Start journaling your heart out today. Have your very own Journaling Kit™ shipped to your doorstep...FREE!

E-books Workshops
Free Course
Support Us
Founded April 2000. A Writer's Digest Magazine 101 best Web sites for writers (2001 & 2003)
The Writer's Book of Hope by Ralph Keyes
Become a Successful Travel Writer
The Funny Times

Buy a novel by Lucille Bellucci at and receive these .pdf bonuses:

  • 17 Ways to Make Amazon Your River of Gold
  • Make Money with Radio
  • Success Bound
  • Book Promotion: NOT for Sissies
  • Harvey Mackay Rolodex
  • Top 20 Talk Radio Topics
  • Harrison Bonus
  • Million Dollar Rolodex

    E-mail Lucille at lucil95783 AT aol DOT com to claim your bonuses.
  • Write Any Book in 28 Days... Or Less!
    Write Any Book in 28 Days... Or Less! New course reveals fresh secrets. Click here to learn more.

    The Secret Behind Creativity REVEALED! It's all in the brainwaves. Find out here!

    EasyEbookPro Books

    Click here to advertise with us for 2 whole months for only $35!

    Home Articles

    Wine and Dine Your Way to Writing Success

    As a food critic, I can think of no better way to spend the work day than dining on the best and most exotic dishes and then sharing that information with tens of thousands of readers through a daily newspaper or regional magazine. Online publications, both those using restaurant reviews to round out their content and those completely focusing on culinary arts, are also searching for qualified food critics.

    The field of food writing, and especially, food critiquing is growing. Every day new opportunities are opening up: weekly and alternative newspapers attract readers with news of dining establishments; gardening and leisure time magazines are seeking food-related stories to meet the needs of their customers. The Internet alone has opened a new world of wonder for food writers, and food critics in particular. E-zines, e- newsletters, websites on food and websites on cities or tourist destinations are advertising for writers knowledgeable about food.

    Sure, it's a job, but you can't take it too seriously, for after all, food should be fun. So what exactly does a food critic do? Eat too much and too often, and get paid to tell readers an educated opinion about the food, restaurant ambiance, wait staff and the value of the overall experience. It may sound like something you do anyway -- spreading the word about your favorite restaurants, but as a professional food critic, you choose your words carefully when you chide the chef on his gaffes and praise him on his triumphs. You tell your readers enough information so they can decide if a particular rowdy family restaurant is right for them, or if they might prefer to celebrate their anniversaries at that intimate French restaurant that overlooks the bay.

    As you grow with the job of food writer, life just gets better. You have the perfect excuse to travel -- on the publication's tab. Your readers need to know what's out there for a day trip or a trip around the world. Food critics are sent on assignment to France, Italy, Argentina, Australia, Viet Nam and Egypt. Closer to home, you might be sent to do a round up of the Mexican restaurants in Chicago, or San Francisco's restaurants on the wharf.

    Intrigued? Wondering how you can break into food criticism or do restaurant reviews as a freelancer? There is no one specific career path to becoming a food critic. Success comes to those with two primary passions, though, writing and food. Or food and writing, depending on who you're asking. Neither skill can be forced: a restaurant employee who lacks writing skills cannot carry off the role of food critic, nor can a writer who merely eats to live convey the passion for dining readers demand. But while neither skill can be coerced, both can be nurtured if a small seed of interest is present.

    The benefits of a career in food writing are many. As a food critic I have eaten at restaurants I could not have afforded on my own, as well as eaten food items I would never have chosen if my job did not require me to taste a wide range of dishes. It's also easy to make friends when you feed them on savory shepherd's pie one week and chocolate bread pudding the next. How many times do we, as amateur diners, return to the same restaurants and order our regular meal? That's a big no-no for food critics, and to be honest, once you start moving forward on your career, you'll be anxious to explore new cuisines and exotic dishes. When compared with salaries of journalists in general, the wages tend to be fair whether you are writing one article per week as a freelance writer, or working as food editor, including critiques, at a large paper or magazine.

