KY, you can tell sksoze is just starting out.....he's finding his voice and appears to have good intentions. Let's humor him and learn from other members about their thoughts on food writing, this has not been covered much throughout the years and really peaks my interest (apparently some others too).
Journalists have specific codes of conduct.
What does it take to be a good food writer?
What does it take to write a recipe?
What does it take to review a restaurant?
What does it take to edit?
Green Briar in VA has a food writers symposium each year, there are some courses at CIA in continuing ed., Wash U in stl has food lit classes, food history, food writing courses......but it's difficult to find a culinary program with strong writing classes, which is a shame since it's used so much in real life.
Restaurant Reviewing. A few of my friends review restaurants, I've gone on review meals with them, given input and had them talk to classes I've taught....and vis versa.
There are publications in town that will not give a bad review but in essence promote their restaurant advertisers by writing about their establishment.....these generally out number the others, and if you are paying attention at all are noticeably puff pieces.
Reviewers that give serious reviews have respect when they treat everyone to the same rules. There are so many new establishments in STL each year that they don't need to visit total dogs.....If you set yourself up to be fine dining with high price points you will have set a higher expectation bar.
Many restaurants don't spend the energy to seriously train prior to opening, they muddle around for with the "we just opened excuse".....which is viable to a point. FOH can destroy a restaurant quicker than anything else.
Food writers, one of my dear friends is a Harvard grad teaching food lit/history at Wash U.....her research is DEEP....
Joan Dye Gussow just spoke at Wash U as did Michael Pollan, each teaches at Universities and writes for many publications as well as food books that change the culture of America thus the world. They each belong to organizations that are resources for them.
Editors, man I could not write without an good editor.....she cleans up my work and asks questions that I'd overlooked. Not altering my voice but trimming the excess.
Recipes....it is rare to find a chef that has well written recipes for a homemaker to follow. I've spent over 10 years working with MANY chefs that I've had to pull recipes from.....many many times I've threatened to show up at their kitchen doors and write out the recipe as they prep.....some I've actually done that.....publication deadlines were passing and they just didn't want to take the time to do what is not a strong suit. It helps that I cook, that way I know what questions to ask.....technique/amounts/ timing etc.
Someone without a base of cooking knowledge would not be able to do what I do easily. One of the main things to remember when writing a recipe is knowing who your target audience is.....a professional recipe is very very different than a home recipe. When I wrote recipes for Clayton Farmer's Market I had to put basic info down....one woman stood and watched me make apple sauce, peel, core and cut apples, put into a pot over medium low heat, cover pot. cook.....she wanted a written recipe. No poop. unreal. But it brought back home how some people really need a written recipe even for very basic dishes. Sizes, temps, descriptions of what it looks like all through the process, equipment used, timing, amounts of ingredients, etc...
One of the best articles I've read in an awfully long time was in the STL River Front Times a couple of weeks ago, Pig Heaven by Kristen Hinman, she did her homework and wrote a beautiful article with great resources backing up the premise that humanely raised pigs are a viable option in today's world.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....