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How to Write a Food Article

Bill is a freelance writer who has written for a variety of platforms.

Some Initial Thoughts

"If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him... the people who give you their food give you their heart."

Oh, we do love to eat, don’t we? From the Big Mac to the Prime Rib, and everything in-between, the satisfaction of our hunger is a worthy pursuit. Perhaps that explains why so many writers choose this genre to “sink their teeth into.”

I apologize for that pun. I couldn’t help myself.

If you are interested in becoming a food writer, there are several distinct niches you might consider. Before we discuss those, however, let’s take an overview of the subject and then we’ll get down to specifics.

Writing about food is writing about eating. Since we have all eaten, and we have all experienced the pure joy of a great meal, we all have a basic foundation from which to build our food genre platform. Now to move to the next step, namely to write with some conviction and to write in a manner that will be interesting to readers.

Consider these suggestions as you embark on your food writing career:

  • Food should be sensual: remember that food writing should focus on the senses. What does a dish look like? What does it smell like? What does it taste like and yes, what does it feel like? From your words you want your readers to smell the apple pie, to feel the fuzzy down of a peach, to see the vibrant colors of the spices, to hear the bite and to taste the sweet and sour.
  • Limit your use of adjectives. If your writing is strong enough you do not need words like delicious…what a silly word. Rather, you will use the English language the way it was meant to be used, describing without embellishing to the point of redundancy. Try some metaphors or similes. They will do the work of adjectives and actually interest your readers at the same time.
  • Avoid generic terms. Again, words like delicious or tasty are boring, and boring is not what you are trying to convey in a food article. Go for something like satin-smooth or buttery if you must use an adjective.
  • Make the act of cooking an action movie. Don’t just tell the reader how to prepare the recipe. Tell them what happens while you are preparing it…..”the crust cracks audibly as you press it with your fork”….or…..”the butter glides down the stack of blueberry pancakes as raindrops glide down a leaf.”

Remember, always, that there are many, many food writers out there, so your job is to find a new way to present the same old material.

Take a look at this passage from “The Great Texas Barbecue Secret,” written by Alan Richman:

“Because the meat is seldom pricked during cooking, the fat accumulates, sizzling and bubbling. Slice, and the drama unfolds. Think of a bursting water pipe. Better yet, imagine a Brahman bull exploding from the gate of a rodeo.”

Now that, my friends, is how to write about food!

Let’s take a look at some of the different niches in food writing. Maybe you will find one that appeals to you.

You could write about chicken recipes

You could write about chicken recipes

or beef recipes

or beef recipes

"So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being."

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Show me a recipe and I yawn. Show me a recipe told through the personal experiences of the chef and my interest is tweaked. Never underestimate the power of our personal memories. People relate to people, and many a writer has made a good living by telling of past moments in a way that we can all relate to.


This is a niche that has obvious rewards: you get to eat what you are writing about. Of course, if you read my article about travel writing, you know a little secret about restaurant reviews: not everyone who writes about restaurants has actually eaten at those restaurants! I know, I know, very shocking indeed!

Set yourself up as an expert and start small….start reviewing the restaurants in your hometown and start a restaurant review blog….or submit your reviews to your local newspaper. Once you have established your niche then branch out regionally.


Yes, it seems like everyone and their grandmother writes about recipes. The trick is to find a new angle, a new hook, if you are going to follow this path.

Think about it for a moment. Hundreds of thousands of writers write recipes and post them online. How are you going to make yours interesting enough that others will look for your next recipe article? If you can answer that question then you can make it in the recipe/food genre.

Or vegetable recipes

Or vegetable recipes


Do some research and make a niche for yourself writing about the history of food. Some of my SEO content writing is for a restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas, and I am constantly doing research on different dishes.

If presented correctly, food history is actually very interesting, but it is your job to make it interesting. Do you know the history of the hamburger? Look it up!


Yes, this is a very selective niche, and yes, you are narrowing the field a bit and pinpointing a very specific audience, but do it well enough and you will have that audience all to yourself.

A hot topic these days is organic farming. How about a series of articles about the leading organic farmers in your country, or a local angle featuring local farmers’ markets in your area?

Start out small and do a series of articles on leading chefs in your city, and then move to regional, then national, etc.


