Instagram Chef Turns Junk Food Into Works of Art
In the food industry, a dish only has one chance to make a first impression. French chef Jacques La Merde (the alias of Canadian chef Christine Flynn) approaches that chance with humor. On Instagram, La Merde uses snack food and basic grocery store fare to create meals that look like they belong on the menu at an upscale restaurant—and captions them with what WIRED calls "bro-tastic" descriptions.
Using a pseudonym that translates to "Jack the Sh*t," Flynn posted the creations for nearly a year before revealing her true identity in an episode of Top Chef, WIRED reports. The chef said that using ingredients like Swedish Fish, Oreos, Red Bull foam, and Chef Boyardee Jumbo Spaghetti in faux-fancy dishes helped her "get in touch with her artsier side" and relax after her day job at a health and sustainability-focused restaurant.
"But for me, sustainability also involves having a Dorito now and again," Flynn said. "Otherwise what's the point?"
Her inclusion of captions like "DO YOU EVEN PURPLE YOGURT BRO?" and frequent use of the word soigné (well-groomed, sleek) add to the satirical nature of the series, but she says that her captions are also inspired by the "bro-y" culture of the industrial kitchens that she has worked in.
“I’m calling out some of the more extreme parts of the industry,” Flynn says. “But it’s also lighthearted, benevolent satire.”
That persona has brought more than 100,000 followers to Flynn's account. And she's been able to turn her social media fame into real world success, creating a leadership conference for women in the food industry and partnering with the Sonic Drive-In on limited-edition square milkshakes.
Check out some of her creations below.
#tbt TO LAST VALENTINES BROS, WHEN I MADE THIS DESSERT SPEC FT. HOSTESS CUPCAKE, DUNKAROOS, NIBS AND FANCY MOSS!!! JUST A REMINDER THAT THIS YR IM SPENDIN THE MOST ROMANTICAL NITE OF THE YR COOKIN W/ @therealtonybacon AT MILE END DELI!!! THERE WILL BE MINI @blackseedbagels BITES, DEEP FRIED PICKLES AND SMOKED MEAT!!!! FOR REZ CALL 646.494.9508!!!! YASSSS!!!! #soigné #mileenddeli #blackseedbagels #theartofplating #fourmagazine #chefsofig #cheflife #notapopup #itsaonenightstand