My Life as a Food Critic

Food Critic Ego in Ratatouille


Recently, I was surprised when someone told me that I don’t really seem like a food critic. I didn’t take offense. I knew what they meant. Their only point of reference was likely the uptight little man with a nasty temper that chefs live in fear of displeasing. You know the ones I mean, the guys portrayed in films like No Reservations or Ratatouille.

So no, I don’t fit the caricature of a food critic. In fact, since my regular series is called “Good Eats,” I only write about the places that have that something special in their food, that add a bit of magic to every dish they create, and that bring diners back time and again.

Whether I’m writing about the massive sandwiches at Firehouse Subs or the yummy deserts with unique toppings at Sweet Swirlz, I always try to tell my readers a little more than just the story about which item to order on the menu. I love adding a human interest element to my stories, and both readers and restaurateurs alike seem to love this added touch.

Julie's Deli Formal Dining

Jennifer Tanner/Julie’s Deli

In one of my recent stories about a small independent venue in Texarkana called Julie’s Deli, I even incorporated a bit of humor, and a tad about myself, my own tastes and why I was wowed by the fact that I liked something I never have before. When that happens, it makes the job worthwhile and as a writer I’m just grateful I have a big enough platform to tell everyone why a particular place is so special.

No, don’t try to fit me into the mold of the food critic folks think I should be. I have no aspirations to send chefs and waiters scurrying for the kitchens, quaking in their boots. Rather, I revel in the fact that I can introduce readers to the best of the best, focusing on the food and the magic chefs work in the kitchen.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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