The Evolution of a Foodie

Growing up around New Orleans you don’t learn to love food. It’s part of who you are, it’s part of your culture.

When walking down Magazine Street there are restaurants all round you. The smells from the different kitchens pour out into the street and create an intoxicating aroma to draw you in.

I grew up with a camera in my hand. I would, and will, take pictures of anything and anyone; but one thing I loved taking pictures of was food.

The food in New Orleans mirrors the city, hot, spicy, and always photogenic.

Some of my favorite memories center around food. After the super bowl in 2009 there was a massive parade in honor of the Saints winning the super bowl. I stood out on the corner somewhere in the warehouse district with my family. My two siblings and my parents stood there beaming. My mother spoke about how never in a million years would she imagine that her team would win the super bowl. Families, just like ours, were lined up for miles and miles awaiting to see the Saints on the floats boasting the Lombardi Trophy. I can’t tell you how many times families would come up to us to offer us some of the best food in the world. Cups of jambalaya, bowls of steaming gumbo, handfuls of friend okra.

That experience was the essence of the city. Great company, good times, and great food.

When I venture into the city I attempt to translate that essence into my experience and photographs. I’m in no way a professional photographer, but I find a great pleasure in photographing my experiences.

It wasn’t until a few months ago was I aware of the term “foodie”. I never really identified with the term “foodie”. In my mind that was some “hipster” who just Instagram-ed his or her food with #foodporn and called it a day, and to me that’s not what my pictures were. My mind always associated it with someone or something bad. A careless photographer who just desperately wanted the world to know about what they were eating.

Pho Bistreaux, S. Carrollton Ave, New Orleans La. Taken by Caterina Picone, featured on her Instagram @piconemakesmovies.

Then while I was getting Pho I whipped out my cell phone and began taking pictures of my food. My friend Emily remarked that she was so impressed that I did so, so shamelessly. I was confused. Emily then informed me how she would never take a picture of her food because it embarrassed her.

I asked her: Why should you be ashamed of taking a picture of something you enjoy?

Then it dawned on me.

I was a complete hypocrite. I enjoyed taking pictures of my food. To me, my pictures weren’t just pictures of food .They were the memories of good times, great conversations, and the fantastic company I shared the food with. To the people who follow me on Instagram my pictures were most likely just #foodporn to them. The fact is I shouldn’t be judging or shaming someone for what they post. It’s their media, their blog, etc. There is no shame in being a foodie. In fact, there is no shame in being anything.