Tag Archives: #foodgroupie

Where did the year go?

It seems strange to say the end of 2022 is only a few days away. For whatever reason, the last few months have flown by in the blink of an eye. I’ve wrapped up the first semester of an Honors program, submitted a research proposal for approval, and (mostly) managed to keep up with Meatloaf. He’s a silly dog that is continuing to grow at 14 months; he’s around 110 lbs and getting bigger. Thank goodness he’s a happy boy, though he loves driving Bella a little crazy.

Most recently, we had to make a quick scramble to find tickets to Alton Brown’s Beyond The Eats show when the Fresno performance was cancelled a week before the event. Luckily, I was able to find good tickets for the Northridge show, although I was bummed that all of the VIP tickets were gone. It worked out fortuitously though; Jet and Ali Tila happened to be sitting directly in back of us, so I was able to say hi and take a picture with them. Another chef and baker checked on my food groupie list to meet. They were very nice, and I hope I get a chance to run into them again. I didn’t get picked for Alton’s game show this time (he chose people that were in the VIP section). At least I can say that I’ve probably seen his live show (five times), and been onstage with him (three times) more than anyone. It was really cool to see his wife, Elizabeth, play bass during the show. She has gotten a lot more comfortable performing over the last year.

The new year brings in a few fun things right off the bat. Food Groupie Cinema will start in January, and I’ll post more information ahead of time. The other big thing is a new season of Worst Cooks in America! The new recruits are social media personalities, but being tech savvy does not mean they can find their way around the kitchen. Tune in to Food Network starting January 1st for the new season, and don’t forget to get your bingo cards! New cards will be posted the week before each new show.

New content is on the way

Where did the summer go? I am certainly not complaining, since we had 70+ days over 100 degrees this year. We’re now in what counts for fall in the Central Valley – 80-90 degrees, for the most part. The semester is half over (booooo, mid-term exams!) and we can waive at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Personally, I am more excited to see Alton Brown and Elizabeth Ingram when they are in Fresno on December 13th to perform at the Saroyan Theater. I’m curious to see what AB’s holiday version of Beyond the Eats contains…….and to see if I can make my way to the stage (again). If you go to the Fresno show and see me wandering in the crowd, stop and say hello.

I decided on a topic for my undergrad Honors thesis, and have been going through literature as I prepare to do the research portion and write the paper this spring. It is interesting, but this is the most intensive school project I have ever done. That being said, keep your fingers crossed and hold a good thought for me between now and May. On an even more positive note, I might be able to complete the degree a year earlier than I anticipated.

Now for the new content part. The Student Pantry on campus was kind enough to post flyers with my “Ask the Recipe Whisperer” info; students can send questions about food or cooking through a QR code or an online portal and I’ll send them an answer. One of the things that I’ve found while walking around campus is that many students have questions, but are too embarrassed or don’t know where to get the information. I have the links to the portal page to this website too, so anyone can send questions. I am also adding a “Struggling Student Recipes” section soon showing affordable and easy recipes for ingredients that are available in the Student Pantry.

Aaaaaaaand also, HFWT will be posting Food Groupie Cinema episodes on YouTube starting in November. It will be a combination of adventurous eating, mystery basket cooking, and food trivia, in no particular order. Tune in to see what I do next.

Time to define yourself

We all go through phases of deciding who we are, what we stand for, and what makes us tick. It happens several times throughout our existence, not just once and done. Different experiences and interactions cause us to grow and evolve over time, which is a good thing. No one wants to be static and never-changing, but you also have to stay true to yourself. For me, that meant figuring out what it means to be a food groupie. Everyone has an idea of what a rock & roll groupie is, and sports fans are simply a rose by another name.

I have always loved food, and grew up watching the Galloping Gourmet and Julia Child on television (thanks to my mom). The start of Food Network was a dream come true when we finally got cable. All food all the time. Even before I actively started collecting cookbooks, I had a good selection of books and various pans/dishware to be able to cook and bake better. Food has always been a full contact sport in my family (I’ve mentioned this before, and will probably do so again), so becoming a food groupie was destined in the stars (or pots and pans, you decide). The last few years have been interesting in that I consciously made the choice to push my skills and knowledge regarding food and cooking. You never really quit learning, you just change the focus and intensity. Once I started meeting chefs and talking to other food enthusiasts, I knew I had found my happy place. I still have an office job that pays the bills, but there is always some part of my brain that is percolating an idea about a meal, how to make a snack, or whatever the ingredient of the moment is. I will talk about food with anyone at the drop of a hat. My husband or coworkers can vouch for that.

That time I double-dog-dared Alton in 2017.

The definition of “groupie” is is someone who is a fan of a particular band, singer, or other famous person, and follows them around. Saying you are a “fan” means you like, prefer, or are into someone, a thing, or a group. They are basically the same thing. My interpretation for being a food groupie means that you love food, like trying new dishes in an adventurous way, enjoy learning about food (history, ingredients, people), and collect items and experiences that relate to your culinary journey. I collect cookbooks (1200+ so far) and like meeting celebrity chefs when I can. It is also why I created the Worst Cooks bingo cards when Alton was the guest chef, and kept making them for the past year and a half. By the way, we need more shows with real home cooks (like me!) pairing up with actual chefs to compete. I can be very perky and animated when food is involved.

My husband is very patient with the amount of cookbooks and baking pans that I have, and he is also my #1 taste tester. It’s a rough job, but someone has to do it. It keeps things interesting to grab a random book and try a new recipe, and many of the older ones have short blurbs about the recipe or things about the time. They are a version of food history in their own right. If you are able, grab one of your grandparent’s old cookbooks and take a look. You can even ask an older relative if they have any recipes that they can make from memory. My grandmother was that kind of cook. She used “a handful of this” or “pinches of that”. One of my favorite things is that they measured out her recipes and translated her handfuls/pinches into regular measurements and created a cookbook for all of the granddaughters.

I like being a food groupie, and wear the title proudly (how many people can say they hauled their Kitchenaid to an event to have Fabio Viviani sign it?). It means I am an adventurous eater, and quite happily going down the rabbit hole of learning more about the industry and ingredients. Talking about food with other people makes us happy. If you doubt me, just ask someone where to get a specific dish or how to fix something. There might be disagreements on which is better (BBQ or chowder people, I’m looking at you) but it’s more of the “best team” vibe.

food groupie /fo͞od grü-pē/: person who loves food, likes trying new dishes in an adventurous way, enjoys learning about food (history, ingredients, people), and collects items and experiences that relate to their culinary journey

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