I try to hide it as best I can, but it’s akin to asking a Husker fan to sit quietly through the upcoming Saturday afternoon matchup with Texas. If you are keenly interested in the outcome, it would be difficult to respond otherwise.

This interest I’m talking about is dining out at a restaurant.

Since becoming a restaurant owner, my dining experiences have changed. I have become more aware of what I eat and the environment in which I am served. It is difficult to turn off the evaluative mode and simply eat and enjoy without scrutiny, but such is the plight of one’s passion. That in which we are extremely interested evokes an equivalent response. Don’t think of it as judgment. Instead, view it as an indicator of a strength that might need continued development.

That friend of yours who points out spelling or grammatical errors might have a gift as an editor. The person who is always noticing and commenting on furniture and color schemes could be because of an eye for interior design. The same could be true for the friend who seems critical of film, drama or photography. It may point to a passion that needs an outlet for expression.

Being immersed in the culinary world, I find myself constantly thinking about food, and not just in the interest of consumption. I am curious about sourcing and where you get your ingredients. I want to know where you buy your meat and how you prepare it. Tell me about your influences and your cooking technique. Explain why you are excited about tonight’s menu.

Is this too much to ask?

In some cases, yes, because these things don’t seem to matter. This is why I am not very interested in eating at a restaurant that trucks in their food from a centralized kitchen or where the cook opens a premade box of frozen jalapeno poppers and dunks them in a vat of hot oil. I don’t have anything against jalapeno poppers, but I do appreciate knowing that you bought them from a local farmer, and stuffed them with fresh herbed goat cheese and battered them with house made bread crumbs and served them with a hand-whipped lemon aioli made with a couple of farm eggs.

If you don’t see what the big deal is, this explains my point exactly.

I don’t think of myself so much as a food snob, but rather as one who is highly interested in food. Call me a fan, much like the guy who paints his face red and wears his Herbie overalls this weekend and gets his mug on ESPN. The dude is into his game and I don’t want to deny him that pleasure.

on being labeled a Food Snob