Throughout this class, I had started to really like the idea of becoming a food critic. I could travel around the world, tasting exotic foods, experiencing different cultures, and enjoying the company of the people that I meet. Now this is of course forgetting all the dietary restrictions that I have, but that is beside the point. After reading Sam Sifton’s pieces and Q & A pieces, I think that I should consider another career choice.
I had never really considered the amount of time a food critique would have to spend on the job, or rather lack of free time from traveling around from restaurant to restaurant. That man never stops! If he is lucky, he gets to have one meal with his family each day, he has to work out every day in order to stay semi-healthy, and I’m sure he doesn’t enjoy having to go out every day. I know I wouldn’t. Going out to dinner is a treat. Most days I would just rather sit at home in my sweats eating my mother’s food then having to dress up and have appropriate table manners. It just seems like too much work to have to do every single day.
One thing that I applaud Sifton for is how he knows that what he does is a job and so even though he may not want to go out and eat day in and day out, it is his obligation to the restaurant and chef. He says that “it wouldn’t be fair to the chefs and it certainly wouldn’t be fair to me. I’m in the place to eat” (Sifton). He takes his job seriously, which is how it should be.
I found it interesting that he had a breakdown of his job. It is something I am sure a lot of people are interested in, but something we may not think of often. Elisabeth Franck-Dumas writes about this just as Sifton does when talking to François Simon and how he handles his job as a food critic. When doing a bit more background research on him, I noticed that there were no pictures, which makes sense when you think about it. Would someone who is trying to give a true take on a restaurant want to be recognized and get special treatment? No! That would go against the main objective of their job. Free meals and special treatment that some get from announcing themselves as a food critic is not something that Simon is about. "He never mixes with anyone; he always acts alone. He is unbuyable" (Franck-Dumas)
To me, this is all very intriguing and interesting, like a whole new world I have never thought about before. Even though I still think it would be really neat to get paid to eat food and let other people know what I thought about it, I just don’t think it is the job for me. Not only would my stomach be upset all the time, but my figure would not withstand the torture. And working out all the time just to keep up with my job doesn’t sound like my idea of fun. Still, it is nice to dream.