Currently, I am the food/lifestyles writer for REV Publishing (over 20 magazines) and I freelance for a few others in the Niagara/GTA area. Writing about food is not exclusive to writing about restaurants, but when I do, my job is to find the best in a restaurant and tell that story. If, for some reason, I find it’s not a good story, I won’t write anything at all. This has been my policy for over two decades.
What I do….
- Restaurant Features: is when I include a restaurant in a story without having an experience (tasting/meal) at the restaurant. A Feature does not include the promotion/talk of food in print.
- Restaurant Reviews: is when I write about an experience I’ve had at a restaurant. An experience is a combination of service, ambience and food. In most cases, I need a tasting of a few dishes (restaurants discretion). In very few cases do I need a full meal. Either way, it becomes a Feature if no food is involved.
- Food Story: I often pick one food and interview a chef/chefs as an expert on that food. Chefs make for great authorities on many edible topics.
- Follow-up: I provide magazine copies and a PDF of the finished article for a restaurants own website use.
Because the internet has made it possible for anyone to open a blog and call themselves anything they want (including a food writer), I feel a bit of clarification is necessary.
What I am not….
- I am not a blogger. While I do blog for client added value, I am not a blogger. I am a professional (paid) journalist who happens to specialize in food (yes, I am very lucky!)
- I don’t ask for money, give-aways or advertising.
- I am not a restaurant critic. I don’t engage in scathing reviews or gossip to sell papers. I give an honest and professional account of a restaurant based on an experience.
- I am not a freeloader. Professional reviewing of restaurants is a business transaction. I look for an experience (yes, that may or may not include food) and in turn, a restaurant gets hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of editorial value.
- I don’t write about a restaurant without contacting them. It can be a simple phone interview (feature), a full experience (review), attending an event, or anything in-between but you will know what my intentions are – there will be no surprises.
- I don’t write advertorials. No explanation needed here.
If you are a restaurant, PR agency or food company of any sort, I would put me on your mailing list so I’m up to date on what you’re doing. I am always looking for new and current food stories for my outlets. Please invite me to your media events. I may not have an opportunity to write about you immediately but like other media, sooner or later my needs and your activities will align and we will have an opportunity to work together.
Last word, I am a long-standing member (over 20 years) of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada). This professional organization (of print journalists) vets and qualifies members and verifies my work, my word and my professional standing.