Holly Hughes, editor of Best Food Writing brings a selection of writers of this year’s tastiest prose — James Beard Award winners, writer-chefs, bestselling authors and bloggers — for a delicious evening of readings and stories:
Betsy Andrews’ “The Millionaire’s Turkey: A Father-Daughter Story” is described by Hughes as a "bracing antidote to the annual flood of Norman-Rockwellish Thanksgiving fantasies: an unflinchingly honest essay about the ruined turkeys of her past." It's also, as all family food stories are, about relationships, and though its location in the cyclical food calendar is Thanksgiving, the holiday simply occasioned the exploration of a father-daughter food story applicable to any day of the year.
Kat Kinsman’s essay “In Praise of Ugly Food,” originally published by Serious Eats, is a love letter to food that looks like hell and tastes like heaven. In response to the food porn that has taken over our social media accounts, Kat argues for equal photo documentation honest home cooking as a representation of our values and cooking legacy.
Keith Pandolfi's essay "The Case for Bad Coffee" isn't so much a backlash against our ongoing obsession with single-origin third-wave coffee, as an exploration of the intersection between memory — and Maxwell House.
Helen Rosner’s “On Chicken Tenders” — which, besides being included in Best Food Writing 2016, was the winner of the 2016 James Beard Award for Personal Essay — is pretty much a sincere ode to the glories of the chicken tender. But it’s also a sharp examination of the pleasure of eating un-trendy, un-cool dishes, and the importance of having an escape valve from the social pressures of our food-obsessed culture.
Andrea Strong’s story “Why Serious Bakers Have Mother Issues,” traces the intimate and complicated history of mothers — not actual mothers, as in the women who give birth to you, raise you and are undoubtedly the subject of therapy for one 45-minute hour per week. No, no. Not those mothers. Andrea tells the stories of bread "mothers" — natural yeast starters destined for some of the world's best sourdough breads. These blooming, moldy mothers are passed down from generation to generation, and some of them are hundreds of years old. Their stories are alternate between the dramatic and the ridiculous, but at the end of the day, they do what the best mothers do. They help produce something unique and magnificent.
This event is part of our Kitchen Arts & Letters series. In partnership with the esteemed culinary bookstore, we present talks, demos and tastings with leading cookbook authors, chefs, food historians and farmers. See the complete line-up here.
Holly Hughes, former executive editor of Fodor's travel publications, is the author of Frommer's 500 Places for Food and Wine Lovers.
Betsy Andrews is the editor at large at Rodale's Organic Life magazine, contributing editor at Prevention magazine and a contributor to publications including the Wall Street Journal, Departures and Food & Wine. She's the former executive editor of Saveur, a former New York Times dining critic and a former Zagat editor. She is also the editor of the Little Big Books cookbook series, and she created Food & Wine's very first blog, called "On the Line in New Orleans," an inside report of the rebuilding of the restaurant industry after Hurricane Katrina. Betsy is a James Beard Award nominee and the author of two award-winning books of poetry.
Kat Kinsman is the senior food and drinks editor at Time Inc.’s all-breakfast website Extra Crispy and founder of Chefs with Issues. She is the former editor-in-chief of Tasting Table and managing editor of CNN Eatocracy. Her debut book Hi, Anxiety: Life with a Bad Case of Nerves was recently published by Harper Collins.
Keith Pandolfi is a former Senior Editor at Saveur magazine, and a former Features Editor at Serious Eats. His work can now be found in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Eater, The New York Times Magazine and Cooking Light, among others. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, he now lives in Brooklyn.
Helen Rosner is the executive editor of Eater, where she launched the publication’s James Beard- and National Magazine Award-winning features department, and is co-host of the interview podcast The Eater Upsell. She’s a veteran of Saveur, New York Magazine and the world of book publishing, and was a founder of the short-lived but cultishly influential website Eat Me Daily. Her essays, reporting and criticism can be found in Guernica, Afar, Racked, The Awl and more.
Andrea Strong’s writing chronicles the world of food — from farm to fork, and all the stops along the way. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Food Republic, Saveur and a host of other publications, including The Strong Buzz, her blog devoted to New York City’s food scene. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, her two kids and her big appetite.