A food critic visits restaurants, food trucks, or other eateries and samples their cuisine. They analyze how food is presented, the service, and ambiance. Then they provide a review of the experience giving it a rating for the public. Food critics typically work full-time and may travel often and work from their homes. This career field can be competitive and there can be pressure to deliver reviews on time.
How to Become a Food Critic
To become a food critic, many people earn their bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, culinary arts, or communications. A background in culinary arts is helpful as a critic will learn about cooking techniques, food composition, and vocabulary. Universities may also allow students to write a food column for their school paper to gain experience.
Gaining an internship with a food critic is invaluable for gaining experience and adding to a portfolio. Interns help food critics formulate information about restaurants such as the history of the establishments and the chef’s background. You can also look for schools that have subjects in reviewing or food media which is helpful in this career field. High school students can take home economics, English, creative writing, business, and geography. They can also begin experiencing new foods to refine their palates.
It takes several years to get credibility as a food critic and develop a reputation. Therefore, you should visit as many restaurants and establishments as possible. Practicing writing your reviews and polishing up your writing and editing abilities are beneficial to your portfolio. Getting familiar with the taste, texture, and smell of cuisine is critical in this career, and trying as many new foods and flavors as possible to broaden the palate. A food critic wants to have a good reputation and recognition in the field. However, they must remain anonymous at the same time, so the owners of the establishments are unaware of the visit and perform naturally.
There are specific skill sets needed in this career field, such as writing, time management, and remaining pleasant and even-tempered without attracting attention to yourself. Remember, you want to be anonymous!
Food Critic Job Description
Have you read a magazine, web page, newspaper, or other articles about whether a restaurant or food establishment is good or bad. Food critics write these reviews for a living. A food critic usually works freelance unless employed by a more prominent publication, meaning they write for as many publications as possible. They visit a food establishment and observe the atmosphere. For instance, observing if an Italian restaurant is playing Italian music to create a more authentic experience.
Along with the restaurants ambiance, food critics look at the menu and sample their food, drink, and prices. They may even evaluate the cleanliness of a restaurant, its staff, and the hygiene of the servers, hostesses, or cooks. The noise level at a restaurant has also become a popular variable in reviews. Food critics often pay for their meal with cash or a credit card in another name to remain anonymous. They travel extensively to judge as many food establishments as possible, bearing in mind the readers’ expectations of the written review.
A food critic typically returns home to write the appraisal creatively reflecting their experience and then awarding the restaurant or establishment a rating. A critics’ simplistic and honest rating remembers the diversity of the consumer. A good rating is enormously helpful to a restaurant. A food critic never stops reviewing food establishments and enjoys the experience of different cuisine worldwide. They are excited to share their knowledge with the public by helping them decide the best places to eat. If this sounds like the sort of challenge you would like, this may be the job for you!