Where do you find the best steaks in America? Where are the best wine cellars in Italian restaurants? Which restaurants offer the best authentic Mexican food?

Which is the best restaurant in Florence? Now expand and work your way across Italy until you have a whole series of food/travel writing and yes, an ebook of the same.

Food Writing Advice From a Professional

There Is Only One Thing Left to Do

And that, of course, is to write.

I am of the belief that a good writer can make just about any subject interesting. I do not have to be a food expert to write about food. I do, after all, eat, so I’m somewhat of an expert and have been since birth…..and I am a writer….so, it is not much of a stretch to see myself as a food writer.

And it is not much of a stretch for you, either. If you enjoy food and enjoy writing about it, then my best piece of advice is to find a unique way to write about it. There are far too many boring recipes out there. Find a way to turn a boring recipe into a written piece of art and you will be well on your way to building a platform with you atop it as a food expert.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

"Helping writers to spread their wings and fly."

Questions & Answers

Question: I wanted to ask you if you have any bibliography that you can recommend for further reading on the matter: experts on food writing sharing tips?

Answer: I really didn't do much research for this. I did read this article and found it helpful; you might also.

Question: would you possibly need a certain format in writing especially is you are using different types of images that represent your food?

Answer: No, the format is up to you.


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 29, 2020:

Thanks, I think!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 29, 2020:

Glad to hear it, Ahmedul! Thank you!

Ahmedul Haque on April 29, 2020:

Really helpful for the content writer

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 19, 2019:

I appreciate that, Stickers...thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

stickers printing uk on July 18, 2019:

Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 29, 2019:

Thanks for reading, seo master, and for sharing.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 26, 2019:

Thank you seomaster9!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 30, 2018:

My pleasure, Viaa! Thank you !

Viaa on November 30, 2018:

Very Inspiring, Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 13, 2018:

My pleasure, Sarah! Thank you!

Sarah Saleem on September 11, 2018:

Wow! Amazing and crisp tips... love them. thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 29, 2016:

I'm glad to hear that, Raquel. Thanks for reading.

raquel on November 28, 2016:

i liked the salmon salad at the carriage house that the chef made it was delious and hevenely it was like i was in heaven i loved it salmon is my favorite its fish everyone loves it my motto is anyone can cook. the soup is with tomaatos i have a delovloped a sense of smell and taste its food you cannot ressit. my talent is good.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 15, 2016:

Really not helpful at all!

Austin strippers on August 14, 2016:

Listed here you'll learn it is important, them offers the link in an helpful webpage.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 11, 2015:

LInda, oddly I had forgotten about this one. You really had to dig deep to find this one. :) I'm glad you found it helpful. I look forward to your next food article....and you are welcome.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on April 10, 2015:

Bill, believe it or not, I just found this Hub today. I could shout "where have you been all my life!" but instead will just say thank you for such a clear, common sense approach to writing about food (which is what I do). There are a million recipes out there on the internet (and half of them reside on HP?), but I want to create the 1,000,001 that catches someones eye. Thank you my friend for yet another great Hub.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 13, 2014:

Thank you, Peg. I'll probably never do a food article, but if I were to, this is how I would do it.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on December 13, 2014:

Food recipes are certainly a challenge to write with a twist and a story that will draw the reader's interest. You've provided quite a few pointers here that are all good to know. Thank you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 09, 2013:

Go for it indeed, Thomas! :)

Thomas on August 09, 2013:

I used to get all theme disney stuff whaeevtr daughter was into but now we mix up like to save money but sometimes the kids really like something and if it's a cute notebook she is going to want to write more than I say go for it

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2013:

Mary, I think that is a great idea and a wonderful niche. Go for it!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on June 22, 2013:

You have given your reader some good info here, Bill. I would like to start blogging about the wonderful recipes from the old South, many of them were my Mother's. I have a couple here on HP.

Voted UP and shared.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2013:

So glad to hear that, Carol! Good luck and as always, thank you!

carol stanley from Arizona on June 22, 2013:

I just reread this and there is some really good advice of which I will follow .I write recipes for another site and need to spark up a bit. Thanks as always.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2013:

Ishwaryaa, you are a very good writer and I hope these suggestions help you in the future. Thank you so much for sharing and your kind words.

