More Than a Free Meal: Writing About Food
If you look forward to football games on fall Saturdays because you can’t wait to try out a new tailgating recipe, you might have the makings of a food writer. Writing about food requires as much preparation as cooking it. You need to assemble the right ingredients and follow the best recipe if you want your words to taste good.
Many article writers dream about being a restaurant critic or food writer because it offers the chance to try new dishes and get paid. So, what can you do to put food writer on your professional menu?
Learn the secrets of the food industry
Go behind the scenes to find out what makes a professional restaurant tick. Watch how a chef runs their kitchen. Make a note of how they prepare appetizers and entrees. Seeing them in action will help you better understand the process that goes into making a meal. You can gain this insider knowledge by working at a restaurant yourself or by asking for a tour.
Educate yourself about eating food
Writing about food is only possible if you are willing to test your taste buds. That means never eating the same meal twice. It means always trying new cuisine whenever you hit the town. A good review goes beyond simply revealing if food tastes good or tastes bad. You need to probe deeper into a meal. The best way for giving your reviews added depth is to give your taste buds enough experience to understand if the chef prepared your meal well or if there is something lacking.
Make smaller details part of the story
Background details can matter as much as the food itself to a review. What was the atmosphere like in the restaurant? Did you enjoy live music? How attentive was the service staff? Did they have a thorough understanding of the menu? Include smaller details that will give your reader the whole picture of your dining experience at a particular restaurant. Good reviews will always focus some attention on the restaurant itself to give context to the food.
Turn food into a character
Never forget that bringing food alive will bring your review to life. Focus on the smells, tastes, and sensations of what you eat. Writing about food is all about refining your senses. The more attuned you are to what constitutes good food, the stronger your writing will be over time. You want to essentially turn food into a character in your review. Give it personality. Describe everything about the taste and aroma to the point that a reader actually imagines savoring those same morsels on their own tongue.
John C is a professional writer and editor who has written articles and blog posts for dozens of websites and publications for more than a decade. His current goal is to branch out into the exciting world of fiction writing.