Foodies are kind of taking over the world. This can be good (ask anyone to watch Top Chef with you, and they will probably be into it) and bad (HOW many different types of salt are there?). You may not know what a sous vide machine is, but the girl from work who is pretty and funny sure does, so what do you do?
Some people are super passionate about what they eat and that will play a major role in who they date. So if you make plans with a cute guy or girl at the bar who has indicated he or she is a foodie, you’ll need to be prepared just as you would if that person was a music nerd, book worm or political junkie. Here are some strategies.
Maybe Don’t Use the Word “Foodie”
“Oh, so you’re a foodie?” has weirdly become a slight insult. Try “Do you like to cook?” instead, if the person has mentioned a serious interest in eating.
This is what I do when it comes to sports. Did I know a single thing about what was happening during the Super Bowl? Heck, no. But in the weeks leading up, I started with “Who are you rooting for?” and began to pick up some names and opinions. I didn’t pretend like I knew about those players or had those opinions, but I used them to ask more questions. Start with “What’s your favorite food?” or “What restaurants do you like to go to?” and go from there. Be sure to remember the answers. It will at least show that you’re interested and it will take the pressure off you to do the talking about something you don’t have an expertise in. Classic negotiation tactic.
Don’t Fake It
There’s nothing more annoying than someone who pretends to know or thinks he knows something that he is clearly clueless about. It’s not that your opinion doesn’t matter — it definitely should if your date is worth your time — but let her have her thing if it’s important to her and just be honest.
Don’t Even Think About Going to a Chain Restaurant
This sounds basic, but don’t even joke about it. You will be cut so fast, you won’t have time to blink. It’s a little complicated because master chefs like Mario Batali have locations across the globe so what exactly qualifies? But a foodie will definitely have that knowledge.
There is one exception, however. Most foodies will have one special chain restaurant that they allow themselves as a guilty pleasure. It very likely has some significant sentimental value, like his family always went to Outback Steakhouse when he was a kid. Save that knowledge for when you’re a bit closer and can surprise him with a Big Mac when he’s sick (but shh, don’t tell anyone).
Related: Dating Etiquette: Sushi 101
Appeal to His/Her Sense of Adventure
There are many reasons why your date might consider herself a foodie. Maybe she just likes to go out a lot, or maybe she loves to stay in and cook (Does she have a blog? Read that asap!). Maybe she loves to read the glossy gourmet magazines, or maybe she has a crush on the irreverent Anthony Bourdain. So the way to impress a foodie is definitely not always “Take her to a fancy, chef-driven restaurant.” Since your date is immersed in her hobby, try an under-the-radar ethnic spot or pop-up restaurant in an effort to expose her to something new. You don’t have to kill yourself over it, but do a little Internet research or ask around — everyone knows somebody who is a foodie.