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on June 22, 2013:

An excellent hub! I have written 2 recipes on Indian food. Now I will consider writing restaurant reviews and history of food thanks to you. This sound hub of yours serves as an inspiration for me. Way to go!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up, pinned & shared on Facebook

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2013:

agusfanani, I'm glad if these help you. Thank you for the visit my friend.

agusfanani from Indonesia on June 02, 2013:

I always learn a lot every time I've read your hubs. Thank you for sharing this useful, enriching hub.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2013:

drbj, you won't catch me doing a recipe or food hub, but for those that do them, they must find a unique approach or they are wasting their time.....and yes, chocolate rules! :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2013:

Thanks Deb....I just want people to succeed my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2013:

BStoneBlog, you are very welcome and thank you for the visit.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on June 01, 2013:

I'm not much for reading recipe hubs with one exception, Bill. Anything with chocolate gets my immediate, fascinated attention. But thanks for these tips.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on June 01, 2013:

Thanks again for the wonderful slant on the topic of food related articles. You are a wonderful teacher, as I have said before.

Jay Dickens on June 01, 2013:

I love your tip about weaving recipes into memoirs. Knowing the "back story" can totally sway me into trying something new. Thanks for such a beautiful and thought-proviking article.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2013:

Well thank you, Lurana, and get out there and enjoy some of this weekend.

MrsBrownsParlour on June 01, 2013:

Bill--I am catching up from a busy week!! :-)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2013:

Thanks Eddy! I just think people need to stretch a bit when doing something as mundane as a recipe. Welcome back and enjoy your weekend.


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2013:

Lurana, three visits in one day? Thank you so much!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2013:

Dianna, I always thought that too....get paid for eating...what a great job that would be. :)

Have a wonderful weekend my friend and thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2013:

Vellur, I know it is possible because I have read interesting food just takes a little extra work.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2013:

You are welcome, Alicia.....good luck with future food articles.

Eiddwen from Wales on June 01, 2013:

Thank you so much again Billy.

When I first joined HubPages I used to publish recipes combined with childhood memories on the farm with mamgu but I think that in the last two years or so I have only published one. However if I feel the need to again this gem will come in very useful. So nice to be back and have a wonderful weekend Billy.


MrsBrownsParlour on June 01, 2013:

More great ideas!! Interesting and creative and helpful. :-) ~Lurana

Dianna Mendez on June 01, 2013:

It takes some creative writing when it comes to food articles. You have given readers very useful tips and I will be using them when I write my next food article. It would be fun to review restaurants, the meal alone would be rewarding.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 01, 2013:

A great hub, as you say we must turn boring recipes into interesting ones, now that is a difficult task but not impossible if we are experts in cooking. Great write and useful tips.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 31, 2013:

Thanks for sharing some great ideas, Bill. I use the words "delicious" and "tasty" a lot when I'm referring to food. I'm going to have to rethink this situation!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 31, 2013:

vkwok, I know...I went and had a snack after writing this hub. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 31, 2013:

You are welcome, Michele. Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 31, 2013:

Thank you Heidi! I'm trying to get people to understand that they need to think outside the box. With something like recipes, what is going to make yours any different from the ten thousand already written about that dish???? If a writer can find the answer to that question then he/she really has a great article.

Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on May 31, 2013:

Thanks for writing this bill. The food looks great!

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on May 31, 2013:

There are so many amazing foodies here on HP that I think this hub will be very popular! I agree that recipes are okay (especially ones that include chocolate). But when there's a story behind it (other than this was "my mom's favorite" Zzzzzzzz), me, the worst cook of the universe, will even read it. Bon appetit!

Victor W. Kwok from Hawaii on May 31, 2013:

Seeing the pictures of food is making me hungry, lol.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 31, 2013:

Jeannie, I think there is a definite market out there for food-related articles, but I also think people need to find a new way to present information.

Thanks for stopping by my friend and have a great weekend.

Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on May 31, 2013:

I would like to write more about food (since I eat so much of it), but never thought about trying some of these options. I usually don't bother writing recipes... I am a fairly bad cook. Maybe I will give it a try in other ways. Thanks for the ideas!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 31, 2013:

Pearl, I heard the forehead slap from here....and yes, it applies to all niches. :) Thanks for the lightbulb moment and the smile.

