Food Critics Spill the Beans in San Francisco

Palo Alto-based food writer Trevor Felch cooked up a saucy litte summary for SF Weekly of an “Editors Panel” held at the 2013 SF Chefs Festival. Participating were NYT Atlanta bureau chief Kim Severson (a former food beat journo), Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema, San Francisco Chronicle food editor Miriam Morgan and Sunset magazine food editor Margo True.

Sietsema had an interesting observation about the difficulty a full-time print journalist faces when competing with bloggers. That particular takeaway was shared by Felch under the sub-headline “Maintaining Professional Distance Has Its Detriments:”

Sietsema mentioned how he personally can’t get scoops from chefs like bloggers can, because professional food writers and editors have to keep an important objective distance from the restaurants. In Sietsema’s words, “A lot of news gets broken over bourbon at midnight.” He can’t exactly do that with José Andres.

This is true. However, there is another big reason why food bloggers are open to bourbon at midnight. Since their station does not typically encompass a full-time salary and health benefits, it’s not just about the scoops but also about the perks. (We assume the chefs are in most if not all cases treating.)

Felch says the panelists were separately in complete agreement about what they see as the next big food society trend after farm-to-table. To find out what that is, click here.