Does a food writer need to know how to cook?
Posted 27 May 2003 - 03:07 PM
The bio posted here suggests that you are a capable cook and that you have spent at least some time working the line in serious restaurants.
Could you do as good a job as a critic and food writer if you weren't able to cook? What difference does knowing how to cook make in the way you review a restaurant? A music critic need not be a musician, after all, nor an art critic a painter or sculptor. Could a food critic learn her or his trade simply by dining and reading?
"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le goï¿½t de ce qu'elles sont."
Posted 29 May 2003 - 06:23 AM
Does said critic have to be a GREAT cook? No. Perfect knife skills, for instance, don’t necessarily translate into entertaining writing.
Allow me to clarify something: I have never worked “the line” in a restaurant kitchen; my experience on The Other Side of the Business was
strictly “the front of the house.” Any culinary talent I have is the result of years of recipe testing, first for the Food section of the Post, and later, as the food editor of the Milwaukee Journal.
I do very little cooking these days, due to my dining schedule of twelve or so
meals out every week. And frankly, I miss spending time in the kitchen.