Panels — Friday and Saturday, February 8-9, 2013
1. Cookbooks as Works of Art
These lush books, which feature recipes with hard-to-source ingredients or professional-grade equipment, may be faithful records of what goes on in restaurant kitchens, but they often seem intentionally too complex for the home cook. As a result, these books function as totems, signs that the owner is interested in and knowledgeable about trending food culture. Some recent examples include: the El Bulli books, Alinea, Momofuku, Modernist Cuisine, NOMA, The Big Fat Duck Cookbook. We are interested in the implications of the popularity of these books, where food is no longer really presented as nourishment, but rather as something more akin to art.
Chair: Kim Beeman
Jane Black, food writer
Emily Contois, Boston University, Gastronomy
Anne E. McBride
2. Beyond “Le Guide Culinaire” Cookbooks for Training Professional Chefs
Cookbooks are didactic in nature, but how do they function in training the chefs of the future? This panel invites a culinary student,textbook author, culinary educator, editor, and sales representative to discuss the state of the culinary textbook world. Topics include new projects and approaches, technology applications in culinary education, market pressures and challenges. The panel will consider the priorities of this disparate group of stakeholders and attempt to outline the ideal culinary text.
Chair: Jonathan Deutsch, Professor and Program Director, Department of Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Food Science, Drexel University
Mary Cassells, Acquisitions Editor, John Wiley and Sons
James Feustel, Assistant Professor, Culinary Arts, Kingsborough Community College
Dania Rajendra, Freelance Writer and Culinary Student
3. “For Such Kind of Borrowing as This, If It Be not Bettered by the Borrower, among Good Authors Is Accounted Plagiary”
Recipes are seldom invented from whole cloth, but periodic accusations of plagiarism and copyright infringement rock the print and online worlds. This panel will consider the core questions of what is the intellectual property that should be protected in recipes? Is it creativity in the ultimate dish? Or is it creativity in the expression of the recipe? How do we define creativity in the context of food, which is subject to nearly infinite variety but usually through basic, well-known techniques? When borrowing, is passing attribution enough? What should be the legal and ethical parameters on borrowing or building upon prior recipes?
Chair: Cathy Kaufman, Independent scholar, New York City
4. Cooking Culture: Recipes, Tales and Traditions
Cookbooks from three exquisite and ancient cuisines — Persian, Turkish, Syrian — delve deeply into religious and secular traditions in addition to providing recipes. Through folktales, poetry, and sometimes art, these cookbooks explain not just what people cooked, but why. How did the authors research these cultures, and what editorial choices did they make about what to include from a wealth of information?
Chair: Linda Civitello, C.Phil., UCLA
Najmieh Batmanglij, Cookbook Author & Culinary Educator, Washington DC
5. Personal Manuscript Cookbooks: What Do They Tell Us That Printed Cookbooks Do Not?
It is often thought that personal manuscript cookbooks provide a truer picture of what people cooked and ate in the past than printed cookbooks. But did women actually use the recipes that they copied into their personal cookbooks (often from printed cookbooks), or did they more often merely hope to use these recipes at some point in the future–just like many of us today when we clip recipes from magazines or save them from the internet? This panel will explore the reasons that women kept personal cookbooks and what these cookbooks actually tell us.
Chair: Steve Schmidt, The Manuscript Cookbooks Survey
Peter Rose, Author/Food Historian
6. “Filling Our Hearts with Food and Gladness”: Christian Celebration and Food Traditions
Many cookbooks explore Jewish culinary heritages from Brooklyn to Tashkent; almost no books try to do the same for the world’s Christian food traditions. Why? Food symbolism was and to an extent still is central to Christianity; world Christian communities represent extraordinary ethnic and cultural diversity; the richness of food-centered Christian historical legacies over the past two millennia is almost unimaginable. This panel is meant to fill in a little of the blank space on a huge, unaccountably unexplored map.
Ken Albala, Professor of History, University of the Pacific
Evelyn Birge Vitz
William Woys Weaver
7. In the Night Kitchen: Why Write Cookbooks for Kids?
Cookbooks aimed at children have been circulating busily since the late 19th century, and they’re still going strong. Yet there’s little evidence that early exposure to printed recipes has any relation to adult cooking habits. This panel will consider the possibility that what has always inspired writers to produce these books, and parents to buy them, goes well beyond ideas for snacktime. Grown-ups bring all sorts of agendas and assumptions to the kitchen, and never more so than when we’re cooking for children.
