Monday, November 8, 2010

Culinary F words

"Fusion," I often find Chef Samia Ahad saying, "is the culinary 'F' word."  She says it with such fantastic condescension.  It's times like these that I'm glad for the existence of this blog, where I can keep track of such memorable moments.  You'll be hard pressed to find a chef these days who won't recoil in defense at the mere suggestion of the word.  Tom Aikens (youngest chef to earn a Michelin star kitchen) calls it, "Fusion-confusion."  Sometimes, I want to toss the, "So, is your cuisine fusion?" question on the Q+A list, just to see how much of a reaction I can get. (To date, Chef Hal Yamashita from Tokyo is the only culinary professional I've met who embraces the term with open arms.  But this might be due to the fact that he doesn't speak English)  If you want to catch her live, Chef Samia will be doing a joint culinary demo with Aussie heartthrob Curtis Stone during the Singapore Sun Festival.  She also teaches cooking classes at her Clarke Quay restaurant, The Coriander Leaf.  Check out November's issue of Appetite Magazine for my feature on her.

Other culinary 'F' words I can think of?  How about "Foodie."  I can't think of a term more execrable. The term is so used and abused, it screams wannabe.  Oh how it offends me.  Unfortunately, there are few, if any alternatives to the term.

Tell me your culinary F words.

[photo from]


  1. Foams? They're useful in some situations, but Chefs still overuse them.

    Foraged? Apparently listing that your herbs/mushrooms/greens/etc are foraged is the cool thing to do now. *Yawn*

    Blue (F)in Tuna? Delicious fish, but we're glorifying the extinction of a species. Highly irresponsible to keep this stuff on menus.

    Fig-on-a-plate? Alice Waters, lol.

  2. Apparently someone feels like your favorite food-related term is a culinary f-word:

    Have fun in NYC. For high end recs, my blog is still there.

    Also, I want to create the f-word frustaceans, for crab and other preparations that take way too much work to get too little meat out of.

  3. Chris > HA, love your F words. Foams is another hot word.

    Pretender > Except "noms" doesn't start with an F! But fair enough otherwise--no real review should be limited to only "yum" and "nom."

    And thanks. Looking forward to NY!



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