Being a Food Critic | Things you must know!

Being a Food Critic | Things you must know!


There was a time, not so long ago, in India when parents considered medicine and engineering to be the only successful professions. Thankfully with the increase in awareness levels and increased global exposure, students of course and parents too are now opening up to the idea of their pursue off-beat professions.

If you’re on the threshold of deciding what career path to take, we suggest you tap into your heart to know where your true passion lies. Do you love food and everything to do with food? Are you an ardent fan of Masterchef and other cooking shows being televised these days? Do you try out some of the recipes showcased on these shows? Are you known among your friend and family circles as the person to go to for advice on which is the restaurant to go to in town, or if they need to find out what to do with the latest gourmet foods in the supermarket, they call you? Do you find yourself drawn towards new recipes and are invariably keeping a tab on the trends in the food and hospital industry?  If so, the food could be your calling.

There are a variety of career options even when it comes to this industry; you could choose to be a food connoisseur, a food critic, a hospitality expert- the titles are varied. In case of a food critic, the job basically involves you to judge the aesthetics of the restaurant, hotel or food. What you feel when you enter the hotel, does the décor appeal to your senses and is the food tasty, authentic and visually appealing, the service – the intangible aspects of the profession rely heavily on your judgments and reviews.The profession of a critic is not limited to the hospitality industry alone. Masses today rely heavily on critics to give them a verdict on everything from gadgets, to the quality of a dish in a restaurant and even to know if people in the destination they are headed to are friendly or not!

The world is becoming a global market and people are increasingly moving to the internet to check out what experts have to say on a variety of topics. Think about it – each time you buy a new phone, don’t you surf the Internet to see the verdict? An expert or critic’s job is a tough one, because he or she has to be true to his profession, not get swayed by public opinion and yet strike a fine balance in his opinion. A meaningless Bollywood masala entertainer may set the cash registers ringing at the box office, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it deserved four stars out of five. Similarly, a fast food chain may sell the maximum number of burgers world over, but that is not the criteria to judge if they are indeed the tastiest burgers on the planet.

To get the hang of being a critic, start a blog and regularly post your opinions on it. Go to new restaurants, try different cuisines and go with as many people as you can so everybody can order something different thereby giving you a chance to sample more dishes and give a better critique. Pay attention to simple things like the ambience, service, pricing of the food, length of the menu, presentation of the food etc. All these factors count towards a good review. Post them on your blog and soon enough you will get the hang of how to handle public reactions to your comments. You could also post your reviews on sites like Zomato, burrp, etc. These will help you build an online profile and reputation.

By the time you finish your studies, you will have mastered the art of delivering a fantastic judgment too. After that you could look at the various options available within abroad and India to hone and further develop your skills to make this into a long term profession and career. Owning or co-owning a restaurant, writing books on food / compiling all your reviews into a book are also options that can be considered at later stages. Some popular Indian food critics include Rashmi Uday Singh, Karen Anand, Vir Sanghvi, Kunal Vijaykar. And with the exception of one or two of them these were not originally their primary careers. Any age is good enough to start!
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