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So you want to be a food writer? Here’s a BIG list of what all you can write

In the second post of my #FoodWritingFestival series, I list out 170+ ideas and writing prompts that will make food content writing a feast

So you want to be a food writer? Here’s a BIG list of what all you can write
There are infinite themes you can explore for cookbooks.

Image: Heather Ford | Unsplash

We understand why you want to be a food writer or blogger. (Or a food YouTuber or content creator for that matter.)

It’s a colourful, scrumptious, and tempting world, with the opportunity to taste a host of treats along the way (because why not).

Besides, food brings the world on your plate when travel takes a backseat. Who doesn’t like being the person who sums up these mouthwatering experiences in the most delicious words and sends them straight to everyone’s reading devices? Even as a fiction writer, you’d want to be able to describe the sensory aspects of the culinary world like a pro. (If you’d like to see how I’ve done my food scenes in fiction, check them out in my book PiKu & ViRu. Buy/download, read, and review it here; it’s FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Do post a review on how you found the book and its foodie moments.)

And if you can get paid to write about food, it’s like the proverbial cherry on the icing.

Recipes and long-form stories have always been the most popular and sought-after avenues for food content writing. But not only are you going to need a huge bank of ideas for your pitching process. You should also keep your options open for other lesser-known but equally rewarding avenues.

That’s where this big list of food content ideas, formats, templates, and writing prompts comes in. Take whatever you need, mix and match, or make some tweaks to come up with something on your own. Or use more than one format to conjure multiple story angles for the same idea. You can also give one of your previously published stories a fresh lease of life by adapting it to a different template. In short, there are several ways of using this list. It’s a neverending one, as I’ll update it with more ideas as and when they strike me. Do share your ideas, too, in the comments.

So, here it is, without further ado. Let me know in the comments how it works out for you. In any case, food writing will become a piece of cake for you if you follow this one.

001. Essay spotlighting a particular dish

002. Essay spotlighting a particular ingredient

003. Essay spotlighting a particular cuisine

004. Feature on a particular restaurant

005. Essay spotlighting a cooking technique

006. Essay spotlighting a cooking equipment

007. Essay spotlighting a cooking tradition or practice

008. Feature on a specific food career

009. Profile of a food business

010. Feature on a food/eating lifestyle

011. Chef profile

012. Chef interview

013. Chef biography

014. Food entrepreneur profile

015. Food entrepreneur interview

016. Food entrepreneur biography

017. Restaurant, café, or bar review

018. Restaurant, café, or bar preview/first look

019. Restaurant, café, or bar profile

020. Restaurant, café, or bar comparison

021. Best restaurants, cafés, bars in a particular area or destination

022. What to eat in a particular area or destination

023. Where to have a particular local food/beverage (e.g. where to eat the best biryani in Hyderabad, Mumbai’s tastiest vada pavs, best hot chocolate in Switzerland)

024. Best restaurants, cafés, bars in a particular area or destination for a particular cuisine

025. Best breakfasts in a particular area or destination

026. What to eat for breakfast in a particular area or destination

027. Food & drink pairings

028. Best street food in a particular area or destination

029. What street food to eat in a particular area or destination

030. Food product review

031. Food equipment review

032. New food products and equipment

033. Meals with a view

034. Best rooftop restaurants, cafés, bars in a particular area or destination

035. Best alfresco restaurants, cafés, bars in a particular area or destination

036. Best new restaurants, bars, cafés

037. Recipes (of course!)

038. Food tips and hacks

039. Food explainers (what is foie gras, what is sous vide, why cocktail is called so, how is latte different from a cappuccino, etc.)

040. Food memories

041. History of a dish

042. History of an ingredient

043. History of a cuisine

044. History of a restaurant

045. History of a cooking technique

046. History of a cooking equipment

047. History of a cooking tradition or practice

048. History of a specific food career

049. History of a food/eating lifestyle

050. Fun facts about a dish

051. Fun facts about an ingredient

052. Fun facts about a cuisine

053. Fun facts about a restaurant

054. Fun facts about a chef

055. Fun facts about a cooking equipment

056. Fun facts about a cooking technique

057. Fun facts about a cooking tradition or practice

058. Fun facts about a food career

059. Fun facts about a food business

060. Fun facts about a food/eating lifestyle

061. Food trivia

062. Food trivia quiz

063. Food personality quiz

064. Best books to read on a particular food or food-related topic

065. Anything about food in ‘numbers’

066. Food memes

067. Food puns

068. Food quotes (can also be used on merchandise such as mugs, plates, and coasters)

069. Food events and days (like how I’ve compiled for October 2021)

070. Food photography tips and tricks

071. Personal experiments

072. Personal campaigns (for example, eating only one kind of food for a year to support a cause and then documenting the results in a series of articles or on your blog)

073. Photo essay

074. Food-related etiquette and dos and don’ts (for example, what to bear in mind during Japanese tea ceremonies, Russian vodka drinking, English afternoon tea, etc.)

