Food is in fashion like never before and its popularity doesn’t seem to be waning, writes non-foodie Helen Goltz.

Once upon a time, the homemaker got out the trusty Complete Margaret Fulton Cookbook to seek encouragement and instructions on breaking away from the Australian staple of meat and three vegetables.

Now, thanks to an influx of television programs and celebrity chefs, the command to ‘plate up’ rings out across the nation. Our food is stacked, displayed or sauced, dinner parties have taken on a whole new level of excellence and people are flocking to eat out at breakfast, brunch and linner (yes, lunch + dinner = linner, sigh).

Back in the old days there were cooking celebrities, books and the occasional TV program, but when did food, well, go mad? Some say the rise of the celebrity chef gave food credence and when My Kitchen Rules made the pressure of commercial food life exciting and MasterChef made suburban mum Julie Goodwin a sensation and spawned Poh Ling into her own show, food became currency.

The up — and down — side

According to a new Foodie Nation report, the cooking shows have inspired two-thirds of us to have dinner at home over dining out or takeaways. However, our new gourmet tastes are driving up our grocery bill, with Gen Ys (aged 18 to 34) spending in excess of $400 per week on gourmet food products such as seafood, cheeses and olives and Gen X (aged 35 to 50) spending up to $600 on their weekly grocery order.

Eating out and ordering-in

Out of 21 meals a week we consume, we are eating an average of four of those at restaurants, cafes or having them as takeaways.

However, there is also increased interest in the home delivery of gourmet meals. Marianne van Kersen, general manager of Gourmet Meals — who home deliver and stock gourmet meals at selected independent stores — says their market is differentiating.

“We are delivering to the time poor, health-conscious and customers wanting gluten free options as well as the home bound who want healthy, tasty food,” she says.

“We have been around 21 years but the foodie trend is definitely increasing interest in our product with the healthy and the gluten-free options particularly popular.”

How to identify a foodie

  • Their Facebook page features more photos of food than friends
  • They know the difference between flamber and fumé
  • They have more cookbooks than novels on their bookshelves
  • They may have no petrol in the car but the fridge is full
  • They visit restaurants, not galleries, when on holiday
  • When breakfast is over, they are thinking about lunch
  • They lovingly stare at the vegetables in the grocery aisle
  • All their ‘selfies’ include food
  • To have a bad meal is a tragedy, even though it’s not their last!

At home trends

With the rise of the foodie, comes a demand for top-notch products at home. Kitchens are being designed with two work benches for the couple who want to cook together, and while a state-of-the-art coffee machine was once a must-have, now it is all about style.

We’ve sourced some of the most desirable kitchen items that will make you the envy of your foodie friends — click through the gallery above to see them all!