Foodie culture has flourished on the national scene during the last 25 years, and even people who don’t consider themselves cooks have been touched by it. Who hasn’t occasionally browsed for a recipe online or stopped at a farmers’ market for fresh local produce? Who doesn’t recognize the smiling face of Rachael Ray, that 30-minute meal master, on magazine covers in grocery store checkout lines?
A foodie, of course, is not the same as a gourmet. Gourmets are old-fashioned epicures of refined taste, whereas foodies appreciate all kinds of food, from high cuisine to ordinary meals. What’s more, they like to learn about food—the science behind it, the industry that produces it, the personalities that promote it. Gourmets are connoisseurs, but anyone interested in eating and drinking can be a foodie, and their numbers are growing.
The Food Network, launched in 1993, gave rise to programming such as The Naked Chef and Emeril Live!, creating a cult of celebrity chefs like Mario Batali and recipe mavens like Paula Deen. Food blogs and websites such as Epicurious enjoy millions of visitors annually. Consumer demand for cookbooks continues to increase as a growing number of people choose to eat and entertain in, and specialty kitchenware stores such as Williams-Sonoma have become mainstream mall fare. Even Julia Child is experiencing a renaissance, showing up recently in books, blogs, films, and television reruns.
What’s behind all this is a passion for food—for eating it, preparing it, studying it, and in some cases living it. In the following stories you’ll meet three Nazareth alumni who have found their passion—and jobs that they love—within the foodie culture.
Tricia Renshaw '93
Fox Run Vineyards
Leslie Zinck Ward '02
Lovin' Cup Bistro & Brews
Emily Massimi '04
Culinary Institute of America
Manager of Recruitment