075. Food souvenirs to bring back from your trips

076. Foods to take on your trips

077. F&B (food and beverage) industry news & updates

078. Best farm-to-table/eco-friendly meal experiences

079. Food-related quirks and oddities

080. A food-related problem you’ve been facing and how you’re solving it (or have solved it)

081. First-hand narration of a food-related lifestyle (e.g. searching for vegan food in a predominantly non-vegetarian place)

082. Food trends

083. Opinion on a food trend or news development

084. Column or diary based on your personal food experiences

085. Food fiction

086. Food poems

087. Food-focused travelogues

088. Tracing the timeline of a food

089. Tracing the timeline of an ingredient

090. Tracing the timeline of a cuisine

091. Tracing the timeline of an heirloom recipe

092. Tracing the timeline of a restaurant

093. Tracing the timeline of a cooking equipment

094. Tracing the timeline of a cooking technique

095. Tracing the timeline of a cooking tradition or practice

096. Tracing the timeline of a food career

097. Tracing the timeline of a food business

098. Tracing the timeline of a food/eating lifestyle

099. How-to articles

100. Food-related case studies, white papers, or research

101. Food-themed blog campaigns

102. Food-themed SM posts and campaigns

103. Obituaries and ‘In Memoriam’ stories

104. Scenarios—predictions of future events based on current trends or developments

105. Food tech

106. Food app review

107. Food app preview/first look

108. Food app profile

109. Food app comparison

110. Food polls

111. Food contests

112. Food show or video—concept, research, script

113. Food event—concept, research, script

114. ‘A to Z’ food stories

115. Press releases

116. Teaching stories for food techniques

117. Teaching stories for food equipment operation

118. Ad & product copy

119. Advertorials

120. Translations

121. Infographics

122. Tables, charts, diagrams

123. Transcripts of commentaries, event panels, talk shows, podcasts, etc.

124. Website & app content

125. Menus

126. Catalogues, brochures, manuals, and other promotional materials

127. Mission, vision, and purpose statements for a food business

128. The first, last, best, worst, smallest, largest in food

129. Shopping lists

130. Pantry & kitchen showcases

131. Celebrity food experiences & recos

132. Food experiences and recos by chefs or any other food expert

133. Exploring the science behind a dish, equipment, cooking tradition, or technique

134. Food farming stories

135. Health & nutrition

136. Best (and worst) cooking shows

137. Cooking show review

138. Interview with the team of a cooking show

139. Dream breakfast, lunch, and dinner

140. Most memorable breakfast, lunch, or dinner

141. Dream kitchen and pantry

142. Bucket list of restaurants

143. Bucket list of foods

144. Wish list of food and cooking products

145. Your diet plan

146. Cooking and eating routine

147. Favourite (and least favourite) cookbooks

148. Cookbook reviews

149. Cookbook author interviews

150. Face-off between two foods

151. Best foods for a given season

152. Best foods for a given reason (such as heartbreak, grief, exams)

153. Foods for specific kinds of travel (for example, treks, picnics, camping)

154. If you could have only food for a year or lifetime

155. Weird, unusual foods

156. Your dream wedding spread

157. Nutritional profile of a dish

158. Breaking convention (for example, having dessert as your first course, eating Maggi with dahi or pickle, ordering a mac-and-cheese ice cream)

159. Word clouds

160. Tasting notes

161. Review of a tasting session

162. Nutritional pros and cons of a dish, ingredient, cuisine, technique, equipment, or lifestyle

163. Best restaurants, cafés, bars in a particular area or destination within a specific budget

164. BTS of an iconic restaurant dish

165. Tracing the birthplace of an iconic dish (and if possible, interviewing its inventor)

166. The best cameras and/or smartphones for food photography

167. Camera/smartphone review for food photography

168. Best food scenes in movies and TV shows

169. The most expensive food experiences

170. The cheapest food experiences

171. Comparing the cheapest, mid-priced, and most expensive versions of the same food

172. Food-themed newsletter

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