Chair: Laura Shapiro, journalist and culinary historian
Mollie Katzen, chef, cookbook author and artist
8. Star Power: The Abiding Fascination of Chefs’ Cookbooks and Restaurant Recipe Collections
Book buyers’ hunger for the “secrets” of famous pros and hot-ticket restaurants is at least as old as the Gilded Age. Books that have addressed this appetite through the years are decidedly diverse. They may be snapshots of a particular moment in fashion or clues to larger societal “timelines” extending over generations. They may provide insight into a chef’s unique sensibility, or into the self-image of those who buy them. In any case, they are invaluable in tracing the evolving role of chefs and restaurants as shapers of American culinary assumptions and aspirations.
Chair: Judith Weinraub
9. From Disgust to Delight: the Civilizing Influence of Recipes
If I hand you a wet limp blood sausage, you may recoil. If I serve it poached, browned and sauced with “buerre au pommes” on a Limoges plate, you may begin to salivate. And no, this is not about the difference between raw and cooked, although that does matter in our food prejudices. Foods that repel in one culture are the height of sophistication in another. Think snails, lutefisk and stuffed derma. Not enough “cognitive dissonance” for you? How about larva, insects and chicken embryos? There are many variations into “what is acceptably delicious.” We will explore why this is the case. Sensory abilities, cultural context and the use of the printed (or online) words help ease the transition from disgust to delight. Links between using recipes abetted by memories, experience, and nostalgia, will also help us focus on the transition from a food prejudice to a food preference.
Chair: Renee Marton, Institute of Culinary Education, New York
Tory Higgins, Professor of Psychology and Business, Columbia University
Kian Lam Kho
Margaret Happel Perry, Educator, Author
10. Regional American Cookery
In the age of industrial food production and national food distribution is there such a thing as “regional American food?” The media are full of stories about it, whole issues of magazines are devoted to it, and cooking personalities are made by the concept of regional foods. Certainly food is used as a way to identify and authenticate a region and its people. But, aside from a few characteristic dishes, are there really regional American cuisines in today’s world? If so is there a market for written (and other media)? What kinds of writing should we consider, such as studies of food and foodways within regions, cities, and more local areas? What’s out there, anyway?
Chair: Bruce Kraig, Roosevelt University, Chicago
Kate Marshall, Editor for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment
11. Culinary Politics: White House Cooking and Cookbooks
White House cookery is a mirror of cultural trends and fraught with political overtones. Even before the original White House Cookbook of 1887, the food and drink served (or not) at the White House has been documented, critiqued, and emulated, and often the cookbooks and recipes have assumed mythic and disproportionate influence on Americans’ tables. This panel will explore the significance of the cookbooks used in or written by the chefs at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Chair: Cathy Kaufman, Independent scholar, New York City
Barbara Haber, Independent scholar
12. From Kitchen Stove to Printed Page: Building a Recipe
In this age of ubiquitous recipes, it’s easy to forget that cooking itself is a nonverbal activity. Many paradoxes and pitfalls dog the process of converting cooking into printed directions that can be successfully re-converted into cooking. What skills are required to put together the right words, test for reproducible results, or think your way inside the head of people to whom you may be trying to communicate completely foreign concepts? Can something important be lost as well as gained in “translating” Great-Aunt Jessie’s rhubarb crumble into so many teaspoons and tablespoons?
Chair: Rux Martin
Jane Daniels Lear, Martha Stewart Living, New York
Tina Ujlaki, Executive Food Editor, FOOD & WINE
13. Murder Most Fowl
Everyone loves a good mystery story and many read cookery books as both mysteries and stories. Often, the two are combined as panelist Katherine Hall Page says, “I’ve always enjoyed reading cookbooks the way I read novels, picturing the meals, creating settings in much the same manner that characters and plots come to life in my imagination as I turn those pages.” This panel explores several aspects of food in mystery novels and stories including, mysteries in which food or a dish is a featured character, as in a vehicle for murder; books in which food helps define the character (Montalbalo, Carvalho, Wolfe, and Faith Sibley Fairchild, among others); books in which food is integral to the mis en scene. And, the panel will also discuss actual recipe writing within the context of the mystery story itself.
