Eat my words!

Ever dream of writing a cookbook?

Ever dream of writing a cookbook? This Saturday, the Portland Culinary Alliance (a group of Portland food lovers of every variety, from food lovers, to journalists, to bartenders, to chefs) will be holding a symposium and luncheon for aspiring food writers—specifically those interested in writing and sharing their recipes with the world.

Andrea Slonecker, Portland Culinary Alliance executive director, believes this is a special time to be holding such an event: “There are so many great chefs in our region that have or are about to come out with landmark cookbooks,” Slonecker said.

Recently, one of the event’s speakers and prominent Seattle chef Ethan Stowell released his book Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen. And with the upcoming Oct. 12 release of salt and chocolate shop The Meadow owner Mark Bitterman’s book, Salted: A Manifesto of the World’s Most Essential Mineral, these professionals seem to be the perfect authorities to be fielding questions and giving out advice.

Stowell and Bitterman will not be the only authorities available. Among other speakers will be an array of well-accomplished chefs/writers from Portland: Vitaly Paley of Paley’s Place, Wildwood’s Corey Schreiber and Grand Central Bakery’s Piper Davis, for starters.

Also in attendance will be the always-colorful Adam Sappington of Portland’s southern restaurant Country Cat, who will be emceeing the event along with multiple cookbook author Diane Morgan.

According to Slonecker, the event will help develop one important element for the aspiring food writer: “It’s a tough scene and the more connections you have, the more opportunities you’ll encounter,” said Slonecker.

Slonecker feels it’s not just about who you know, but what you know.

“First and foremost, I think that to be a great food writer you must intimately understand food and culinary techniques. You should know how to make a beurre blanc, the way a peach should feel when it’s ripe, why a cut of meat should be braised as opposed to grilled. It’s only then that you gain the authority to write about food and cooking,” she said.

Luckily, attendees may gain a little of this knowledge simply from what is offered to consume. Since it is a food event after all, each of the featured chefs will provide prepared breakfast and lunch with delicious recipes from their own books, displaying what got them into this field in the first place—their culinary talents.

In addition to the high quality meals provided, the $50 ticket will include education on how to land a book deal, photography and design, recipe development and testing, book promotion, how to work with a professional writer and book conceptualization.

Slonecker is proud to be a part of this event for her third year, knowing that Portland food writers are living the right place at the right time: “Our culinary environment is incredibly exciting, diverse, and moving at the speed of light, so the stories to be told are endless.”