Food Job: Writer

The AARP magazine circulation is 24 million. The emphasis is on older people.  People magazine is 4 million. It is solely devoted to people. Every Day With Rachael Ray has a circulation of 1.7 million. Its content is related to people and food. There are 1.57 million readers for Bon Appétit and  Food Network Magazine 1.37 million.

My conclusion is if you are looking for a wide circulation for your work, write about people and food. 

How to Interview and Profile a Celebrity Chef

Interviewing is a complex skill. Don’t ask questions the answers to which you could have found in advance. Try instead to think of questions no one else has asked. But if you are not certain the information you have is right — ask for confirmation. Facts need to be verified. It is okay to go back and check but not too often (you should have been listening carefully in the first place).

Study the pros to learn how to be a better interviewer. Don’t ask confrontational questions like “Do you think the recently fired chef is a jerk?” Instead ask, “What were your impressions of XXX” or “Many people are saying….” Or “What can you say to people who think…?” or “Do you think it is possible that…?” Like a good waiter, you have to learn when to wait; when the subject of your interview is about to say something else but is hesitating to reveal something important, just wait. The tension of silence may cause him to blurt out something interesting.

Don’t quote anonymous sources. This is the bailiwick of political reporters. If you print false information purposefully or even accidentally, you can be sued. You can also be in serious trouble if you reveal anything that is clearly intended to be off the record, even if the subject of the interview has not specifically said this is privileged information.

Your job is not to provide your opinion or share your experience. The profile is not about you. It is the writer’s job is to present the subject’s story accurately. A playwright puts words in the actors’ mouth. An interview puts another person’s words on the page in the rhythm and cadence in which they have spoken.

If there is a question that may anger the person being interviewed, save it until the last. It’s like nibbling around the edges before taking the last bite. Everyone has an agenda. Determine your own agenda first.

Food Job

A man says he wants to be a writer and loves to be around famous chefs.

As you know, the obituaries of culinary legends are written long before they actually ascend to the great banquet in the sky.

I suggest he can write an obituary column with the title: The Dead Beat.