This Online Group Shames Overly Pretentious Dishes That Are Just Stupid And Here Are 50 Of Their Funniest Posts (New Pics)
When your spaghetti bolognese gets served in separate jars that are supposed to represent the restaurant's own deconstructed version of the meal, you can’t help but feel confused. After all, paying good money for a dish that looks like something you’d find in your grandma’s pantry is far from anyone’s idea of an ideal dining experience. But the food industry is brutal, and establishments will do everything in their power to impress you.
Thanks to the internet's beloved corner of Reddit called 'Stupid Food,' we get to see just how far they’re willing to go. This online community successfully calls our restaurant owners and chefs who come up with pretentious ways to serve their dishes, overwhelming and repulsing their customers along the way.
"A place to lambast idiotic methods of serving food, or any other epicurean inanity worthy of ridicule," says its description, and you know it’s gonna be good. Scroll down below to devour this crazy collection of absurd food creations we’ve gathered from the group, upvote the best of the worst, and let us know what you think in the comments. And don’t miss the chat we had with food blogger and journalist Ellen Manning about the importance of presentation in dining.
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"Food. Point. Laugh," says the subreddit’s tagline, and hey, thanks for being a source of entertainment we didn’t know we needed! The 'Stupid Food' online group has been calling out arrogant and ridiculous dishes since 2015, and they definitely don’t hold back. With a following of more than 800k members, the community seems to have an enormous appetite and is always hungry for new monstrosities to grace their screens.
Getting your edible rocks (yes, that’s a thing) served on a bed of real rocks sounds crazy — because it is. But if you consider yourself a foodie, you’ve definitely noticed that bizarre food servings are all the rage now, particularly at luxurious restaurants. This begs the question, however, why is it so annoying when establishments genuinely try to stand out and impress us?
We were curious about this phenomenon and wanted to learn more about the difference between aesthetic dishes and plain eyesores restaurants serve their patrons. So we reached out to an expert in the field, a food lover, writer, and journalist Ellen Manning. Being the author of the acclaimed Eat With Ellen blog, she was more than happy to share her thoughts on the matter.
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"We've all heard the saying, you eat with your eyes, and the reason why it's so often said is because it's true," Ellen told Bored Panda. "Food is always about more than the taste — it's how it looks and smells too. That means presentation is key." The expert explained that this doesn’t mean that it has to be complicated — the dish simply has to look appealing to the diner and just make you want to eat it at once.
"So whether it's a delicate plate of food that's intricately arranged or a big fat burger that makes your mouth water the minute you see it, presentation matters. We also can't ignore the fact that in the world of Instagram, clever or pretty presentation matters and can act as marketing for your restaurant," Ellen added.
What's more, the food blogger said that overly excessive and weird-looking displays can detract diners from the meal.
"In the same way that flavors need to work together, the presentation needs to work with, rather than against, the dish as a whole. If everything's a bit too fussy, it can be distracting, so it needs to be appealing, well balanced, and look good enough to eat."
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When it comes to the pretentiousness in food, everything lies in the chef, not the actual dish itself. "Food is often art, but when it gets to the point that you're being distracted from the flavor by the way it looks, that could be a problem," Ellen explained.
"You've also got to think about your audience — if the people eating your food want traditional food that's recognizable, then you aren't necessarily going to win them over if it looks weird or too unusual. However, in some restaurants, this is what people come for — so they can really go crazy with the presentation."
If the creators want to find that fine line between a beautiful and over-the-top presentation, Ellen said they must think about balance, know their audience, and ultimately make sure that the presentation adds to the appeal rather than detracting from it. "Creativity is great, but when it starts becoming more important, or detracting or distracting from the flavor of the food itself, that's a problem," she noted.
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As you scroll through this list, you inevitably notice that the questionable meals and ridiculous plating some establishments come up with are amusing. But what lies behind their urge to stick out and go out of their way to impress the customer?
"In the world of Instagrammable food, it's understandable why some people are pushing the boundaries further and further when it comes to the way they plate food, the dishes they put together, and the weird and wonderful creations they come up with," Ellen told us. "After all, standing out from the crowd can mean more attention, more publicity and ultimately more customers."
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The food blogger also noted that at the core of any chef's philosophy should lie the fact that their food has to be edible. "Ultimately, if people are looking at your food, they're going to want to eat it, and crazy plating or weird flavor combinations that look good but taste awful could end up being the opposite of what you're after if you want people to come back again and again."
So while professionals think their efforts will be noticed, they often backfire in glorious ways. "Being noticeable is great, but ultimately food has to deliver on flavor as well as looking good," Ellen added.
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To chefs and restaurateurs who miss by a long shot with their meals and are tired of confused patrons’ looks, Ellen had a few pieces of advice. "Presentation doesn't have to be crazy or over-the-top. In the same way as putting flavors that complement each other together, it's about making sure the elements on the plate look good together."
"Color is good, as is a bit of tidiness and care when it comes to arranging them. The basic rule of thumb is, does it look like you want to eat it? If so, you've nailed it. If not, you need to think again," Ellen concluded.