Chair: Bruce Kraig, Roosevelt University, Chicago
Katherine Hall Page, Lincoln, Massachusetts
Marilyn Stasio, Crime Columnist for The New York Times Book Review
14. Wartime Cookbooks: Artifacts of Home Front Culture, Tools of Social Engineering, Narratives of Survival
Cookbooks are always being adapted to new social and economic realities. In the twentieth century, the scale and length of two world wars presented cooks with new challenges. Wartime cookbooks addressed these in a variety of ways and forms, from printed books to handwritten manuscripts. This panel will examine four examples of this broad genre: (1) French cookbooks written to help consumers navigate myriad provisioning difficulties that played havoc with life-long cooking and eating habits in First World War Paris; (2) prescriptive literature in World War II Canada, where over 200 home front cookbooks were published; (3) the relationship between the manuscript recipe collection of a young Brooklyn wife and the wartime policies of the US Food Administration, and (4) efforts in Mussolini’s Italy to teach working class women to cook only native Italian foods in keeping with the regime’s movement toward autarky in preparation for war.
Chair: Cara De Silva, Independent Scholar, editor of In Memory’s Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin
Kyri W. Claflin, Boston University
Barbara Rotger, Boston University
Diana Garvin, Cornell University, Ithaca NY
Ian Mosby, University of Guelph, Canada
Amy Bentley, New York University, author of Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity
15. Competing for Consumers: Cookbooks Vs. Digital Media
Radio, television, magazines, newspapers, and food blogs all offer ways to digest recipes. . So why would a consumer ever need another cookbook? But they do. Join media professionals–all cookbook authors–in a discussion on how cookbooks stay relevant, despite the competition from their day jobs.
Chair: Katy Keiffer, Heritage Radio Network
Katherine Alford, Vice President, Food Network Test Kitchen
Joe Yonan, food/travel editor, The Washington Post
16. App Development and Marketing
Now that the “age of ebooks” is fully upon us, cookbook authors and publishers are left wondering “what’s next?” For many, the answer has been, and continues to be, apps. With millions of handheld devices now in circulation, it seems a logical next step for content creators to take advantage of a platform that brings recipes directly to consumers’ phones and tablets. But, app development is riddled with questions, missteps and missed potential. So, what’s a content producer to do? Through this panel, we’ll explore what it takes to develop, produce, market and sell apps, while also looking at relevant examples from the culinary world. And most importantly, we’ll be taking attendees through the decision process to decide if they need an app, and why.
Chair: Deborah Chud, founder of MobileSkillet.com
Monica Bhide, cookbook author
Kim Grant, content acquisition editor
Yael Raviv, Director of Marketing, Kinetic Art Ltd
17. Trendspotting in the Food Space
In the days of digital, news and trends seem to move at a mile a minute. Cupcakes one day become cake pops the next. In this new world where “what’s hot” in food one day becomes “what’s not” the next, how can publishers keep up with trend cycles and content sources that are ever-increasing their pace of coverage? And how can authors keep their content pitches relevant to publishers and other media sources? Through this panel, we’ll discuss what content producers are doing to keep their fingers on the trends that are emerging, established and falling out of favor, and how that factors into their publishing and content development programs. What is it that makes a trend? How do you define a trend versus a fad? And how do you find out what’s next in food before it’s already here? Join us as we explore all of this and more!
Chair: Addie Broyles, editor and food writer, Austin-American Statesman
Terry Newell, President of Weldon Owen
Sara Kate Gillingham Ryan, Founder, apartmenttherapy.com
Joe Yonan, food/travel editor, The Washington Post
18. Bowker Cookbook Study: Who Buys Cookbooks and in What Formats?
As consumers migrate more towards digital devices to consume content, publishers are left wondering how quickly the pace of change will affect cookbooks. Are the rates of adoption for ebooks we’re seeing in fiction and other literary areas correlating to what’s happening in food? Looking to uncover how consumers discover, buy and use cookbooks, Bowker has undertaken a robust field study that looks to answer questions around print versus ebook adoption, who is buying books, and how they are using them. In this panel, representatives from Bowker will share some of the findings from the study, which can help publishers and authors plan their content and book distribution for the year ahead.
19. Publishers and Food Bloggers — Crafting a Productive Partnership
As publishers continue to embrace the digital content world, spanning from ebook distribution to social media marketing, there is no doubt that partnerships with bloggers can yield fruitful results for all involved. Whether around marketing a particular book, or contracting on a book project, bringing together publishers and bloggers offers potential new models for marketing, acquisitions and sales. How do these partnerships come together? And what forms do they take? On this panel, hear from a diverse set of bloggers and publishers with a wide range of experience working in this partnership space. They will share examples of what publishers are looking for in a blogging partnership, how bloggers can balance the needs of their partners with their audience, and how these kinds of opportunities come together.
