I learned a lot of things the first time I read Anthony Bourdain’s career-catapulting memoir, Kitchen Confidential. Including but not limited to: don’t order the fish on Mondays, never piss off the chef by asking for your steak well-done, and pass on the seafood frittata at brunch.
Uncle Tony regaled us with tantalizing tales of booze-soaked sous chefs, drug-addled dishwashers and philandering fry cooks, as we spelunked our way through the dark culinary caves that he led us through.
It was a fascinating behind-the-curtains look at a chef’s life, narrated with Ginsu-sharp wit and buttery-rich imagery by one of the world’s great storytellers. …
Writing in simple language is probably the most overlooked and underrated principle in the entire writing realm. The majority of your writing should be short, snappy and to the point.
There’s nothing worse than coming across an article you’re interested in, only to be greeted with long-winded, convoluted sentences riddled with out-of-place $5 words from a self-indulgent scribe.
As Stephen King said, trying to dress up your words to impress your audience is like dressing up your household pet in evening wear. It’s going to be embarrassing for both of you.
Does simple mean boring? Nothing could be further from the truth. But don’t forget to add the seasoning. Just as salt enhances the flavour of food to make it taste more like itself, sprinkling a few stylistic techniques into your piece can really bring out your writing umami and help produce more poetic prose. …
Back in 2002, I went on my first backpacking trip to South America. One night, after enjoying an evening of drinks and dancing at Mr. Frog’s nightclub in Lima, Peru, I was walking back to my hostel when I was approached by a child no older than seven on a street corner.
She was as cute as a button with an infectious smile and bubbly little personality. She started chatting me up with her limited English and held out a bag of candy, offering me a piece in exchange for a couple of my Peruvian soles.
I don’t think I had ever truly understood privilege until that moment. Here I was, a foreigner out on the town spending money and partying in this little girl’s country, while her parents had sent her out to work the night shift to try to make a few dollars to help feed the family. …