YOU HAVE AN MFA IN METALSMITHING. FIRST OF ALL, THAT’S AWESOME. BUT SECOND, HOW DID YOU END UP IN A CAREER AS A FOOD WRITER?
Thank you! When the apocalypse comes, I can forge weapons and tools for people. I’ve had a really strange career path that somehow all led up to this. I moved to New York City thinking I was going to be a seeeerious arrrrrtiste, and worked for a billion different established artists for a while before realizing that I’d stopped making any work of my own. Then I was the office manager for a psychiatrist and a graphic design firm because I was scared to make any work of my own. Then I got mugged on my doorstep by seven guys and thought, “Screw fear.” I worked as an art director for a few publications (CitySearch, Maxim Online, FHM Online) and skulked around the edges making sure that writing was part of the gig. I took a multi-year detour to the product and advertising side and when I had a chance to take on a summer grilling editor job at AOL, I grabbed it and never looked back.
More from an interview I did with the smashing folks at Lux & Concord
FBNY: What advice would you give people who want to go into food writing or food media in general?
Kinsman: Ask yourself what’s the story only you can tell, and really figure out what your point of view is going to be and bring that to as many pieces as you possibly can. Don’t be afraid to let you shine through. All the food writers I read are people who, I can start reading a piece, not even see the byline and know whose it is and that’s because they let a little bit of themselves into their writing without making the story about themselves necessarily. And that only comes from working really, really, really hard and trusting what you have to say.
And be a utility player. Be as flexible as humanly possibly. You need me to go profile this chef? Yes, of course I’ll go do that. You need me to call around to all of these different restaurants and see if they have a kale salad on the menu? Yes, go ahead and do that. Nobody can be above doing anything. So long as you can kind of do both of those parts, be a generalist and be specific, they’re going to find a place for you, somewhere.
More from my interview with the dandy Corinne Grinapol at AdWeek