Wednesday, February 4, 2015

You Can Eat Food and Write About It, Too!

Hotel Zur Linde in Germany

Harry's Uptown Supper Club in Manhattan, Kansas

Have you ever thought about food and/or restaurants as a topic for your writing?  The pictures above are two places I have especially enjoyed eating. The top photo is of the dining room in the small hotel we stayed at in Hohenlinden, Germany, a half hour outside of Munich. The bottom photo is of a favorite restaurant in my own community. I love both dining rooms as well as the service and the food. Two decidely different experiences but both memorable. 

At the Hotel Zur Linde, we had friendly waitresses in Bavarian dress who fairly bounced as they carroed large trays of the German food that both Ken and I enjoy. The atmosphere added much to the good food. One very cold, rainy night, we decided to eat one more time in the hotel and avoid the nasty weather. What a surprise to see dogs lying next to a table filled with local diners. Each one behaved perfectly. A fireplace with a blazing log added warmth and a bit of cheer. Being our last night in Germany after a three week driving tour, we savored every moment of our dining experience. 

Harry's is a fine dining spot ten minutes away from our home, one that we reserve for special occasions or when we feel like treating ourselves. The 1930's decor provides an inviting stmosphere. The waitstaff is topnotch--friendly but also very professional in attitude and service. Their black and white attire add a touch of elegance. The food is consistently perfect. 

We found the dining in each of these places to be outstanding. Both have their own brand. If the Hotel Zur LInde was not so far away, we'd probably be regulars there. I could go on at length about some of the fine meals we've eaten in both places but won't take time to do so now.

If you like dining in different places and enjoy eating and trying new foods, you might consider writing about restaurants and what they serve. Newspapers carry reviews by professional food critics, but if you live in a smaller community, your local newspaper might welcome a review. 

Many magazines feature food articles in every issue. You might not want to submit to the top magazines with your first food article. Instead, start with the smaller circulation publications and get a few clips. Then, you can target the larger magazines. 

There are many food websites online. This might be another place looking for food writers.

Should you just dive into the deep end of the food pool and start writing? Maybe not. Use your old friend, google, to find articles on writing about food and restaurants. Doing that will give you some tips about what works and what doesn't. 

I know one writer who travels in the USA and abroad writing about food and places to eat. There is another in my online writing group who lives in Japan with her husband. They are Americans who savor living as expats. She has done a series of articles on the craft beers of Japan and the various places that serve them. I've learned a lot reading her articles.

Your food writing can be strictly an article with facts and figures or it can have the personal touch. I much prefer the latter method. Some people would rather have the facts and nothing more. 

One of the first essays I wrote about food was published at A Long Story Short online and in The National Quarterly news magazine. It's also posted at Our Echo online. After reading it over today, I know that I would write if differently than I did 8 years ago. Take a look at Pub Fare in the United Kingdom and Ireland for a possible trigger to writing your own food-related essay or article. 

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