Survey suggests a food critic job is cooler than most
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Restaurant Critic
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
1/02/13 at 3:18 AM
There I was, right below foley artist and just ahead of pet psychologist - at No. 4 on the list of "Jobs That Are Cooler Than Yours."
My daughter sent me this list, culled from an article on msn.careerbuilder.com, probably a couple of years ago, and I've kept it on the back burner since. The last day of 2012 seemed like a good time to pull it out.
According to the list, compiled by Rachel Zupek, the No. 1 job that is cooler than yours is cruise director, followed by doll doctor (someone who restores damaged dolls to near their original condition), foley artist (the sound effects folks in films), food critic, pet psychologist, route setter (change routes in various settings, such as climbing walls and race routes) and shoe designer.
There were three others, but I lost the second page of the email.
Of the food critic's job, Zupek writes: "What could be cooler than getting paid to taste everything from gourmet dishes to bar food - for free - then publishing your opinion for others to read?"
I can't argue that. On the other hand, like most any job, there is more than meets the eye, and a lot of it falls on the "Your Job Is Cooler Than Mine" side of the ledger.
All people worth their salt in the newspaper business are working hours that range from inconvenient to really crappy, are missing out on occasional family functions or outings with friends, work untold hours on their own time (not because the company requires it, but because they want to do the best job they can) and they never are really "off work," not to mention meeting deadlines, dealing with angry readers, etc.
As far as the "My Job Is Cooler Than Yours" list goes, it probably is important to mention that the article pointed out that, for most of those jobs, the compensation is below poverty level, and the remainder aren't much better.
For anyone who has dreams of becoming a restaurant critic and wants to make really big bucks, I do have some advice. And this is serious.
Acquire an earned doctorate degree - art, history, whatever - acquire a culinary degree from a well-known culinary school, work in a professional kitchen, get some of your writing published, and then try to land one of the handful of restaurant critic jobs in the country that meets your expectations.
All of that said, I feel blessed about having my job, it is a "cool" job, and I'm fired up about 2013. Let's eat!
Original Print Headline: Survey suggests job as a food critic is cooler than most