As a reporter, I wear many hats, figuratively speaking. In this field, it pays to have a number of skill sets and a broad expertise because you never know when they might become useful.

This held true just a few weeks ago when I was asked to fill in one week as the food critic for our weekend edition. In my four years on the job, I’ve covered many beats and topics, ranging from transportation and city reporting, but food seldom was one of them.

Through these reviews, we hope to show what the local restaurants are like and expose people who may not have dined there to something new. The reviews may be based on one person’s opinion, but through that, we hope that people can form their own opinions about these restaurants.

As a bit of back story, before my work with the Herald Democrat, I worked for more than a decade in kitchens. It was nothing fancy, and I would never compare myself to a trained chef, but it gave me some insight into the industry. Beyond that job, I consider myself a bit of a foodie, so it wasn’t a far stretch for me.

For my review, I decided to go to Wok Express as I’ve had friends who would swear on it as one of the best places in the area to get Asian food at a good price. Ultimately, I found the food was good, but there is always room for improvement.

Through much of my reporting, I try to leave myself out of the reporting. The story is less about my opinions and more on the facts of the story. With the food review, I felt I was able to put more of myself out on the page and express my feelings in a way I am not normally able to.

In a way, it was a part of this business that I don’t normally get to see, but I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at it again.

Happy birthday Wednesday to Ashton Atkins of Bonham; Karrie Lyons of Sherman; and Bill Warren of Richardson.