A food critic is a pretty sweet gig if you can get it. But there are literally legions of wannabe food critics out there all tweeting and posting their experiences to their social media followers. So how do you separate yourself from all the noise?
Here are a few important tips:
Any serious food critic worth their salt will first and foremost visit the establishment to experience the food on offer and only then write about his or her experience for the benefit of prospective readers rather than going out with the intention of reviewing the place unless you are getting paid to do this. In that respect the food critic should be highly knowledgeable about the food in question and be able to understand the process that went into producing the food, the ingredients and whether they are locally sourced or fresh.
Get up close and personal with the particular industry you are interested in writing about and study every aspect of it in detail from the history of the particular style of food right through to its production and the ingredients that go into it. Visit as many food establishments as possible and write about them even if the review is only going to be published on your Facebook profile or tweeted about. Eventually people will take notice of you and start following you on social media if you consistently write in-depth and valuable reviews.
It helps if you have a background in writing although it is not necessary to have a degree in journalism or in English or any other language although it helps greatly if you have a strong grasp of language. What is more important is to have an intimate understanding of the industry in question and a passion for what you are writing about. Although you will be expected to stay on top of trends and to be familiar with new food concepts and industry speak.
Get as much writing experience as you can by submitting articles to newspapers, writing articles for websites, guest blogging and generally getting your name out there as much as possible. Any reviews you write not only add to your experience but can be presented to a prospective employers further down the track.
Always ask the owner before you whip out a camera or iPhone and start taking photos. With the popularity of Instagram, Foodgawker, Pinterest, Yummly and other foodie photography sites and the profusion of wannabe food critics many places have put blanket bans on photography inside their premises. This is understandable so always make sure they are okay with it before you start snapping away.
If you really want to stand out from the crowd don’t just write about what an amazing experience YOU had at whatever place you just visited but really describe it in detail to your readers using descriptive (but not flowery) writing. No-one really cares about some unknown food critic who comes across with an air of arrogance or self entitlement. They want to know what is in it for them and what THEY should expected if they visit said establishment.
And lastly, don’t become a food bore! Keep yourself from slipping into self-indulgence by keeping your food reviews interesting and relevant and always writing with the reader in mind..
Do you have knowledge of the baking industry? Unique Bakes is currently seeking for people to review bakeries and patisseries and also looking for guest bloggers. Visit the site and start writing reviews or submit articles to us to be published on the blog.