Gina Mei
January 29, 2016 2:28 pm

Just shy of a year ago, Instagram account @chefjacqueslamerde took the food world by storm with his gorgeous, minimalist dishes featuring our favorite childhood junk food. The account poked gentle fun at fine dining, while serving up some major eye candy.

The Internet was left bewitched — and very, very hungry. But like most viral sensations on the Internet, the parody account was anonymous. Many wondered who was behind the comedic genius of Chef Jacques La Merde, with few clues to help guide their way. Along with his photographs, he had presented a character that was all over the place, often using all caps to convey his enthusiasm. Nevertheless, the chef’s identity remained a mystery — and now, he’s finally decided to come forward.

The “he” behind Chef Jacques La Merde, as it turns out, is actually a “she”: Chef Christine Flynn, who does R&D for a restaurant group based out of Toronto. (Hell yeah!)

In an essay for Bon Appétit magazine, the chef revealed her true identity and explained why, exactly, she started the brilliant account. For those hoping for in-depth commentary on the food industry, you might be surprised to find out her answer:

Flynn attributes the success of the account to its nostalgia factor, and how obvious it is that she was having fun with it. For Flynn, the account was a way for her to feel creative again — a cathartic exercise that in turn allowed her to both channel her inner child and her inner chef. There is definitely a sense of childlike wonder to the whole thing, and the combination of traditionally “snobby” plating with easily accessible snack foods is an absolute delight.

“Chef Jacques La Merde is not so much my alter ego as an extension of myself,” Flynn wrote. “Loud, flawed, clumsy, romantically disastrous and a bit sloppy. Technically, we both have some skills, but most of all we have resilience, and the ability to keep taking knocks and coming up smiling.”

For the rest of what Flynn had to say, you can read her essay over at Bon Appétit.

(Images via Instagram.)