The Thrill of Meeting in Real Life
Remember when conferences made it possible for us to see people we admire or adore and talk with them?
We were a small group at this year’s IACP conference, but at least it happened!
It’s been a rough two years for our industry’s conferences and organizations. During that time, the Association of Food Journalists ceased to exist. Then the International Association of Food Bloggers announced it would not continue. And there hasn’t been a BlogHer Food for ages.
But last week, I attended the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) annual conference that was originally scheduled two years ago in Pittsburgh. But IACP persisted, and I’m so glad they did.
While I’m not privy to the details, I assume it’s been tough going for IACP. And that’s a shame. Because where else can you have a spontaneous conversation in a hallway with people in our field that you admire? I did it so often that chair Nancy Hopkins started referring to the area as “Dianne Jacob’s office.”
An impromptu meeting with (left to right) An employee of Cook’s Country; Toni Tipton-Martin, editor-in-chief of Cook’s Country; Hali Bey Ramdene, producer; Crescent Dragonwagon, writing instructor; me; and Jamila Robinson, food editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
And boy, I was busy. I set up future interviews for this newsletter with inspiring writers, bloggers and editors. I arranged to review cookbook proposals for a former client and new one. I saw former students and got acquainted with many new-to-me people, some who didn’t know me and some who were surprised to meet me, since they had read Will Write for Food.
I met someone new who said she has been reading this newsletter for 12 years! Others asked me how my ankle is doing. Which took me aback because I forgot that I had mentioned it here and on social media. (It’s good, thanks. I took a cane but eventually left it in my room.)
I got to know Kian Lam Kho, an award-winning cookbook author who has been coming to IACP for 10 years but we hadn’t connected. I got a short audience with Queen Toni Tipton-Martin, a two time Beard award winner. Writing teacher Crescent Dragonwagon and I want to set up a mutual support group for writing projects. Kind of ironic, I know.
I ate an outstanding dinner at Casa Brasil with Simply Recipes editor and writer Sara Bir, who has written popular posts for my blog here and here. She was brave enough to say that I might be “perceived as intimidating.” And then she was brave enough to discuss it more with me in our Lyft back to the hotel.
I taught my So You Want to Write a Cookbook? class to a delightful group of bloggers, food stylists and cooking teachers. And I Ate.So.Much. You know how that goes. There’s a tremendous effort to delight conference-goers with quality and cutting-edge meals, snacks and drinks.
What makes me nervous is that IACP didn’t do the usual: announce the date and location of the next conference in 2023. They need our help. I hope that you will become a member or renew a lapsed membership. Otherwise soon there may not be anywhere for most of us to gather.
Invest in yourself. IACP has been the most valuable organization I’ve been part of over my long career.
What I’m eating:
While the post is about how I secretly couldn’t wait to read this memoir, I made the chimichurri recipe in the book, because a neighbor gave me some fresh oregano. Tucci slathers it on a steak. I mixed it with tuna and used it as a sandwich filling. It had such great flavors for a simple sauce: fresh oregano, garlic, red wine and olive oil.
My Interviews on Podcasts
The Well Seasoned Librarian interviewed me about the new edition of Will Write for Food and food writing: Dianne Jacob (Will Write for Food 4th Ed/The United States of Pizza) Season 6 Episode 7.
The Line Cook Thoughts Podcast interviewed me about getting into food writing and the new edition of Will Write for Food.
On My Blog
5 Ways to Promote with Live Video. Cookbook author and cooking teacher Kathy Hester took the plunge at the start of the pandemic. Now she’s teaching others how promote books, classes and other content online.
Create an Instagram-Worthy Bio. A short post with tips on how to draw readers into following you.
Classes and Events
One-hour consult: $250
For years I've had a five-hour minimum for consulting. But now, through Delicious Experiences, we can do a Zoom call for just one hour or more. If you’ve wanted to start on your dream cookbook, get your book published, or get better freelance assignments, let’s move you forward with your goals. Writers at all levels have booked me to discuss a variety of topics.
What I'm Reading
The 12 Most Unforgettable descriptions of Food in Literature. You could probably come up with your own list, and it would be different.
How I Got My Job: Becoming a TikTok Star After Being a Line Cook. Sad Papi reveals how hard he hustles to be on top.
Guidelines for pitching recipes to Gastro Obscura. Got a good story idea? Check this out.
Edna Lewis 2021-2022 Culinary Scholarship. If you identify as Black and you are over 21, apply for a grant of $5000.
A poster child for the immigrant kid cookbook. The Kitchen Review of Books reviews Korean American by Eric Kim, and what it means when third culture kids embrace their mothers’ cooking.
Dear Writer: Advice on conducting a great interview. Alicia Kennedy writes about curiosity and learning to listen.
Here are the 2022 Media Award Nominees. The James Beard Foundation reveals the nominees for books, broadcast media and journalism here.
The Breakdown of a $60,000 Cookbook advance. Kristin Donnelly, a cookbook author and former editor at Food & Wine, lays out her advance and details how expenses cut into her profit.
An Inside Look at Judith Jones’ First Notes for Julia Child. How Judith Jones edited her famous authors.
What 1,000 food blog audits has taught me about SEO. Casey Markee lists his takeaways from doing hundreds of SEO audits for food bloggers.
My Next Paid Newsletter
I interview longtime friend David Lebovitz on Zoom about why he moved his newsletter to Substack. Now he has one of the top food newsletters there. So if you’re wondering if you should start a newsletter, subscribe and watch.
News About Clients and Students
(I like to brag about food writing accomplishments here. Send me an email: email@example.com.)
Reem Kassis’s cookbook The Arabesque Table made The Art of Eating Longlist.
Pat Tanumihardja “packed up her notes, receipts, recordings and more,” to be archived in the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum collection.
Melissa Uchiyama started a Substack newsletter called Jewish Food Writing.
And I had a mention in this piece for Milk Street: Julie & Julia & Me.
Thanks for Reading
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Editor, Writer and Coach
Office: (510) 923-1770
Disclosures: I am an affiliate of Food Blogger Pro, Amazon and Bookshop.org.