How to be a Food Critic?

If you have read my first post, “Finally I Did It”, you will know that i have always wanted to write about food and restaurants, critiquing them and giving my very very very important comments. I do not want to get rich from it, i just love food and want to tell people how good or bad i found a restaurant.

Since starting this blog LAST WEEK (hey you have to start somewhere), i realized 1. i am not a great writer, and 2. i have not done this before. So i researched a little and found a post of Do’s and Don’ts for food critics. I have added it below here with some changes of my own.

I now realize you cannot just turn up and eat at a restaurant, especially with my Sieve (Strainer) of a brain, I need to prepare notes and investigate the whole place and atmosphere, including staff, service and cost. I believe that its best to go with several people so you get to sample more of the food on the menu, unless you can either afford to order several dishes or you are at a critic level where they kitchen will care what you want to eat and will do anything to keep you happy. I unfortunately do not have either luxury at the moment. ONE DAY!

Saying that, why would you want to let the kitchen and the staff know you are an influential critic who can make or break your restaurant? other for your own personal satisfaction?

If you are going to critique something, don’t you want a realistic representation of the place. If for one night they make their food and service as good as the top London or Paris restaurant whats the point of telling people about it, as when they get there they will not get the same experience. The is why i would always want to remain anonymous so i can get a real feel of a restaurant (that’s if people ever care what i think). You never know i might one day get 5 readers! (My biggest fan at the moment is Lesley Carter who i think has read all my posts, check her out on her own blog.)

Anyway that’s my minor rant over. The list is below.

You need to know more or less one of the following:

  • writing skills of a newspaper reporter – knows how to write well to communicate to their readers.
  • familiar with the restaurant business – one should know what goes around a restaurant and how it was run or being operate.
  • adventurous – gets out of the box, or the comfort zone to be able to try anything and everything no matter how foreign it may seem.
  • be an expert on food – never cease to learn and try new food and techniques
  • research food critics and chef since everyone has its own styles and techniques
  • write reviews – this would make your critics be known and shared
  • writes their impressions descriptively that the readers could taste and imagine the food written.

DO’s and DON’Ts

  • After a negative or mixed review, be prepared for a barrage of e-mails from the restaurant’s fans telling you that you don’t know what you’re talking about.
  • When you first start out it will be very tempting to try many foods as well as the desserts and possibly gain a good deal of weight. This can be hazardous for your health. The best way to deal with this is to take a taste of a dish and not eat the entire thing.
  • All food critics are food writers, but not all food writers are food critics. Remember that your job as a food critic is to scrutinize food and help the readers know if they’ll enjoy it or not. If you give an inaccurate impression of the food, people will be dissatisfied with your work.
  • Enjoy the fact that you will spend hours poring over menus from all over the world; food is one way to become more familiar with other cultures

There is a lot of information out there on the web! Now i just need to find my first restaurant, i am in the mood for Persian or sushi, ill see what the wife decides! (so it might be something else).

(For Part 2 of “How to be a food critic?”  Click HERE)




Filed under Eating, food, Restaurant

6 responses to “How to be a Food Critic?

  1. I usually just tell the waiter to have the chef prepare what he wants me to eat. Then I tell the sommelier to plan the wines based on the chef’s choices. I like that it is out of my hands – no expectations of what certain dishes will taste like, or favorite wines – just the expectation of a good meal. BTW – I do that whether I am known or unknown to the establishment. It is always a gamble, but if you are open to new and untried things, it can be exciting.

    • Thank you for the advice. I will ask the chef in future for their choice. However at the minute i will probably not be asking a sommelier to choose specific wines for the meal as i doubt i can afford such a nice restaurant, nor do i know where there are any sommelier standard restaurants in the area that i now live. (only just moved from England to California).

      As soon as i can afford the sommelier i will do as you recommend. If you have any more advice i’ll be glad to hear it. I will be writing a PART 2 of the “How to be a food critic?” of things i have learnt from my first critique, again your advice is warmly welcomed once i have posted.
      Thanks Ed

  2. Pingback: How To Be a Food Critic? Part 2 | Englishman Eating Food in California

  3. Peter

    Every good food critic eats anonymous, and reserves a table under another name, mostly the partners name.

  4. Thanks for stopping in and liking my post on the chocolate.
    Good luck with your blog and restaurant reviews! if you want some east coast guest posts – I’m in NYC a lot– let me know.

  5. Great start – I’m in. Writing is exciting, eh?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s