With millennials fully immersed in social media and keen to impress peers, photogenic food is more in demand than ever before. Coffees have become works of art, doughnuts have had a gourmet facelift, and an entire subculture has emerged around avocado toast. The #foodporn craze is now firmly part of the dining experience. In fact, one in five of us shares a food picture on Instagram each month, while 69% of millennials photograph their food before eating it.
But with people working longer hours than ever, finding the time to follow the foodie lifestyle can be difficult. Thankfully, there are ways to indulge your culinary curiosity without having to make major time-intensive investments.
Take advantage of food and meal-kit delivery services
Crawling blogs and scouring cookbooks for recipes before stalking supermarket aisles for the perfect ingredients takes time. Thanks to the internet, you can forget all that.
In an era where you can buy pretty much everything online, and next day delivery is the norm, food delivery services are thriving. In the first nine months of 2017, online search volume for recipe boxes were reportedly up by 109%, according to Food Marketing Experts.
Companies like Hello Fresh and Gousto work by sending you exactly what you need to make a dish, including pre-portioned ingredients and a recipe card. These boxes are ideal for those who either don’t know how to cook, or for those who can cook, but need some new recipe ideas and want to save time on buying ingredients. Practising with this foolproof method gives people the opportunity to perfect different cuisines, letting them show off their skills to friends and family, or share snaps of their finished dishes.
It’s not just full meal kits that are being delivered. There are companies dedicated to delivering separate ingredients, for those who simply don’t have time to go grocery shopping. Oddbox, for example, delivers their customers “wonky fruit and vegetables”, which may have otherwise been binned before going to grocery shops for not being aesthetically pleasing. Meanwhile, The Cheese Geek have found their niche in delivering cheese boxes. The boxes come with taste cards that teach you about different flavours within each box, as well as pairing tips, giving you the chance to flaunt your knowledge of cheeses to your friends.
Shop locally at farmers’ markets or local grocers
If you do have the time to shop, another hurdle for the would-be foodie to overcome is finding ingredients that measure up to their high standards. Locally sourcing your ingredients solves this.
While you will be restricted to whatever fruit and vegetables are in season at the time, the ingredients you do buy are more likely to be organic and fresh, and the rotating stock will encourage you to experiment with different ingredients throughout the year. If you do want access to certain fruit or veg year-round, buying in bulk and carefully storing or freezing them can extend their shelf life by months, whilst also preserving that locally-sourced freshness.
Find special offers for eating out
Eating out at the trendiest restaurants is a huge part of foodie life, but finding a place to eat and booking a table takes time and effort. Then there’s the price, which puts true gourmet dining out of reach for many.
To solve all of these problems, take advantage of special offers at Michelin-starred restaurants. Many of them can actually be super affordable, if you go at the right time or order from a set menu. As well as making eating out more affordable, this will help you choose where to go and indicate that they will have space.
Around London, there are at least seven Michelin-starred restaurants that offer multi-course meals for less than £30 per person, including Tamarind, the world’s first Indian restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star. The two-course seasonal lunch deal comes in at £21.50 per person, Monday to Friday, with the option to add wine pairings for an extra £10. Not only does this help you save money, it also lets you sample some of the finest food made in city restaurants.
Most restaurants have special offers during the week, so get into the habit of checking social media and the websites to find the best deal for your favourite restaurants. There are even apps dedicated to helping you find deals, such as Karma, which lists restaurants with surplus food toward the end of the day, offering meals in your local area for a discounted price.
Being a foodie doesn’t have to mean dedicating hours to stocking your kitchen, learning new recipes and shelling out for Michelin-star meals. Simply shop smart, try new ingredients, and find the best offers, and you’ll be able to impress your friends with your foodie skills, whether it’s online or in person.