With the latest scene of mushrooming food bloggers every second day, it is hard to determine the thin line between foodies and food “journalists”. While the perks of working in this hugely popular industry is undeniable, instances of taking undue advantage of this title cannot be missed either.
Before diving further into this article, let me start with clearly differentiating between a foodie and someone who writes about food. A foodie is a person who loves eating not necessarily exploring a variety of cuisines, maybe even holds a certain prowess in the kitchen and may or may not click every picture to upload it on social media. Now a food “journalist” obviously loves eating too but they absolutely NEED to love “food” on the whole. Their job is to explore, be open to various seemingly disgusting dishes, educate themselves about various cuisines, have a fair bit of knowledge behind the kitchen and incessantly document their food adventures and post it on social media.
Knowing that, its time to understand how to become a food blogger.
- This should be a holy grail of all food bloggers on the rise. Thou shalt not be biased. It is not possible for a person to love every kind of food therefore before judging a dish make sure that you know exactly how the dish is supposed to be like. If you think its far from authentic or tastes like a load of crap then you say it like it is but if it isn’t then explain the fact that it didn’t titillate your taste buds but was a decent dish nonetheless. Remember no two dishes taste the same. Even mummy’s lovely cooking may be different from today and tomorrow.
- LEARN. If you have culinary training then nothing like it but if not; educate yourself by all means. Read cook books, go online, watch TV shows, learn about the culture, learn about the cuisine. Do possibly everything that can increase your knowledge about food.
- Know the difference between culinary terms. Do not go to a Pan Asian restaurant and return upset if they don’t serve your favourite Sichuan noodles. You are not entitled to get Cantonese or Chinjabi fare at every place you may visit.
- Make your writing interesting. Now food blogging is something where you need to taste and write and do both in an equally tantalising way. Your words should speak your love for food. Make the reader salivate simply through your description. At the same time do not make it all talks, nobody really has the time to sit and read your essay.
- EXPLORE. Explore. Explore. No matter how many times I say this, it won’t be enough. Unless you are hell bent on bringing out all the regional delicacies, make sure you eat from every kind of place not just street vendors. Because unless you try some high end restaurants, you wont truly know a number of authentic cuisines.
- Be open to new experience. While nothing can beat mummy’s Rajma Chawal, the food scene is way beyond that. Don’t go to your favourite restaurants 24 times and order the exact same thing. Try something new. If it sucks atleast you will know what not to recommend.
- Be honest about what you write. There will be times when the restaurant wrongs you but do not do the same. There is absolutely no need to write long details and bash up a place on social media unless they did something terrible to you (like discrimination). If you didn’t like their food or service, mention that but no point going to lengths describing your horrific experience.
- While it is extremely easy to get swayed into this glamorous lifestyle, there are down sides to it too. Your health will get affected unless you are a gym freak who nibbles their food. The waistline will increase, the food will seem distasteful after a while and the words will simply not flow to describe yet another plate of Awadhi Biryani. So take it up only if your love for food is bigger than any trivial thing on this planet.
- Make sure you have enough anonymous reviews. While it is extremely amazing to attend all the restaurant launch invites, you should know that the food is never same the next day so make sure you go back and do an anonymous tasting. Or you go to a ton of other places and write about them too despite the lack of invitations.
- Amp up on your skills. Now if you are a food writer you must already be eating and writing but hone your other skills along with it. Do the best you can in terms of photography, marketing, PR work, social media managing. You gotta do it all.
Now if you have managed to read so far, you must be really interested in becoming a food blogger. So pick up that camera, go to a restaurant you have never been to before and post that savvy picture up for us to salivate, come on!