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Oh the life of a food critic! No office cubicles. No tired old desk job. Just constant nibbling, savoring, and critiquing some of the world's finest food. Sounds great, doesn't it? Anyone with a passion for fine dining will agree. Of course, not every morsel of food is made to perfection, and that's where the writing skills of the food critic come into play.
A professional food critic holds the power to make or break a restaurant. Writing positive comments on a restaurant's cooking recipes or food service is easy. Speaking the truth about a negative restaurant visit isn't. Scathing reviews exist, but aren't always written after just one visit. The professional food writer understands that things can happen, "off" days occur, and restaurants may require a second visit before a review can be accurately written. The job of a food critic is to give an accurate representation of the service, cleanliness, food taste, food quality and presentation. That might happen after one visit, or it may take a couple of visits to really get a feel for the restaurant.
Ultimately, the professional food critic needs to report the facts without embellishing a bad experience to epic proportions, or withholding positive and factual information that could directly benefit the restaurant. Whether it's a restaurant on a cruise ship or a street side café, food critics shoulder the responsibility of articulating a true representation of the dining experience. You know the old saying: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. For the restaurant on the other end of the food critic's review, nothing could be further from the truth.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|