Have a great weekend my friend


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 31, 2013:

Theresa, obviously you have learned well. :) Thanks my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 31, 2013:

Susan, I think most people would use those words in describing's only natural, right?

Thank you for stopping by.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 31, 2013:

Thanks Mark! This isn't for me but maybe someone can use the tips.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 31, 2013:

LOL...Martin, if she is charging a lot then she must be big time. :)

Connie Smith from Southern Tier New York State on May 31, 2013:

Billy, you have given me new insight! Forehead slap and a big DUH! I can see how this applies across the board to all manner of niches. Passion, personal experience, a new and creative angle, and hold the trite expressions--GOT IT! Voted UP+++ and wishing you a very productive and happy day my friend ;) Pearl

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on May 31, 2013:

I am pleased as punch that I have never used delicious or tasty. :) Have a great weekend. :) Theresa

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on May 31, 2013:

Thanks for all the great tips Bill. I think I may have some editing to do as I know I've used delicious and maybe tasty too in a few of my recipe hubs.

Curiad on May 31, 2013:

These are some great tips Bill. You of course have a way of making any subject clear and interesting at the same time.


Martin Kloess from San Francisco on May 30, 2013:

I'm trying to get my daughter to put out a book. She is a big shot chef. Most expensive deserts I've ever seen!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Lady, I personally think that is the direction you should take. Recipes may garner a few views but they will not garner a huge following....I want people to stretch the limits and try new approaches to the same old stuff.

Thank you and I'll be over soon to visit your site.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Ruby, I have no problem with recipes....I just want people to get the most for their effort....and that's where that special niche and effort come in.

Thanks my friend; have a great weekend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Thanks, Nell. I just toss out ideas and hope they help sense holding onto all this stuff in my head when others can use them. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Anna, I have no doubt that they would be incredibly interesting. LOL And if you do you can bet I'll be there to read them.

Thank you my dear.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Dahlia, thank you my creative hub, then one writing hub, over and over again. Just trying to share some ideas I have learned over the years.

I appreciate you very much. I hope you have a fabulous weekend.

Smiles always


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Twin my friend, how are you? Great to see you should have read the hub before was much more your style....."What If There Was A Girl"....forget you read this one and stop by that if you have the time. :)

Seriously, thank you....I want people to be successful, and if they just continue to write normal recipes they will get lost in that big ocean we call the internet.

Deonne Anderson from Florence, SC on May 30, 2013:


I am impressed that you chose to do a hub on the different types of writing about food. You provided lots of useful information. I have never written an article about food but believe I will give it a shot soon. I am always impressed with "how to" articles on recipes. I will not be presenting any recipes but can certainly write something about foods.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on May 30, 2013:

I actually like recipes written by hubbers. I made coconut chicken yesterday from Ask Susan's recipe and it was really good. I can think of nothing you couldn't write about. This is great advice for people who write about food...Thank you.....

Nell Rose from England on May 30, 2013:

Hi billy, I love the 'movie' idea, that's something I would never ever have thought of, and yes I do use the old cliches sometimes when writing about food, I love your different ideas and hubs, voted up and shared, nell

Anna Haven from Scotland on May 30, 2013:

Is there any area you can't cover? I think not :)

Helpful as always. I have thought about posting recipes a couple of times just to try the recipe function. Off course they are very interesting ones I was going to post! ;)

livingsta from United Kingdom on May 30, 2013:

Bill, I could not believe when I looked at the title of the hub, because it is something totally different from what you write....I thought, but no. How creative, and how thoughtfully you have given tips for recipe writers!!!

Thank you for this. This is really helpful you know.

Have a great day Bill.

Sending you smiles....

Voting up, useful, awesome and interesting and sharing!

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on May 30, 2013:

Hey Billy~I shouldn't have read this hub before dinner. I am sooo hungry now. You are right that there are many recipes on the net. I appreciate the great ideas to make it more read worthy.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Bill, I'm laughing...that's why I mentioned Italy in the hub, so maybe that light bulb would go off for you. Hooray!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Genna, you are sweet. I owe you a visit or ten. :) I will be right there....and thank you!

