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An Introduction to Food Writing

All Day Seminar

Saturday, September 25, 2010 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Code: 1M2525
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Food writing, like creative cooking, can be a blend.

 It combines memoir, criticism, health, science, or travel— seasoned to taste. Whether you are a gourmet cook, restaurant-hopper, globe-trotter, or simmering cookbook author, this seminar explores practical considerations that will enable you to combine your love of food and your passion for writing into a marketable skill.

Through lectures highlighted by writing exercises, learn about the different and new kinds of food writing, from feature articles, recipe development, and cookbook writing to online blogging, memoirs, essays, restaurant reviews, and websites.

 Explore food writing skills and how to effectively describe food and develop a narrative for a meal or a taste. Find out where interesting food ideas may be stored. Get tips on uncovering markets for your ideas and tracking down editors.

Finally, get practical advice and insider tips from a panel of experts including: Amanda McClements, creator of, who had bylines in Food & Wine and the Washington Post; Domenica Marchetti, a cookbook author, whose books include Big Night In: More Than 100 Wonderful Recipes for Feeding Family and Friends Italian-Style; Tim Carman, food columnist for Washington City Paper and a James Beard Award nominee; Bonnie Benwick, deputy editor of the food section of the Washington Post; and Amber Pfau, principal of Pfau Communications, which handles public relations for D.C. restaurants.

Food writer Monica Bhide has written several cookbooks, including Modern Spice—Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen; her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Bon Appetit.

Participants provide their own lunch, 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.

Smithsonian Connections

Having writer’s block? Get some inspiration by visiting Julia Child’s kitchen on the American History Museum Website. Or even better, stop by and view the exhibit in person at the museum! Bon Appétit!


S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Drive, SW
Metro: Smithsonian Mall Exit (Blue/Orange)