Illustration: Paul Atitchson
Illustration: Paul Atitchson

Eat, drink, write

A food writer dishes on the ins and outs of her profession.

When I tell people that I write about food, I unfailingly receive one of three responses (and sometimes, all three): a) "Oh! You're a food critic"; b) "You're so lucky!"; and c) "You're a foodie! So am I!"

Wrong on all three counts.

First, I am a food writer, not a food critic. Food is meant to nourish and enrich our lives; it exists for our sustenance and pleasure. Food is perfect in and of itself and does not need to be criticised. Cooks, chefs, and restaurants – now those are a different matter entirely. So restaurant critic, yes; food critic, no.

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Himal Southasian