Food Writing Tips: Earn Some Cash in Between Bites (featured in OurAwesomePlanet.com)

Excerpt from “Food Writing Tips: Earn Some Cash in Between Bites,” published in Anton Diaz’s Our Awesome Planet.

Here are some pro-food writing tips from my friends from Writer’s Block Philippines:

How do you cross over from being a passionate foodie to a credible and published food writer? Try these tips from the writing experts:

Excerpt from “Food Writing Tips: Earn Some Cash in Between Bites,” published in Anton Diaz’s Our Awesome Planet.

Here are some pro-food writing tips from my friends from Writer’s Block Philippines:

How do you cross over from being a passionate foodie to a credible and published food writer? Try these tips from the writing experts:

1. Select an interesting subject that has not yet been featured in other websites or magazines

Food features can be more than just about food. Aside from the food itself, other possible features may include new restaurants, chefs, and recipes. Just make sure that the topic is unique or that’s you’re presenting it in a different angle.

For instance, when writing about family recipes (sometimes called “heirloom recipes”), mention its unique history, what makes the family behind it special, any unique innovations that have been passed on through the generations, and so on. Magazine editors value writers who can present ideas from a perspective that sets the publication apart from the rest of the pack.

2. Practice your keen observation skills

Use all your senses when describing the food.

How’s was the dish presented?
How does it taste—too sweet maybe or a bit salty?
What flavors and aromas does it remind you of?
What is its texture?

Describe all these in a way that make the dishes come alive, such as “its sweet, nutty taste and earthy, organic texture made one feel closer to nature.”

Describe its “star ingredients” and what makes the dish special–especially if it’s a popular or well-loved dish such as adobo, sinigang, paella, pasta, or steak.

Be very detailed when you explain your eating experience so your reader would want to experience it, too.

3. Accentuate the positive

Doing a restaurant review could be a bit tricky if you’re not happy with your dining experience. As much as possible, focus on the positive aspect of the food or place when writing a review. If something is not to your liking, say it in a nice way—in the form of constructive criticism. A bad review is not worth the time and effort you’ll put into it, not to mention the space you need to allot for it. Also, editors might be uneasy publishing a piece that reads more like glorified bashing.

READ MORE TIPS HERE.

Travelife Magazine’s Suitcase Tales: Everyone’s Dream: To Foodtrip for a Living

Excerpt from “Travelife Magazine’s Suitcase Tales: Everyone’s Dream: To Foodtrip for a Living,” published in Travelife Magazine blog.

Excerpt from “Travelife Magazine’s Suitcase Tales: Everyone’s Dream: To Foodtrip for a Living,” published in Travelife Magazine blog.

Writers’ Block Philippines, a group designed to bind and inspire the writing community, is once again organizing a very interesting activity for potential writers, and we at Travelife Magazine are very happy to support it. Travel and food go together, after all!

Niña Terol-Zialcita, one of the group’s founders and a lifestyle journalist, agrees. “Food is a common denominator among those who enjoy culture, travelling, and adventure.”

Eat, Write, Love

The food writing workshop, entitled, “Eat, Write, Love,” will be held on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at Adarna Food and Culture Restaurant inQuezon City. Like their other trademark experiential workshops, “Eat, Write, Love” will combine the gastronomic experience of eating and the equally satisfying activity of writing about it. Adarna Executive Chef Giney Villar will also talk about the history behind her food creations for Adarna, while popular food writer Lori Baltazar of DessertComesFirst.com will talk about building a career from food writing.

Incidentally, NiñaAna Santos, and Nikka Sarthou, the three ladies behind Writer’s Block Philippines, have also contributed a great article on travel survival tips in the latest issue of Travelife Magazine (October-November 2011). The issue is on sale now, so read about their adventures and advice in our magazine.

READ MORE HERE.

Eat. Write. Love. (featured in Yummy.ph)

The passion for food and writing come together in this workshop from Writer’s Block Philippines.

By: Minnette Gamez-Aquino

The passion for food and writing come together in this workshop from Writer’s Block Philippines.

By: Minnette Gamez-Aquino

Are you an aspiring writer with a passion for food? Jumpstart your writing career with eat. write. love., a half-dayfood writing workshop from Writer’s Block Philippines on October 16 (Saturday) at the Adarna Food and Culture Restaurant on Kalayaan Ave in Quezon City. Prepare for an afternoon that fuses Filipino food, history, culture, writing and a sumptuous culinary experience while listening to talks by Adarna Food and Culture Restaurant Chef Giney Villar and food writer Lori Baltazar of Dessert Comes First

Sign up now because slots are limited to 25 participants.  The fee is  P2,500 per head, inclusive of lunch. You can sign up or reserve a slot at Writer’s Block Philippines in the workshop page

eat. write. love. is brought to you by Writer’s Block Philippines and Adarna Food and Culture Restaurant with the support of Yummy magazine, Travelife magazine, Mentos and Berocca.

