Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Culinary Technical Writing - Part I

Few days ago, a job advertisement was posted on TWIN (Technical Writers of India) mailing list. It was for a post of a Culinary Technical Writer. The job profile advertised, involved creative writing in the CULINARY DOMAIN such as writing and editing articles on cooking methods, recipies etc.

Hmm! Wow! In my whole work experience as a technical writer, this was a first time I heard of such a position. When I saw the advertisement, I was very curious and even tempted to apply as this position involved something that I am very passionate ...Cooking.

While I was savouring the excitement, culinary technical writer sounded intriguing to me. Hence, I started to dig deeper into the technical aspects of it. What language would a culinary technical writer would be talking to her audience? What would be the technical terms used in the culinary domain?

For example, when talking generally about preparing meals, one would tend to use the verb to cook. Similarlly, you can cook food or a meal: He's cooking dinner. or Add the vegetables and cook gently for few minutes.

You can boil vegetables, eggs, etc. by covering them with water and heating to the boiling point. You can also just boil the water: for example; I'm boiling the water for the noodles.
Or the container the water is in: Boil a large saucepan of water.

I probed more into the technical aspects of writing, especially from the grammar point of view. The past participle (-ed) of most cooking verbs can be used as an adjective before an item of food, for example: a warm breakfast or a cooked breakfast.

Hmmm so, do American English vs British English usage feature in culinary technical writing? Yes. For example, when british english says cooker the american english says stove. More examples:
bun tin / muffin pan
cooling tray / cooling rack
loaf tin / loaf pan
roasting tin / roasting pan
grill / broil

To be continued...


Manojav said...

Nice blog and awesome writing, keep writing more and more,

Anonymous said...

Great Article

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