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on May 30, 2013:

Hi Bill. The light bulb just went off when reading this hub. I should be writing restaurant reviews from my trips, especially Italy. Gee, I feel like I missed an opportunity here. Will have to pay attention to this going forward. Great idea, thanks.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on May 30, 2013:

“Tell them what happens while you are preparing it…..”the crust cracks audibly as you press it with your fork”….or…..”The butter glides down the stack of blueberry pancakes as raindrops glide down a leaf.”

Now that’s writing, Billy. I think it’s just as good as Richman’s.

And you are spot on about the organic farming; we buy organic, if we can’t grow it ourselves. Excellent write with mouth watering photos – especially the shrimp…one of my favorites.

Now I’m hungry. Thank you…I think. :-)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

LOL...Paula, you and me both. :)

Suzie from Carson City on May 30, 2013:

Sure!!! Meals on Wheels....yet another reminder that we are as old as dirt!! I'd sooner starve! LOL

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Thanks again, Manatita....have a great weekend my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Glimmer, I agree, this is not easy, but I think it will pay huge dividends in the long run.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Walter, in today's world, we have the ability to start our own it Walter's Passion Site...I promise you many visitors. :)

manatita44 from london on May 30, 2013:

Noble effort. Cool.

Claudia Porter on May 30, 2013:

Oh boy - now I need a hook for my recipes. That is harder than you think since everyone writes recipes. I'll be thinking of that for a while.

Poon Poi Ming from Malaysia on May 30, 2013:

Billybuc, I so much wanted to write about my passions but no site is willing to publish them. How I wish I were as lucky as you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Manatita, I think it is so important that we write about our passions and interests....this is not one of mine, but many people do write about food and I wanted to give them a little help if possible.

manatita44 from london on May 30, 2013:

Only recently I wrote that good writers can write about anything. I have done so. So it's good to see you doing this. I think I have just about settled, as I prefer to stay with Ancient Wisdom/Yoga philosophy, but I do like variety especially when it's a great read.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Walter, welcome to the world of billybuc....LOL....I get comments like this daily and I realize fully how lucky I am...I love HP for that very reason.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Sugahware, your last statement is the best...a good recipe should never be boring. Good luck to you my new friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

LOL....Suzie, you have me laughing out out for the left. I'm left-handed too, so yet another reason for me to like you and MJ.

I'm not into food writing but I know a lot of writers that are, and if they do not learn to find a special niche then I think they are wasting their time.

You, my friend, are not wasting your time. You are cornering the skin care market and doing a damn fine job of it.

Keep MJ on his toes today and thanks as always for the stop by.


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

MJ, I have permanent bruises on those knees. LOL Thanks again, buddy.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

Carol, you crack me up....thank you and I hope this helps in some way. Food is a big subject, but I think it is so important to find a special niche within the niche. :)

Poon Poi Ming from Malaysia on May 30, 2013:

Wow, this hub is like a hot cake! Just 3 hours and it has garnered more comments that my 23 hubs put together, LOL. (By the way, the comments have dwarfed your hub... or should I say "drowned"? Let me think which word is more appropriate, or should I continue to hub... or harp?)

Robyn D Bera from California on May 30, 2013:

Fabulous hub! I'm still fairly new to HP but so far my recipes have earned the greatest response. You've given me some great tips here. Food is an experience and trying new foods should be an exciting adventure. A good recipe should never be boring! Thanks for sharing. Pinned and voted up, useful and interesting.

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on May 30, 2013:

Hi Billicious,

Well I do overuse that pointless adjective delicious so is Billicious okay??? Apologies for MJ's trying to lead you astray, he has a habit of that and professes to not know his own kitchen but he will never starve that's for sure! I found this another interesting view on food writing. I will never be one to compete in this genre bar my skin care recipes which I know you have bookmarked every single one to rustle up, but you never know when in Italy I may be inspired to do a niche on it there.

Thanks Bill for more useful ideas and tips!

By the way, I fake with the right and my left cross is a bitch!! I am a lefty, as MJ is actually!!!!

mjkearn on May 30, 2013:

Sorry Bill- The BS Tap stuck open- Twenty years hands and knees- You win.

See short and sweet- Later.


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