Chair: Irvin Lin, food blogger, founder of Eat The Love
Jackie Gordon, food blogging and networking coach, founder of The Diva That Ate NY
20. Social Media Best Practices for Food Writers and Publishers
It seems these days that everyone is online. Whether author, publisher, reader or retailer, the social web connects us all (and makes it even easier to connect now with consumers who will potentially become customers). But even with the wide proliferation of digital platforms, questions still remain about how best to employ Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others to build a loyal base of consumers who are interested in your content, and more importantly, your next book. How can an author or publisher build their brand online in a way that attracts and excites readers? And how does that base then translate into book sales? On this panel, we’ll explore ways in which authors and publishers can and should be using social media sites to share relevant, engaging content that draws readers in and helps drive sales and loyalty over time.
Chair: Casey Benedict, founder of Kitchen-Play.com and Eat Write Retreat food blogging conference
Monica Bhide, cookbook author
21. Digital Show & Tell
Do you have a new app, enhanced ebook, or cookbook project you want to share? Or, are you looking to network with others who are developing new platforms and having an opportunity to learn what steps they’ve taken to get there? Come to this diverse and interactive “meet and mingle” event, where we will be showcasing some of the new and interesting projects that the cookbook world has to offer. Have a chance to get hands-on with the creators, ask questions, and come away with actionable items for getting your next project off the ground.
22. Enhanced Content for Cookbooks
Enhanced content, whether audio, video, social sharing functionality, or otherwise, seems to be one of the buzzwords in ebook development today. But, the time and resources that are needed to develop an effective content enhancement program make it a difficult task for any author or publisher not experienced in this area. For those that are using it, there’s much that can be learned. What are some best practices for content enhancement? How much does it cost? And what is the return on that investment? Join us as we explore what some authors and publishers are doing to add new dimension to their content by adding enhancements that take advantage of particular platforms and what it’s taken to get there.
Chair: Matt Cavnar, VP of Business Development, Vook.com
Rick Joyce, Chief Marketing Officer, Perseus Books Group
24. New Business Models for Agents — Partnerships with Authors and Publishers
As the cookbook world continues to reinvent itself, there is no constituent that is left unaffected. From authors looking to self-publish to publishers exploring new authorship opportunities, changes abound that affect the way we all do business. For agents, this means offering up an increasingly diverse set of services to authors. So what are agents doing to enhance their role in the publishing marketplace? What are some of the more interesting engagements they are undertaking? And most importantly, what should you look for in your agent? Through a robust panel of experienced agents, we’ll hear firsthand how the changes in publishing are affecting these players and what it means for the authors and publishers that they work with.
Chair: Lisa Ekus, founder of the Lisa Ekus Group
Stacey Glick, Vice President, Dystel & Goedrich Literary Management
Holly Schmidt, founder of Hollan Publishing
25. Using Video as a Platform for Cookbook Promotion/Authorship
With the proliferation of video content across the web, it’s no wonder that consumers are turning off their TVs and moving towards handheld and digital devices as a primary means of video consumption. The barriers to entry into the online video space have fallen dramatically and the biggest players, YouTube being chief among them, are investing heavily in video production, especially in the food space. But, without the tools and equipment to enter this marketplace, how can content producers stay competitive? And what does it take to create truly compelling video content? Throughout this session, we’ll explore how and why video is made, walking through the decisions that need to be addressed to determine how best to create video content (whether standalone or in a series) and how to bring it to audiences across the web.
Chair: Geoffrey Drummond
Tanya Steel, Editor-in-Chief, Epicurious, Gourmet.com and Gourmet Live
26. Cookbook Reviews in the Digital Age
Even as the growth of social media allows us to more readily connect to our audiences online, the cookbook review is still an all-important piece of publicity in bringing new books to readers’ attention. The publishing marketplace has become too crowded an area to rely on a press release or an offer for interview anymore. So how has the sourcing and securing of cookbook reviews changed in the face of this influx of content? And what are media contacts looking for in the pitches they receive? In this session, we’ll explore how the cookbook review process has changed, what content producers need to be thinking about when working with media, and just what media are looking for today in the pitches and offers they receive.
