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Smoked Eel Sandwich?

Smoked Eel Sandwich?

It’s illuminating when a feature gets other writers talking about it – often journalists notice and talk between themselves about such things off the record. Almost without fail, Marina Hyde’s evisceration of politics and Ed Caesar’s longform adventures are praised and retweeted, but this week something very different got the journo community talking.

It is by the writer Ed Cumming for The Fence magazine. But it’s the subject which makes it widely interesting – he’s documenting his free lunches provided by PRs in top restaurants.

The first instalment of what will be a series, which you can read here, is on Quo Vadis, where he has lunch with the PR Sophie Orbaum.

It’s an entertaining read and who doesn’t love a description of that restaurant’s fabled smoked eel sandwich? (In fact, it was the subject of an award-winning feature in the Sunday Times a while back.)

But does being entertained by PRs totally skew what the food journalism world writes, as he suggests? Most of us would soon be out of a job if we just regurgitated press releases or went to the venues with the biggest publicity spend. Trying out a restaurant which turns out to be a bit of a dud, as far as I’m concerned, should result in private feedback rather than misleading public gushing and I think any PR who doesn’t encourage that process is making a mistake.

Finally, I do agree it would be better for everyone if the hashtag #invite was uniformly used.

 

What Lisa Thinks…

“This would have been better arriving at the start of January, but what a fun way to pique our interest in a brand that’s a bit in the doldrums.”

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