How To Write About Food And Drink

_FRY8808 Canada Day is almost here, and like me, you’re probably planning to indulge in some celebratory food and drink. For most of us, simply enjoying whatever happens to be in front of us doesn’t seem to be enough anymore. Instead, we all have to whip out our phones and start snapping pics. And why not? Documenting that awesome fare will ensure that it lives forever beyond the boundaries of memory.

Let’s be honest. Many (maybe even most) food and drink photos or descriptions do not exactly leave one’s mouth watering. Quite the opposite, actually. There are even some chefs who have gone so far as to ban photography in their restaurants altogether! But, don’t worry. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re describing your meal in a Facebook post, on Instagram, in a blog or in a magazine article. If you keep these four tips in mind, you will always leave your followers hungry for more.

personal perspective and experience

You’ve just tried a recipe or tasted a new ingredient, and you want to share your enthusiasm for it with the world. Yes, please! I’m always interested in trying a recipe recommended by someone who’s actually made it. Food and drink are experiential. So, when you’re writing about your experience, include as many details as you can think of. Talk about how the food or drink affected each of your senses. Did the recipe work out perfectly? Tell me what went wrong, or any substitutions you made and why. As a reader, other people’s experiences go a long way in helping me decide whether to try a recipe or order a dish or drink at a restaurant.

attribute itblueberry_smoothie

Unless you dreamed up a recipe yourself, you have to give credit to its author. Even when I adapt a recipe substantially, I mention the original source of my inspiration. It’s best to take it even further. Let that person know you loved the recipe. Chances are good that the author will be thrilled that you’re adapting it for your own needs and tastes. Sometimes, you don’t want to adapt it at all. In that case, seek reprint permission from the author, give credit and post a link to the original website.

be nice

Don’t say bad things about products, recipes, restaurant food, etc. unless you really have to, and even then, be gracious. Remember: taste is personal, and different people like different things.

a picture good enough to eat

poires-AndyZhang

Taking food photos is an art unto itself. It is one of the most difficult types of photography. That scrumptious arrangement of food on the plate in front of you doesn’t look anywhere near as appetizing when you see it in the photos you just took. Make sure lighting is optimal and the angle is right. How will you know? Practice, practice, practice – that’s how.

Cupcake image: City of Brampton;

Blueberry Smoothie: Quench Magazine

Poires: Chef Alex Zhang

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7 thoughts on “How To Write About Food And Drink

  1. When I first set out to write about food I decided knowledge was my friend. I read everything I could get my hands on (the best book I read about food writing was written by a critic – it’s called How to Write about Food: How to Become a Published Restaurant Critic, Food Journalist, Cookbook Author, and Food Blogger by S.J. Sebellin-Ross), I ate everything I could fit into my mouth (and I fit a lot!), I took pictures, and I wrote all the time. I’m a better writer than I ever was and just a little fatter! But it is worth it.

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