To help budding food critics find their footing in the career, Sam Cover Spokane Valley chef names a few critical steps they should take early on to set themselves up for success.
Sam Cover of Spokane Valley has been a major force in the local food industry for years where he’s worked in some of Washington’s most beloved restaurants. A champion for food careers in general, Sam Cover offers some beginner’s advice below to those interested in pursuing a career as a food critic.
“Food criticism requires an experienced taste palate, an open mindset, and a knack for writing engaging content,” says Sam Cover Spokane Valley chef. “Critics will also likely review elements such as restaurant cleanliness, the quality of staff both in and out of the kitchen, and the overall restaurant environment, so they should be knowledgeable about quality establishments. And the best way to do that is to go out and experience both great and poor restaurant experiences themselves.”
Food critics tend to earn a following or fan base over time as they hone their craft and learn to critique establishments with equal knowledge of the culinary arts and journalism. They’ll publish their work on personal blogs, in food magazines, on websites, and in various publications (such as newspapers and local circulations).
“Every food critic should have a passion for eating and taste-testing, but they should also understand the industry and the work of other food writers,” says Sam Cover Spokane Valley. “The easiest way to do that is to study the published work of these professionals, regardless of whether they are local or internationally renowned critics.”
Sam Cover Spokane Valley chef suggests budding food critics get started by searching the internet for reviews on their favorite restaurants or cuisine types to get a feel of how articles should turn out. From there, they can familiarize themselves with some of the industry’s top critics and model their own writing to fit the existing publication avenues.
“If they’re interested in getting a degree first, food critics should look to culinary, journalism, or media degrees, using their free time to fill in the gaps of their education by cooking and dining out often,” says Sam Cover Spokane Valley chef.
For those lacking basic food industry knowledge, Sam Cover suggests looking to cable cooking channels (like Food Network) that present programs on quality restaurants or else reading online articles from famous culinary publications. From there, he tells us, it’s all about practicing your craft repeatedly and expanding your culinary interests to develop a well-rounded understanding of the food industry as a whole.