Jay Rayner on Food Writing Today


Over at Eats, they’re running an extraordinarily candid interview with British critic and Top Chef Masters judge Jay Rayner, discussing the current state of food writing and the place of restaurant critics. It’s worth reading in its entirety, but most interesting is Rayner’s response to this question: Why do you read food blogs and websites, while many of your colleagues don’t? His response is excerpted below.

They’re scared. Most of the people who rise to a level of prominence in the food writing business have been print journalists for a very long time. They’re still baffled by what’s going on. I met Adam Platt for dinner in London and he asked if I was another one of those over-productive British hacks. I took that as a compliment. Certain American print journalists take themselves very, very seriously.

…The bottom line, the reason I read food websites, is because I’m obsessed. Whenever I’m mentally writing I much prefer reading eGullet, or sneering at Chowhound for being so malcentric, or finding out what Steve Plotnicki’s been up to, or even reading Josh Ozersky being rude about me and then sending me nice emails.