An attempt to nail down one of Madison’s strangest Instagram accounts.
The Instagram account foodiedaddy6 began posting in September and has only 117 followers as of today, but it has succeeded in brewing up an antidote to Madison’s adulatory local-food scene. Or … maybe someone who works in the service industry is just getting high and making weird memes. It’s not for me to say. Sussing out the account’s MO and motivations is a slippery exercise.
A few recurring themes have emerged from the account’s stream of endearing yet shoddily constructed memes, photos of weird homemade plates presumably cooked up by whoever’s running the account, and just plain weird imagery. The account frequently uses the semi-sensical hashtags #yagotnobutt and #nosauce, and frequent subjects include Gotham Bagels, Ha Long Bay, Scott Walker’s repulsive eating habits, local food Instagrammers/bloggers, and a general sense that too many Madison restaurants are adding tacos to their menus as a desperate gimmick.
In a DM conversation with me, the person running the account confirmed that those food bloggers and tacos are major pet peeves, and wouldn’t provide any specifics about themselves or where in Madison’s food and drink world they’ve worked, except to say, “I used to bartend around town. I started the account to make some jokes about the chef-owner culture and lack of creativity in Madison.”
Over the course of a couple weeks, the account-holder playfully avoided sharing many specifics about which restaurants they like and dislike, which food blogs upset them, or which specific restaurants have lame tacos. This exchange of DMs at no point resembled a serious interview; whoever’s behind the account kept trying to convince me to whip up a cocktail of gin and Klarbunn, calling it “One of the best sports drinks out there.” When I asked why the account occasionally posts photos of gummy candies in a waffle iron, the answer was: “It’s a great way to warm up gummies, what do you mean?”
It’s hard to tell how serious foodiedaddy6 is about taking Madison’s restaurant scene down a peg. One post appears to show Heritage Tavern chef Dan Fox’s head on prop comic Gallagher’s body. A few others riff nonsensically on French chef Jacques Pepin’s recent visit to Madison. Another shows a tracksuit-clad Vladimir Putin squatting on a pierogi at Mint Mark. Occasionally things get more pointed, including in a post about restaurateur Gil Altschul’s “dumbbitch.pdf” scandal, in which Altschul and a manager at Gib’s Bar sent a former employee abusive emails.
The account has gotten in a couple good swipes at food-delivery startup EatStreet, too. The latest one, as of this writing, adds the words “like an upper decker, for dinner” to an EatStreet promotional campaign, which in all fairness isn’t that much worse than some of EatStreet’s actual promotional copy.
The person behind foodiedaddy did say they were “on the verge of being found out, if I’m not already,” but I honestly have no clue who it is. The account has some specific gripes that it seems a person could only form by getting some extensive experience in local kitchens, like a post about Rare Steakhouse with text that reads, “Uuh yeah it’s local! We ordered it from neesvigs,” referring to a Madison-area food distributor. Or one that rips on the revolving door of short-lived restaurants at 101 North Hamilton Street on the Square. And I do see likes on there from actual chefs’ and restaurateurs’ personal accounts, so at least some other folks in the local food industry have to be in on the joke.
Perhaps foodiedaddy6 will eventually be unmasked, but I almost hope the poster remains anonymous. Sometimes you need that anonymity to post these kinds of things, and the account is occasionally very savage and very funny. Whatever happens, don’t expect much of an explanation. “I just wanted to offer some content that was more shitty than shit,” the account said in our DM conversation. “Make sense?”