Chair: Mark Rotella, cookbook editor, Publishers Weekly and Cooking the Books
T. Susan Chang, food writer and cookbook reviewer
Stephanie Ridge, PR By The Book
Laura Weiss, author, Ice Cream: A Global History
27. Future Food — How Online is Reinventing Food Content/Writing
The culinary world is abuzz with questions about the future of food. What will the cookbook of tomorrow look like? And more importantly, the kitchen of tomorrow? How can content producers make money in a business that is increasingly driven by a larger number of constituents developing recipes for less and less revenue? And how does a world that was previously dominated by print evolve to a digital reading audience that wants more than just words on a page? In this panel, we’ll look at what some of the visionaries in the culinary world are doing to reinvent the world of food writing and content, especially online. We’ll also explore how they’ve come to build up a presence online that attracts consumers, monetizes good content and builds brand equity beyond the traditional food media channels.
Chair: Molly O’Neill, cookbook author, founder of Cook N’ Scribble food writing workshops
Maggie Battista, founder of Eat Boutique
Amanda Hesser, food writer and founder, Food52.com
Isabel Laessig, founder of the #SundaySupper Movement and blogger at Family Foodie
28. The Frontlines of Copyright Infringement — Preventing and Combating Recipe Scraping and Other Threats in the Online Food World
As more and more content moves online, the issue of copyright infringement is increasingly becoming a prevalent problem. Instances of copyright infringement, particularly “scraping” range from a few recipes taken from a blog to widespread abuse by a website looking to gain traffic without investment. The problem is not only centered on having content stolen from a website, it also has a ripple effect as it relates to generating traffic and revenue off of our content. How can content producers become more proactive about monitoring for and detecting copyright infringement? And once it is found, what can we do to make sure that it is stopped. On this panel, we’ll hear from several bloggers and others in the content world who will address the issue of how to protect yourself from copyright infringement, and what to do if you become a victim of scraping.
Chair: Jane Kelly, Founder of EatYourBooks.com
Kathy Blake, Food Blogger and Social Media Consultant, The Experimental Gourmand
29. Are the Boundaries Between Food Writing and Food Photography Disappearing?
As authors, bloggers and other content producers are increasingly more responsible for a more diverse set of deliverables, whether to their audience or to their publisher, the question of how to handle food photography continues to come up. For most authors working with traditional publishers, the ability to provide food photography is a definite advantage (although not always a requirement). For food bloggers, it’s almost unheard of these days to see a post that isn’t accompanied by photography. In short, food photography is becoming an essential skill no matter what medium you publish in. And, as more and more content publishers move into the photography space, the role of the traditional food photographer continues to change. So what is it that makes good food photography? How can you hone your skills as a food photographer with the right equipment and techniques? And how is the role of the traditional food photographer changing, both in terms of what/how they shoot and in what media they contribute? Throughout these session, we’ll explore questions around the changing food photography landscape, what up and coming photographers need to be thinking about, and how authors and bloggers can develop their skill set so that their photos can really say a thousand words.
Allan Penn, Founder, Hollan Publishing
Jim Peterson, Cookbook author and food photographer
Michael Harlan Turkell, Food photographer and Host of The Food Seen on Heritage Radio Network
30. Whose Food Is It, Anyway?
Recently, a number of chefs and food writers have debated and/or issued proclamations on the knotty question of: “Is it fair for chefs to cook other cultures’ food?” That issue has also spilled over into the cookbook world, as writers ask, “Is it fair to write cookbooks about other cultures’ food?” This panel will address such issues as ethnicity, authenticity, and assimilation as it seeks to answer whether any group can “own” a cuisine. The more multicultural we all become, the more important this topic is bound to be.
Chair: Andy Coe
Nancy Harmon Jenkins
Roberto Santibanez, Mexican cookbook author and owner of Fonda restaurants in NYC
31. Kitchen Class Wars
When it comes to food, the word “class” seldom emerges in our supposedly classless melting pot, yet just beneath the lid the issue simmers away. Cookbooks, cooking periodicals, women’s magazines and newspaper food sections are all narrowly aimed at a narrow demographic, as is every cooking show. What does this tell us about our society and how the state of the nation has fluctuated over time? How do people “use” these media to maintain or advance their status? Is class too blunt or outmoded a term to define any group in our multimodal word? For attendees, ascots are preferred but not required.
Chair: Michael Krondl