Nikka Sarthou writes about raw food chef (Herword.com)

Does one really need to be a chef in order to prepare raw food? How difficult could it be to mix together a few leafy greens, sliced veggies, and vinaigrette? There’s actually more to raw food and its preparation than putting together a simple salad. Vegan raw food chef and health coach, Cheloy Ignacio, can actually whip up your favorite comfort food using all raw ingredients. She has been doing so for years now, ever since she became a raw food advocate. Her passion for it has led to opening her own raw food restaurant aptly called RawVolution—Cheloy’s Living Food Cuisine.

Chef Cheloy did not always live on raw food. In fact, she used to own one of the most successful ensaymada businesses out there. And when she was younger, she used to indulge on very fatty foods such as bacon and aligue (crab fat). She says, back then, she could finish two kilos of prawns in one sitting, and that her favorite part of the shrimp was its head with all its fatty goodness. But that is all in the past now. Nowadays, she is happy and content on living on fresh fruits, vegetables, and everything else that would be suitable to her raw food lifestyle.

The defining moment

The raw food diet is not the first diet she has tried. She has experimented with practically all kinds of diets before, but none really worked. For her, a diet is not only a means to change her physical appearance; she actually wanted to overhaul her health. At the young age of 19, she was diagnosed with preeclampsia while she was pregnant with her first child. The fluctuation in her blood pressure and sugar level had a negative—and ultimately, fatal—effect on her baby. The baby passed away a couple of days before her due date. But going through that traumatic situation did not change Cheloy’s lifestyle. Her unhealthy way of life put her in and out of the hospital. Her blood pressure even reached as high as 280/110, and at the age of 23, she suffered a mild stroke.

From that time on, until she was about in her mid-forties, she became a regular visitor to hospitals and also became very dependent on medication. She experienced so many different ailments that her application for health insurance was not approved. For years, she survived on her medications, until one day, she had the strength to say to herself that enough is enough. Her will to live free from any sickness was so strong that she was able to find a way to do so.

In her quest for good health, she came across some information about raw food diet and became so passionate with it that she gave up her successful ensaymada business for it. Her interest in it led her to the US where raw food is all the rage. She went to Boston and studied raw food preparation under Alissa Cohen. Now she is a certified health coach and raw food chef, and she is putting both to good use in her restaurant, Rawvolution-Cheloy’s Living Food Cuisine.

When Cheloy is not preparing some seaweed salad or some other dish, she is teaching raw and vegetarian food preparation.

A lifestyle change

For Cheloy, the raw food diet is not just a craze; it has become part of her daily life. Since she has integrated this diet in her life in 2006, she never took maintenance medicines like she had to before. Her general health has greatly improved, and most especially, her zest for life. Her priorities have changed, too.

Cheloy admitted she used to be so vain that she would spend thousands of pesos on cosmetic products, and burn more money on her other indulgences. As her perception changed, she learned to give up those luxuries and prioritized her health instead. Now, she would rather spend more on updating her restaurant’s kitchen equipment rather than adding another coveted beauty product to her cosmetic collection.

Health is her number one priority now. She cringes every time she thinks about what happened in the past. She enjoys living healthy now and even confessed that she does not have cravings for normal cooked foods anymore. She would rather prepare a fresh banana shake in the morning rather than go back to her old lifestyle where she had her daily dose of maintenance medicines. She found healing through her raw food diet. Aside from providing the necessary nutrition she needs, eating raw food helped eliminate the toxins in her body. Since raw food is high in fiber but low in cholesterol and sugar, it showed a great improvement in her blood pressure, blood circulation and other body functions.

Cheloy also lost about five pounds within three days of getting into the raw food diet. She hopes to inspire others to try eating raw food and living a healthier life. Cheloy happily shares that, “This is my lifestyle and this is my choice.”

Rawvolution-Cheloy’s Living Food Cuisine is located at #15 Annapolis St., Gold Building, Greenhills, San Juan. For inquiries, you may call (+632)916-6484541.

Cash in on those food trips with "Eat, Write, Love", the food-writing workshop of Writer's Block Philippines

“Can you really make money from freelance writing?” is a question that Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou and Niña Terol-Zialcita are most often asked during their writing workshops.

Santos, Sarthou and Terol-Zialcita, all freelance writers with over 20 years of combined writing experience, founded Writer’s Block Philippines, a group designed to bind and inspire the writing community.

