When a PR query from The Daily Meal appeared in my inbox, I jumped at the opportunity to interview the website’s accomplished editor about today’s food writing scene.
I was not disappointed. Below, you’ll see that Andrews is honest about how hard it is to be a freelance food writer, and why he feels fine about not paying for content.
I’ve been a fan of Colman Andrews since interviewing him for the first edition of Will Write for Food in 2004. Saveur magazine, which he cofounded in 1994, remains my favorite national food magazine. Andrews was its editor-in-chief from 2001 to 2006.
Now Editorial Director of The Daily Meal, Andrews has had a long career as an editor, author and writer. He’s an eight-time James Beard Award winner, most recently winning Cookbook of the Year in 2010. Here’s what he says about today’s food writing scene:
Q. You’ve done a lot of restaurant reviewing in the last few years. Is there enough work for freelance restaurant reviewers today?
A. It’s become crowd sourced. The power of Yelp reviews. There was just a study in the American Economic Journal about how a difference of half a star in a Yelp rating can make or break for a restaurant.
The issue there is whether there’s a place for a professional restaurant critic anymore. Would people rather