A very nice reader just sent me this link to “How to Become a Food Critic.” It’s a question I get asked a lot and I never have an answer. I smiled a lot as I read the ambitious list because if I had to check off everything they recommend, I would be unqualified-a status many local restaurateurs in town champion.
The only qualification I don’t see on this link is that a restaurant critic has to be a bit of a weirdo. Over the nearly twelve years that I have been writing reviews for D, I have met critics from other cities and wouldn’t have dinner with most of them. Oh, and marrying a gastroenterologist will save you plenty of time and money.
I feel that everybody is a food critic, it’s just that some of us luck into getting paid for it. And for every food critic, there is a different set of criteria for the job. Do you have to go to culinary school? I don’t think so. However working in the industry is the most valuable experience you can get.
Kent Rathbun (Abacus, Jasper’s) once told me that all food critics should go through an educational program and be certified. I disagree-not all chefs are classically trained or certified. I would like to hear what you think.