“We put up Writer’s Block Philippines as a way to share our insights on making freelance writing both a fulfilling and lucrative career. Every workshop that we offer is developed with this in mind,” says Santos, a sexual health rights and activist and foreign correspondent.

“Like any other business, you cannot depend on writing only for one media like say, magazines. It is important to  diversify and multiply your income streams so that you will have a steady income from writing,” says Sarthou, a lifestyle journalist whose writing on travel and leisure have been published in various travelogues in print and on-line.

Terol-Zialcita, a political communicator and lifestyle journalist, agrees. “Food is a common denominator among those who enjoy culture, travelling, and adventure—and food writing is a great way to combine one’s passions and develop a steady income source. Ask our bloggers and food writers out there who are examples of combining passion and business sense; they’ll tell you that food writing can be lucrative.”

True to their mission to explore other forms of lucrative writing opportunities,  Writer’s Block Philippines will be hosting a food writing workshop entitled,  “Eat, Write, Love” on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at Adarna Food and Culture Restaurant in Quezon City.

Like their other trademark experiential workshops, “Eat, Write, Love” will combine the gastronomic experience of eating and the equally satisfying activity of writing about it.

Adarna Executive Chef Giney Villar will talk about the history behind her food creations for Adarna, while popular food writer Lori Baltazar of DessertComesFirst.com will talk about building a career from food writing.

“Eat, Write, Love” is not just for professional writers or food bloggers, but also for culinary students and just about anyone who would enjoy an afternoon of good food, history, and conversation from the eating and writing experts—all the ingredients needed to starting a lucrative food writing career.

For inquiries and reservations to Eat, Write, Love”,  log on to www.writersblockphilippines.com or text/call (0927) 850 8280. YOU MAY ALSO RESERVE USING THIS ONLINE FORM, AND PAY USING THE PAYPAL BUTTON ON THE RIGHT SIDEBAR.


__

Writer’s Block Philippines believes that writing is both art and craft, both creative and methodical, a form of expression and a discipline. Writing itself is only one aspect of “writing”; a culmination of other processes that make it easier for you to write your piece. Through its workshops, Writer’s Block will bring all these different processes together and teach you how to be an effective writer.

How I Got Into Food Writing

I am not claiming to be the next Anthony Bourdain or some other prolific food writer.  I do not even consider myself a food writer for that matter; I just happen to write food-related features for various publications.

If you by any chance, see me in person, you would not even think that I like food.  Imagine a 100-pound body mass in a petite five-foot-two frame… That’s me—pretty skinny on the outside but a foodie at heart.  I can say that I’m a bit adventurous when it comes to food.  I would, at least, try anything once.  My motto when it comes to food is that when I like it, then well and good.  If I don’t like it, I won’t force myself to ever eat it again.

Woman vs food

The most exotic thing I ever tasted was some soup made with a giant sea turtle, but that was way back when I was around six or seven years old and never had a clue that those turtles were on the verge of extinction.  Ever since then, I never even attempted to eat one again.  For some reason, though, that experience stuck to my mind and that’s probably one of the significant moments in my relationship with food.

I confess I am a frustrated cook.  I love watching food shows on television.  I can name a lot of popular people in the food industry—from the Iron Chefs to the cooking gods on the small screen.  Hey, I even follow some of them on Twitter!

In reality, though, I’m a barely passable cook.  Sometimes the dish would be a hit, other times, a miss.  This is probably why I just write about food and not actually cook it.  I realized that since I became a freelance writer, I’ve written several food features in different print and online publications and delved into diverse topics—from restaurant reviews to personality profiles on chefs.  I do not just limit myself with writing about food per se.  I try to branch out and think about the different avenues of food writing.

Here are some topics that might give you an idea on what to dish about:

  • Food reviews
  • New restaurants or launch of new menu
  • Chefs
  • Kitchen tools/equipment reviews
  • Trends

The thing is, I never learned to write about food in school.  I guess my interest in it was the main motivation to pursue food-writing opportunities.  One doesn’t really have to be a chef in order to write about food.

Care to take a stab at food writing?

Writer’s Block Philippines will be having its first-ever food writing workshop—“Eat, Write, Love,” on October 16 at Adarna Food and Culture.  Learn the basics about food writing and how to make a lucrative career out of it from the pros.  Guest speakers include Chef Giney Villar of Adarna and food writer Lori Baltazar of Dessertcomesfirst.com.

Mark your calendars! Something special's cooking for October 16!

