Most people get confused over the terms like food vloggers, food bloggers and food critics. The confusion mostly comes from people claiming themselves food vloggers or bloggers without proper knowledge about food.
There is a difference between the terms food vlogger and food critic. In Bangladesh however, few people seem to be aware of the fact.
Food Critic - 101
In Bangladesh, the term ‘food critic’ is somehow replaced by the term food bloggers. A mid-level position in a culinary publication or the culinary section of a more diverse journal is that of a food critic.
To reduce the likelihood that restaurant proprietors may know them and treat them differently, food writers usually never display their faces while writing restaurant reviews.
That includes limiting public appearances and maintaining a photo-free social media presence.
To maintain the objectivity of their work, food critics must also be independent of any restaurants, food vendors, or other institutions involved in the culinary arts. After having the food experience, they prepare a critique that is later published in a journal focused on food, a newspaper food section, or any other publication.
Food critics must have a broad and sensitive palate, be able to evaluate food and the surrounding experience and articulate that experience in words. The food critic generally has a degree in journalism or mass communication and has to be a good writer. Some food critics are also chefs.
Food Blogger or Marketing Ambassador?
A food blogger is a person who often doesn't work for a major media outlet but instead publishes information on various culinary issues on their websites or social media platforms. This involves trying out recipes in their kitchens, sampling various foods, or dining at specific kinds of restaurants.
They don’t hide their faces, rather they are more socially active and act as social influencers. They are not paid for their blogs directly but they can earn by monetisation and sponsorships. Another difference is that a food blogger must have good skills in photography which is not mandatory for a critic.
Everyone is a Food Vlogger now!
The term 'food vlogging' has come from video blogging. The food vloggers visit restaurants by their choice or invitation, have the food and share their overall experience.
In their videos, they show the food making and some dramatic video footage of food. They eat in the camera and share with the audience how the food, service and ambience of the restaurant were.
In Bangladesh, some food vloggers are doing well and trying to make standard videos but most of them are not capable of that. Words like ‘tasty,' ‘juicy,' ‘tender,' ‘mukhe dilei gole jacche’ (melting as soon as you put it in your mouth) are not enough for a viewer. The viewers crave more details to assume or guess the taste of the food so that they can try the food with their own money.
Do food critics exist in Bangladesh?
Foodieshe, Iffybiffys, Dhaka Slurps, Provaeats, Too halal for food, Tahrim eats, Life blog of Sara, Foodies Diary BD, etc. are some of the most famous food bloggers in Bangladesh.
Some famous food vloggers who post videos on Youtube are Rasif Shafique and Ridima Khan Ipsha of Petuk Couple, Fahrin Zannat Faiza of Khuda Lagse, Syed Khaled Saifullah of Khai-dai.com, Fahim Khan of Bangladeshi Food Reviewer, Kazi Tahsin Tonmoy and Shahriar Rabbir of Metroman, and many more.
But can you identify any food critic matching the definition? Maybe the answer is ‘No’. Food critics are not acknowledged in Bangladesh.
However, the food critics possess more knowledge about food and culinary. After opening a new restaurant, the restaurant owner invites food bloggers or vloggers for the promotion of their food. They usually don’t have the intention to improve their food.
Whereas the food critic could have provided better insight about the food. Since food critics are not recognised much and people cannot consider it as a career, even having the potential of being a food critic people, do not step forward.
While it is non-existent in our country, it is a respectable profession in other countries. Some famous food critics around the world are Frank Bruni, Katie lee, Andrew Zimmern, Anthony Bourdain, Ruth Reichl, Gail Simmons and many more who are well off both financially and social dignity wise.