Food and Drink

Published on October 27th, 2010 | by thevyne


Deconstruct Your Dining Personality

By Jacklyn E. Bruce

Dining out with friends can present many challenges and can also at times test your relationships. We all need food for sustenance, but going out with friends can present many challenges as you combine different interests, styles and budgets. As I meet more and more people I have discovered that when it comes to food there are a many different personalities. Those who love to eat, those who love to drink, those who love to get a value, those who will go to great lengths to get the best of everything. And of course there are those who could care less.
See if you can spot your food personality and that of your friends below:
Classica – The Classica is a food purist who enjoys all of the aspects of formal dining. She will enjoy a restaurant with a prestigious and traditional feel, one that still maintains a dress code, one that covers its tables with fine linens, has centerpieces of fresh flowers and a full place setting with a proper utensil for each course. She will know how to pronounce everything on the menu and will wield her mastery of etiquette at each meal. She is a high spender and appreciates dining at fine, well-established restaurants. More likely to be mourning the demise of Gourmet Magazine and to read food columns published in major newspapers, she seeks out high-end products for her home and will go to the ends of the earth to find the best of everything.
Moderna – The Moderna is more inclined to follow food and drink trends, she will know which hot restaurants just opened and will know how long the waiting lists are at each place. She usually has some kind of connection that will allow you to move up that list rather rapidly, so be sure to attend once plans are made because she does not like to use her connections on flakers. She will appreciate restaurants that have a business casual style with flair. She is adept at identifying and following all of the latest trends like the latest vegan churrascaria, those that only serve organic and free-range foods or the restaurants that celebrate local growers. She is more inclined to read food blogs and to use mobile apps to get her where she needs to go. She likes value when shopping for products for her home, loves innovation in her kitchen and will splurge when necessary.
Ethnica – For Ethnica there is not a world cuisine this girl will not try. She loves ethnic restaurants and adapts easily to dining in different cultural settings. She keeps her passport handy and takes a hearty appetite with her when she travels as she seeks out the most popular local hotspot that makes things that are authentic and savory. She will seek out neighborhood markets for special ingredients to use in her recipes and many of the products and packaged goods in her home will be indigenous to a foreign country. She will read magazines like Saveur to get information about obscure delicacies. You will find unique utensils in her kitchen that allow her to tell stories and to replicate the preparations of foods she has enjoyed abroad as she likes to create dishes that allow her to show off her mastery of foreign cuisines. She is likely to know and take you to all of the underground places that are off of the beaten path.
Frugala – For Frugala, it is just food. She loves to get a great deal and to feel as if she is getting value for her hard earned dollars. Since she likes to stick to her budget, she is more inclined to find restaurants that have great prices, a nice prix fixe menu or a family style place where portion size will appease her once the check comes. She is not above using coupons to take a few dollars off or to get a free appetizer. She is also not terribly picky about ambiance and interior design so long as the food is good and she is likely to argue with you over proper gratuities at the end of the meal. She will usually dine with limited frills and she seeks to get the most bang for her buck. Her home kitchen is full of the basics, she is usually a few seasons behind when it comes to the latest gadgets, but she likes the thrill of the sale so you will find great products sprinkled in here and there. She is likely to buy budget and generic items and will challenge you to show her the difference between those and the brand name products. She is not likely to read anything about restaurants or food but will always be up for joining you when it is time to hang out.
Imbiba – For Imbiba, it is not so much about the food as it is about the drinks. If the bar does not serve tasty cocktails using the latest spirits she will not be happy. She knows how to make every drink, both virgin and alcoholic. Food for her is secondary and she is likely to order appetizers or desserts and to skip full meals. If the drinks are watered down, using liquors that are not top shelf or manage to be shorter than they should be, her experience will lead her to let you know right away. Imbiba has the best home bar of all of your friends, she always makes a mean cocktail and she has proper stemware for every type of drink in her kitchen. She loves to read Imbibe magazine, has an extensive collection of high-end wines and spirits and with one sip can rattle off any recipe.
Tips for dining out with these ladies…
You should make reservations at the best restaurants in a city when Classica is a guest. She appreciates white glove service and wants nothing but the best to touch her palette. She is likely to spend more than most for a good meal so do not balk or question her when she orders a $65 steak or a $100 bottle of wine with a meal. She likes to indulge in gourmet dishes and appreciates ingredients that are not readily available. Keep in mind that she will most enjoy venues that take their interior design (including restrooms) and subtle touches seriously. She will savor every moment.
Moderna will appreciate being seen at the latest hot that reflect the current trends for food like the organic olive oil bar or the latest celebrity spawned restaurant that caters to the in-crowd. She appreciates newness and uniqueness and wants to frequent places that are fashionable and forward thinking. If a new place is on the lips of everyone else in the city, she already has a reservation. By seeking out restaurants that have just opened or those that are on the horizon, you will appease her need to stay on top of trends. She appreciates innovations in design, non-traditional yet stylish place settings and a menu that will allow her to expand beyond her comfort zone with dishes that celebrate form and function.

Ethnica will only appreciate meals that give her an authentic experience that is as true to the country of origin as possible. She may actually know how to order your meal in the native language and will teach you about customs and traditions and will delve deep enough to appreciate the nuance of regional differences in the cuisine. Take an open mind as you may be asked to do things that you are not used to like washing your hands in a bowl of water, sitting on a floor cushion, eating with your hands and learning how to speak a few new words. You may also have to venture to ethnic enclaves in cities that are off the beaten path when dining with her. The interior design of the restaurant should be reflective of the respective culture and she will ensure that you have the most authentic tasting dishes and will leave with a sense that you have truly ventured to a foreign land.

Frugala will appreciate restaurants that are moderately priced and those where she gets a great deal. Seek out restaurants that have classic menus with great prices and those that are known for great portions. Be conscious of the fact that value is of the utmost importance to her and do not undermine her for sticking to her budget.
Only take Imbiba to places that have great bars. She enjoys happy hour specials, fantasy drinks and can school you on the fine details of bartending and drink mixing. Keep in mind that she is less likely to be concerned with the food, but be sure that the restaurant includes a nice array of appetizers and desserts on the menu.
Jacklyn E. Bruce is the creator of Cook Like Jackie, a blog focused on tools, tips and techniques for the aspiring gourmet. Jackie is an experienced product demonstrator and has worked with DeLonghi, Breville and other world renowned vendors and is also a contributor to other blogs including She is a graduate of Princeton University and The University of Richmond School of Law. She may be contacted at

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