followers each and it’s clear that food is their obsession and passion. The documentary also interviews many chefs and their thoughts on the changing food scene and it’s very interesting to hear their perspectives.
Some people may consider the cost fine-dining a waste of money but here it’s about personal interest. Where some people may choose to spend their earnings to sports or concert tickets or even a nice handbag, for this group of diners it’s all about that coveted dish or chef and they are willing to travel far to reach their dreams. As Aiste, says, “It’s a lifestyle.”
When you see the genuine happiness on Perm’s face, you can understand how much food means to him and that’s what probably draws the followers to his site.
And how do the chefs and restauranteurs feel about the wave of social media food bloggers instagramming their dishes? That’s where the love hate comes in. You’ll need to see this film to find out.
If you consider yourself a foodie, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on this documentary’s release. No word yet as to where or when but definitely a fascinating film.
FOODIES: The Culinary Jetset is directed by Thomas Jackson, Charlotte Landelius, and Henrik Stockare.