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How do I Become a Food Writer?

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  • Written By: Mary Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 May 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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The best way to become a food writer partly depends on what kind of food writer you want to be. Even within food writing, there are specialties. There are people who create and write recipes, food critics and restaurant reviewers, and people who write feature stories that focus on food in a variety of ways. Whichever type of food writer you want to become, it is important to be knowledgeable about and have a good understanding of food.

To become a food writer, you may wish to consider a food writing degree or course. These are now available at a number of institutions. Other background that can be useful, depending on your particular goals, include a journalism degree or a culinary arts degree.

To become a food writer who creates recipes, you need to have training or background in cooking, cuisine, food chemistry, nutrition, or related fields. You might also have specialty training in the cuisine of a particular country or in baking, for example. Recipes need extensive development and testing, so for a cookbook author, there is a great deal of cooking involved, as well as writing.

To become a food writer who writer restaurant reviews or is a food critic, you need a very well-trained palate, as well as a good understanding of cooking techniques, standards, and various cuisines. This training will allow you to tell if dishes are properly prepared, to identify special ingredients or techniques that have yielded particularly pleasing results, and to recognize innovative approaches. Depending on whom you review for, very particular training may be offered to help you adhere to a standardized way of judging the establishments you rate.

Another element of becoming a food critic is the willingness to go incognito. One of the hallmarks of a standard review is to be able to tell the public what “regular” service at the restaurant is like, as opposed to special treatment you might receive if you were known as a reviewer. You also need to be able to recall the details of your dining, because you may not have the opportunity to record your observations during the meal without being observed by the wait staff.

To become a food writer who writes feature stories, training in journalism may be as important as understanding of some element of food or the food industry. In this field, journalism school might be useful, and you could have a specialty area of food writing that you focus on. One way to begin this type of career as a food writer is to start a food blog. This will give you the opportunity to develop a voice and style in conveying your thoughts and research about food-related topics.

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