How do you avoid cliches when you write about food?

You don't, says Platt.
  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Question: How do you avoid clichés when you write about food?

Adam Platt: You don’t basically. I think every-- I think most writers who write columns repeat themselves no matter what. The trick is to find clichés that work and use them again and again but it’s very hard especially writing about food, especially writing about descriptive- describing the same kinds of dishes again and again. It’s very hard not to repeat yourself and what I try to do is I try to take a theme that’s sort of maybe bigger than the restaurant itself and apply that to the experience. It’s not a grand theme of life or death but it’s maybe a theme in the restaurants of New York and what different styles, different types, and I try and weave that in to the actual experience of the meal and then I try and go through-- You’re essentially writing service journals and so you essentially- you have to tell people this is good, this is bad, this is not good, this is not bad, and you have to do all of that in a thousand words and you have to do it every week. So you are going to be repeating yourself a little bit.

Question: Is it hard to write about similar things over and over?

Adam Platt: Well, from a writing standpoint it's a little harder but it's also-- Well, you see, it's harder and it's easier. Columns are hard because you're-- they are repetitious but you're also writing something that's very familiar and that you have a lot of-- you have opinions about and that you have-- and you have confidence in these opinions and it's also what you're doing all the time so you're comfortable with doing it whereas writing features you're more-- you're at the whim of sort of people and events. And if you've been doing a lot of that columns are actually refreshing, especially restaurant columns because you're really-- you're the actor in your own show and it's sort of a peaceful feeling after a while.

 

Recorded: 4/22/08