So I Thought I Could Become a Food Critic…

Did you ever wonder what it takes to become a food critic?  I was watching an older movie the other day and there was a character who was a food critic.  “What a life!” was the first thought that came into my mind.  I love food and I know what I like.  I deduced I could be a critic.


So I put a little thought into this.  How would I go about it?  I fantasized that I would suavely (please, I am so not graceful) enter the restaurant of choice, announce myself to the host, and I would be seated at the best table.  Oh yes, I would be treated like a queen.  My eyes would grow larger upon glancing at the mouth-watering appetizers, the succulent entrée, and the over-the-top high caloric dessert.  I am sorry I failed to mention I was dreaming this.


So for the heck of it, I decided to see what I would need to do to become a food critic.  Obviously, I would need to know something about the restaurant business and how it operates.  To not be aware of this would be a tip-off to whoever greeted me that I was not who I claimed to be.  I would also need to be well versed in the subtle nuances of flavor, have a discerning palate and a vast knowledge of cuisine in order to write about it.  I fail miserably at this level.  I know some flavor (minimal spices), have no discerning palate (in fact I would include almost everything that is edible; thus a lack of good judgment), and my vault of cuisine is a faux cuisine that consists of comfort food and good old-fashioned junk food.  All of a sudden, my mind drifts back to those late night cram sessions for my exams…not a pretty sight!


That would also mean hours of reading and dissecting cookbooks, trying out new recipes, and finding the right words to describe the meal (I mean if all you can say is “wow” or “fantastic” your vocabulary is very weak).  It would take a lot more than I thought.  I would need some knowledge of the language (French, Italian, and  Spanish) as well as, the history of the dish and the culture behind it.  I would have to invest some serious time into this venture.  My mind flashes to catalogues of cooking utensils, cookbooks, language dictionaries, the Rosetta Stone to learn these languages, textbooks and a credit card able to handle the cost for all of this.  I think I need a drink to stabilize myself.  Drinks oh no!  That is also something in which I need to be a connoisseur of.  What goes with red wine or with white wine?  Is beer ever acceptable?


Topping it off further, I would need to research other food critics, and write reviews that focus on the ambiance, service, and the experience.  Now I need to install cable to watch the Food Network and study all of those chefs and their techniques.  There are so many:  Guy, Rachael Ray, Iron Chef, and the Barefoot Contessa to mention a few.  This was starting to be a lot harder than what I was willing to commit to.


My lines of communication had to be clear and precise and very descriptive.  I not only had to compliment the food, but the setting, the people, the area, and who knows what else.  Most importantly, I needed to remain incognito.  What?  Yes, that would be hard for me because I so love to make an entrance.  I could never just enter a place and be escorted quietly to my seat.  I would have to change my whole personality to do that; thus no longer being me and I just started to finally like who I am.  Bummer!


Yes, tasting different foods would have been wonderful.  However, that was the most appealing part of this position.  I decided after much thought, to put this fantasy in its proper place…in the recesses of my mind.  Please, I will not be spending thousands of dollars to venture off to school to learn the art of food and then proceed to critique the meal placed before me.  It would take too much time and effort.  Whereas now, I can go anywhere I want, eat whatever I want, and critique it on my own.  No, I am not an authority on the subject, but I do not need to be.  I just need to be able to decide for myself what tastes good and what falls short.  I am not concerned with anyone else’s palate, just with my own.  So I bid adieu to a dream that shall remain as such, and welcome a fond hello to all of the places I can go and experience for myself the many delicacies waiting to be explored.  Finally, let me say in short and from what little Italian I know:  Mangiare and Ciao!

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