Lawyers who cook.

When I was telling my girlfriend about Jeffrey Steingarten, she wasn’t at all surprised he’d been a lawyer before jumping into food writing: “Sure,” she said. “He had a lot of money and since you can take clients to lunch, eating [unlike other hobbies like painting, skydiving, Tagalog prescriptive grammar] is something he could do on the job.”

I suppose there’s something to that. Steingarten has a clear bias in favor of French food — not simply “food in the French style,” but specifically food in France — which is hard to acquire in the States unless you actually have the money to go to France a lot.

But after that, I noticed that two of the food blogs I read regularly are written by lawyers — and then just now I discovered that even my favorite Filipino cooking blog is written by a lawyer.

I don’t have anything against lawyers or anything like that: but I’ve known a lot of them, both in food cities like New Orleans and elsewhere, partly because my ex was a paralegal. I knew a few who were big on restaurants, but they always talked about it as a social thing more than seeming to be an “educated eater” like Calvin Trillin. The only lawyer I ever remember talking about cooking was a friend of my parents when I was a kid, the first person to tell me I should try Thai food because I was complaining I couldn’t find enough spicy food.

So what’s up with that? Is there something specific about writing about food that’s going to appeal to the same sorts of folks as lawyering does? Is it purely coincidence? Is it a red T-shirt coincidence, where I’m only noticing it at all because it’s been mentioned recently?