Here is an insightful article about food writing from the New Yorker.
"There is too much food in most food writing now—too much food and too little that goes further. When Liebling and Fisher wrote, they gestured from plate and glass to something bigger, outside the dining room—to France, or to appetite itself—and the gesture carried instantly, because there was little else in the room to absorb it."
"Like so many other subjects, food writing is constricted within these ever-tighter circles of opinion, when what we want from it is ever-broadening metaphors of common life. Metaphor is social and shares the table with the objects it intertwines and the attitudes it reconciles. Opinion, like the Michelin inspector, dines alone"
This is why I enjoy the writing of Anthony Bourdain. He sees beyond the plate in front of him. The realization that culture, tradition and even necessity is why this food is in front of you. A chef is the last link in the long passionate chain that is dining.