Andddd….if I continue the New York trajectory, honing my bully prose into a concentrated lazer beam, I can hope to one day rip up restaurants like this dude. (I kinda love him.)
I’m dazzled by the concision in New York Magazine‘s restaurant write-ups. In no more than a paragraph, they cover a lot of ground, while never seeming terse. If left unchecked, I can be a chronic blah-blah-blaher, so I try to emulate New York‘s brevity in my own food writing.
I also like the subtlety of their snarkiness. Read this seemingly positive review of a cafe I went to recently, and you almost don’t notice they panned the food. Snake in the grass!
I’m reading Bill Buford’s breakneck food memoir Heat, wherein the former New Yorker fiction editor quits his day job and signs up to be Batali’s bitch. It is an ode to cooking, and Buford chronicles a passion bordering on sexual through his effective, upbeat prose.
Yet I’m more compelled by sections of the book where the author manages to scathe. Wearing the genteel kid gloves of a literary nobleman, he knows how to quietly convey ferocious disdain. For instance, though Buford is sometimes repulsed by Batali’s boorish showboating, he never overtly critiques his subject. Rather, he makes short, sharp incisions to the chef’s persona, pulling out before the reader notices blood was drawn.
I could have a flair for this kind of surgical wordplay.* I’m already prone to causticity couched in wit. It’s a natural leap to think I’ll someday flex my mean muscles on the written page.
*though I’m obviously light years behind Buford’s talent
As a palate cleanser for my day-job whinging (“wah-wah-wah, I’m bored!”) here is a fascinating article on…eating guts.
This morning I sat in the chintzy Brooklyn Bagel near my house, talking on the phone. A sesame bagel sat half-uneaten, awash in gobs of bacon scallion cream cheese. I sipped loudly on a Tropicana no-pulp. Outside, snow dominated the streets… (Get to the point, Hirsch.)
The phone conversation was a life-changer. In short, I was given total editorial control of Edible Queens magazine. At a rate of pay my teacher says is quite fair, I will now:
-hire freelance writers and photographers
-edit all features
-choose all photos
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m getting the bends here.
Is there something in the food writer code that says I can’t get a dirty water dog from a street vendor every day at 5:30pm?