I was reading Alan Richman's commentary in Bon Appetit, on the tribulations of the professional eating. And I was enjoying myself, nodding in agreement as only a fellow food traveler can, appreciating his point that getting paid to eat comes with its own penalties.
And then I came upon this section:
"The life of the restaurant critic isn't the same as that of food writers. You do not have to feel sorry for them.
"When they travel, hotels know they are coming, so they are upgraded to the Elvis Presley Suite. When they eat out, chefs who haven't been seen in their kitchens since the advent of the Food Network fly in, borrow a stained apron from their sous-chef and walk wearily through the dining room, complaining that they were up at dawn picking out organic produce at the farmers market.
"Food writers get to do the easy stories, the ones about prizewinnning pumpkins."
Excuse me? Does anybody have any idea what he's talking about? OK, Sarah Dickerson at Slate doesn't bother to actually do any research outside NYC before declaiming on newspaper food sections. But Richman? I thought the guy was smart. Smart-mouthed, but smart.