Writer’s Block Philippines is cooking up something special for you on October 16–and our chef is excited to have you over! Giney Villar, Executive Chef of Adarna Food and Culture Restaurant, is looking forward to having friends and kindred spirits over for Eat, Write, Love, Adarna’s event collaboration with Writer’s Block Philippines. A passionate foodie who documents Filipino food and Church architecture during her travels, Giney earned her Diploma in Culinary Entrepreneurship from the American Hospitality Academy. She regards Adarna as “an expression of our ‘culinary nationalism’.” “Together with Beth (Angsioco, the other half of Adarna’s dynamic duo), we are doing our bit to promote appreciation for traditional Filipino food and heritage conservation.” During the workshop, she will talk about the labor of love that Adarna is, the different authentic flavors that comprise its sumptuous smorgasbord, and the drive for authenticity in preserving and promoting our very own culture and culinary heritage. She says that if she were left on an island “and could only be served five things for an entire month, [I] will opt for a vegetable salad with plenty of romaine lettuce, agedashi tofu, fruit and nut salad, yang chow (veges and eggs only, no meat),  and CHOCOLATE.”

`

To reserve a slot to EAT, WRITE, LOVE, click HERE

And, to pay for your slot, use the Paypal button on the right sidebar, or deposit your payment (Php2,500 per person) to this account:

Ma. Veronica U. Sarthou Bank of the Philippine Islands Savings Account Account No. 1759037711

Mark the date — October 16,  11:00am-4:00 pm! See you then!

Adarna Food and Culture Kalayaan Avenue Quezon City

Guess who's eating with us on October 16? (Hint: Dessert comes first!)

Here’s some great news to all our passionate foodies out there!

Joining us on October 16 for Eat, Write, Love is popular food writer Lori Baltazar of the blog Dessert Comes First. If you haven’t read her blog yet, check it out now to discover what it means to be passionate about food (and desserts, in particular) and turn it into a career.

And if you don’t know enough about Lori yet, check out her profile below:

* * *

Lori Baltazar lives to write about food – after eating it, of course. She’s written professionally for 15 years and has been a food writer for the past 10. Lori has written for almost all the local food magazines and is a former columnist of the Manila Times newspaper and ABS-CBN’s Foodie magazine. Aside from writing, she is also a food consultant for an international food company. Lori is also one of the pioneers in the local food blogging industry with her website, Dessert Comes First.com which she put up in 2005. In the following year, it was featured in the New York Wall Street Journal and a year after, was awarded Best Food Blog 2007 by Globe Telecom at the 1st Philippine Blog Awards. Lori loves to take pictures of food, is an avid home baker, and is the proud, though slightly embarrassed owner of 1000+ cookbooks.

* * *

We don’t know about you, but our taste buds are already craving for what’s to come on October 16!

To refresh your memory on the details of this food writing workshop, click HERE.

To reserve a slot, click HERE.

And, to pay for your slot, use the Paypal button on the right sidebar, or deposit your payment (Php2,500 per person) to this account:

  • Ma. Veronica U. Sarthou
  • Bank of the Philippine Islands
  • Savings Account
  • Account No. 1759037711
*To confirm your payment: Please scan/take a photo of your deposit slip and email us at writersblock.ph@gmail.com with your name and mobile number.

Guess who's eating with us on October 16? (Hint: Dessert comes first!)

Here’s some great news to all our passionate foodies out there!

Joining us on October 16 for Eat, Write, Love is popular food writer Lori Baltazar of the blog Dessert Comes First. If you haven’t read her blog yet, check it out now to discover what it means to be passionate about food (and desserts, in particular) and turn it into a career.

And if you don’t know enough about Lori yet, check out her profile below:

* * *

Lori Baltazar lives to write about food – after eating it, of course. She’s written professionally for 15 years and has been a food writer for the past 10. Lori has written for almost all the local food magazines and is a former columnist of the Manila Times newspaper and ABS-CBN’s Foodie magazine. Aside from writing, she is also a food consultant for an international food company. Lori is also one of the pioneers in the local food blogging industry with her website, Dessert Comes First.com which she put up in 2005. In the following year, it was featured in the New York Wall Street Journal and a year after, was awarded Best Food Blog 2007 by Globe Telecom at the 1st Philippine Blog Awards. Lori loves to take pictures of food, is an avid home baker, and is the proud, though slightly embarrassed owner of 1000+ cookbooks.

* * *

We don’t know about you, but our taste buds are already craving for what’s to come on October 16!

To refresh your memory on the details of this food writing workshop, click HERE.

To reserve a slot, click HERE.

And, to pay for your slot, use the Paypal button on the right sidebar, or deposit your payment (Php2,500 per person) to this account:

  • Ma. Veronica U. Sarthou
  • Bank of the Philippine Islands
  • Savings Account
  • Account No. 1759037711
*To confirm your payment: Please scan/take a photo of your deposit slip and email us at writersblock.ph@gmail.com with your name and mobile number.