When I tell people what I do, they usually say, "That is my dream job!" "What a great job!" or the ever-witty, "Tough job! I guess someone has to do it."
It's the old platitude: Be careful what you wish for.
Because reviewing restaurants is a tough job. No, really.
Think about it: You rarely get to eat where you want to. You eat where you have to; you rarely get to order what you're in the mood for; you eat the specialty, or the chef's recommendation. Indisputably, there are more mediocre-to-bad restaurants than there are good-to-excellent restaurants. And spouting off the truth as you see it about other people's hard work doesn't make friends, it makes enemies.
So, poor me. Definitely, poor me.
However, there are some great perks. And writing about food in SLC has one giant perk, the best perk, really, ever. Every year, the folks at Deer Valley invite me to one of their outdoor concerts and provide me with a picnic basket: an appetizer of Creminelli sausage, steamed artichoke, imported olives; smoked salmon; beef tenderloin; a baguette, Brie, grapes and apples; lemon pound cake and chocolate decadence tarts. This year, we went to see Roseanne Cash.
I'm not a music critic, so I don't have to dissect the performance.
It's not a restaurant review meal, so I don't have to critique the food.
All I have to do was enjoy the music under the stars and reflect on what a good job I have.
Of course, you can have the same experience. Here's the schedule.