Gourmandness in Writers
Posted 03 June 2002 - 02:50 PM
No doubt you know the famous story about Clay Felker and Gael Greene. When Felker was launching New York Magazine, he said something like "Oh, give the restaurant column to Gael", who apparently had no qualiifications for it. I read a lot of food journalism in which I don't feel "gourmandness" from writers even in the way I feel it it from a lot of people who post on eGullet. Is this a quality that you look for at any time in any way, or do you feel that just a good idea nicely executed is all that matters? Not knowing your section, I don't know what the breakdown is between regulars and freelancers, but in the case of staffers, have you ever hired anyone who wasn't "gourmand" but thought could do the job? Also, do you try to heighten awareness or make celebs of your writers in the way, say, that the New York Times did with Amanda Hesser's personal life? And what do you think about that particular manifestation with her?
Posted 03 June 2002 - 03:35 PM
I really want stories to be accessible to readers. And, as in sports, if the stories are filled with insider language it can drive people away.
I don't use the word "foodie" in the pages of Food. What's a foodie? Someone who eats San Marzano tomatoes instead of sun-dried tomatoes? Says who?
It suggests exclusivity and even elitism when there should be none. Hey: we all EAT FOOD. The universality of that experience and the fact that The Post goes to almost 800,000 homes every day makes "gourmandness" not only unnecessary but almost unwanted. And what does gourmandness mean to the French, as opposed to say, the members of the community from El Salvador.
Re writers being celebrities: Sure. I'm all for it. Maybe they'll even get their own TV show like Kornheiser and Wilbon.
And Amanda Hesser is an extremely talented writer, very knowledgeable. Clearly the NYT thought she was a personality worth developing.
Posted 03 June 2002 - 08:20 PM
Posted 04 June 2002 - 06:17 AM
So in short: I like to start with a good writer and a good thinker. The rest, whether it's writing about food or F15s, seems to come naturally after that.
We don't write to attract good advertising. We hope that we are an interesting vital section, and that advertisers will recognize that.
Re the immigrant community: who, exactly, would that be?
Posted 04 June 2002 - 06:40 AM
Thanks so much for answering both my questions.
Posted 04 June 2002 - 04:56 PM