Are you a spiteful human being that loves to dole out nasty criticism to relatively talented people while gorging on great food then do I have a job for you! Restaurant critics visit various food establishments, enjoy an (often free) meal and then write their opinion of the experience. It’s not all clanging fork and free meals though, here are some of the good, the bad and the ugly (and fine, the pros and cons) of being a restaurant critic.
If this comes as a surprise to you then you might want to re-read the intro- you get paid to eat rich restaurant quality food, were taste is the priority and not your health. This can have disastrous effects on your waistline and more importantly, your health. Although most employers are obligated to take measures against occupational hazards that employees might be exposed to when on the job, as a food critic your boss won’t even consider helping you stay healthy. That extremely expensive personal trainer is coming out of your monthly wages, my friend.
Out Of Pocket
A lot of food critics were writing about food way before they actually got hired to do it professionally and many food critics write outside their normal “9-5” gig. As you can imagine eating out that frequently can be a substantial investment. Oh and some critics only get one free meal paid by their employers, if they would like a follow up to fully flesh out their review then that will be out of pocket.
So, the two previous dishes were pretty bland-actually down-right bad- so, I feel obligated to give you one of the pros of being a food critic to cleanse your palate and I am done with obnoxious foodie related puns. As a food critic, you will have the opportunity to visit the most exclusive, cutting edge eateries in your area and if you are recognized you will also probably receive preferential treatment. Beyond that, you will establish not only bad relationships in the industry but lasting and valued friendships with extremely talented chefs and restaurateurs.
I have a saying I frequently use that I would like to share with you, my dear reader “the worst experiences make for the best stories”. Not that I am unique in my perspective, after all comedian Steve Allen said in the late fifties something along the lines of tragedy plus time equals comedy. Well, as a restaurant or food critic you will witness your fair share of tragedy that inevitably in retrospect will seem humorous. Take for example this critic who narrates a story in which in the post meal relaxation the waiter offered to help the digestion process by giving her an unwanted back-rub while in the company of the critic’s friends…see, hilarious, right?
When you criticize people’s creativity, something unfortunate happens- even if their product is horrible they get defensive and hateful. Maybe that has something to do with the creative process and personal investment when creating but still, it happens. So, even if you are well-respected and considered fair you might find yourself on blogs like the hilariously named howtogetyourfoodspitin.
So, can you think of any other pros and cons of being a food critic? Let us know in the comment section below and remember to eat all your greens.