Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Do you blame hipsters?

Or, perhaps Padma and Tom on Top Chef? (Especially Tom.)

What has happened to simple cooking?

Has food become a little too foodie frou-frou that we've forgotten what actually tastes good?

British high-street bakery chain Greggs, which tends to be famous for solid British fare such as sausage rolls and jam doughnuts, decided to test this out.

It went to the Foodies Festival in London's Syon Park and thought it would present its new Summer Menu wares. With a little artisan packaging, you understand.

After all, Michelin-starred chefs were in the vicinity. You have to offer meticulously well-designed decorum in their presence.

Instead of admitting it was Greggs, the bakery called itself Gregory and Gregory.

Couldn't you just imagine that Gregory and Gregory would sell you fava bean bread and parsley-infused tofu custard?

Wouldn't they be right at home in New York's Brooklyn and San Francisco's Mission District, purveying all sorts of Earth-saving freshness at twice the price of Whole Foods?

Here, then, is how Gregory and Gregory got on.

Now I know this is marketing.

I realize that Gregory and Gregory's camerapeople only captured the finest moments that reflected beautifully on their brand.

Yet I delight at the believably pretentious gentleman offering: "The avocado is so au fait at the moment. It definitely pops."

"Oh, pop off," I hear you mutter.

Then there's the positively pompous other gentleman who admits: "I would never normally go into Greggs."

Because I'm so frightfully posh, dontcha know?

With food, we've reached the point where the packaging can dictate what we're supposed to think. And even feel.

My own Bay Area is, so I'm constantly told, full of wonderful restaurants. 

The more I eat out, however, the hype rather outweighs the taste. 

And the check rather outweighs both of them.

It's heartening to see foodies get fooled. 

Even if it's just for one day.

Published on: May 30, 2018