Food critic: what a delightful-sounding job! Dining in fine restaurants on someone else's tab and then writing about your experience - surely this must be among the most highly sought after jobs in the entire world. And, surely, the competition to get this job is ferocious. How, then, does one go about gaining the edge and actually land a coveted food critic position?
Mind Your Peas and Q's
First, you have to know food; that is a given. From gourmet to greasy spoon and everything in between, you have to know the food game if you hope to become a food critic. You need to know the right type of presentation for each dish, the right blend of spices, and the right textures or how will you know if they have gotten it wrong? You need to have some expertise in what to expect so that you can be either impressed or disappointed.
Be Prepared to Suffer Defeat
At times, you will think how sublime a dish is going to be - and then it arrives. The review had been practically written and printed out until that first bitter bite assaulted your tastebuds. There will be times where you will go home, chug the antacid and scour the newspaper for a whole new job. Not every chef is worthy of five stars, and not every dining experience will be akin to nirvana. Accepting that you will have to eat plenty of disgusting and badly done meals will help. So will having a fairly strong constitution.
Be Prepared to Have Hate Mail
You printed your review, an honest take on a terrible meal but now the owner and chef are writing emails that would make a twenty-year Navy man blush and you worry about your personal safety. Just as you are proud of your own work, the chef is proud of his. You must expect that he will defend himself, right or wrong. Be careful with your wording, and try not to make every review an outright slam. Remember to never let it get personal in any way.
Know Your P's and Q's (As Well as Commas and Colons)
Along with knowing about food, you will of course need to know how to write. Not only will the review need to be technically proficient, it will need to have some entertainment value as well - no one likes a boring review. Make sure that you write with purpose, avoiding all of the common mistakes of the rookie writer, and you will continue to have assignments handed to you.