    Another benefit - this is a job that you can expand on. There is always a larger paper, a bigger audience, a more prestigious magazine and another book to be conquered. Do you crave personal growth, never wishing to stagnate in a career? Then this is the one for you.

    Here's more good news: the food world is getting bigger even as you read this. Chefs are creating new culinary fusions by combining two or more ethnic cuisines and rediscovering traditional ways. Even if you don't have access to the world's restaurants or culinary arts institutes, you can use the Internet as an invaluable research tool. In addition, explore bookstores, study cookbooks and learn from local cooking teachers to grasp exciting new food preparation skills, understand trendy dishes and employ newly imported herbs and seasonings. As the food world grows, your skills will be more valuable. The average diner needs your expertise, knowledge and guidance on where to go, what to order and how to eat it.

    What qualifications are editors looking for? Writing skills - do you have professional writing experience? Previously published writing clips will show your abilities; food writing samples can push you to the front of the crowd. A passion for food is the second requirement, whether you've worked in restaurants, catered at parties, published cookbooks or studied culinary arts as an avocation.

    As a food critic, your job will be to tackle critical writing. In this context, critical does not mean negative; critical is a blend of analysis and opinion. When you wrote papers in your English literature class comparing Herman Melville's Billy Budd and Moby Dick, you were writing critically. You relied on your study of the novels, your understanding of the themes, and your own experience and opinion to write a satisfactory paper.

    As a food critic you will use your skills of observation: you will look at the building and its décor, you will note the plating, or presentation of the dishes you've ordered. You will listen to neighboring tables' discussions on how their dinner is progressing. When stumped at an ingredient or disappointed to have the promised portobello mushrooms replaced with white button mushrooms, you will ask the waiter for information. Prior to dining, you will have researched the restaurant whether using the newspaper library for owner and chef information or calling and asking about the dress, specials, menu personality.

    Unique to food criticism is the use of all the senses. You will look and hear, but also smell, taste and touch. Your previous culinary studies, whether in school or at home, will guide you when tasting the combination of herbs, preparation of the meats and texture of the vegetables. You will touch the food, whether you pick up the hard sourdough rolls and feel the crunch as you break them open, or you touch the cream sauce with your mouth.

    Critical writers must know their facts and use these facts to analyze the situation and present an educated opinion. You will be expected to provide evidence to back up your conclusion, whether that evidence is facts (traditional Caesar salad is made with romaine lettuce, fresh grated parmesan, anchovies and garlic vinaigrette), personal observation (grilled steak was added to the Caesar salad) and opinion (the variation on the traditional salad was worthy of Caesar Cardina.

    Copyright © 2003 Pamela White

    Pamela White is the author of "Become a Food Writer," available at FabJob. She is the editor of a new online newsletter - Food Writing - availabe through her website at She is also the marketing and promotions director of FUTURES MYSTERIOUS ANTHOLOGY MAGAZINE and the Cooking and Cooking with Kids editor at

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)


    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between

    Journaling Kit - Four Journaling Books to help you put your life and memories on paper


    The Web
    This Site

    Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    Creative Nurturing of the Writer Within

    6 Approaches to Journaling

    21 Ways to Jumpstart Your Muse

    Imagery in Writing


    Children's Writing
    Freelance Writing
    Science Fiction & Fantasy
    Technical Writing


    The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publishers Won't by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

    Home | Articles | Columns | Workshops | E-books | Free Course | Quotes | E-zines | Top Fives | Support Us
    © Copyright 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ & The e-Writer's Place.
    Materials appearing in this Web site are owned and copyrighted by their respective authors and/or writers. Please read our Privacy Policy and TOS. No part of this website may be reproduced without consent from its owner. Original site design by Shery Russ. Hosting & maintenance by
    WriteSparks! Lite free software for writers
    Our sister sites: | | | | | | | | Writers Web Designs | | Aspiring Authors | Books | | | | | |