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You can be a food critic anywhere, but the place in the world to learn how to become a food critic is in New York City. Why? New York City is the culinary melting pot of cuisine diversity. Everything and anything is available for consumption. Trendy health food hot spots hug the curves of the corner delicatessen. If there are unique food trends to write about, you'll find them in New York City.
So, if your desire is to become a food critic, start by networking with the pros. Take a course at a New York cooking school. Ask your instructors what magazines they've been published in, who they know, and what else they've done in the publishing industry. By talking up your desire to become a food critic, you're more likely to find connections. Don't be shy. Show your instructors a few samples of your writing, create a portfolio of your culinary and writing accomplishments, and create packages to send to magazines.
If you're targeting magazines, keep in mind that many of the large glossies hire their own staff writers and may not accept freelance submissions. Building your portfolio of writing clips is easier if you start small and work your way up. The funny thing about writing (whether it's writing as a food critic, or writing freelance articles on health food) is the snowball effect. The more you get published, the easier it will be to get more writing assignments. And so on.