So, you wanna be a food writer...


Courtesy of Open Book

Get a taste with this first course...

The Loft Literary Center is well-known for bringing all levels of writers to the table, generating discussion, and leaving students with ideas they can work on at home. But when food is involved, is it possible to get your fill?

On Saturday afternoon (1-4pm), writer Rachel Gabriel will be teaching a class called," Bon Appétit! Food as a Prime Ingredient for Great Storytelling". Gabriel believes that eating and writing share some important similarities. She says both, when done in groups, generate a lot of energy and involve a certain type of ritual and ceremony. "That camaraderie is the core of the workshop," she says of her Loft course.

The class, which Gabriel has taught before, will involve reading food-related bits of novels and essays and then doing in-class writing exercises. Students will read pieces by Isak Dineson, Junot Diaz, Ruth Reichl, and Yann Martel. Gabriel says she hopes students feel inspired by what they read and write during her course. Her focus will be on generating new material, not revising old work. (Who likes leftovers, anyway, eh?)

Like any good food writer, Gabriel has a passion for food as well as writing. "I love to cook and read cookbooks. I put together menus and see what flavors go with one another," she says. Her most recent good food read was in The New Yorker's food issue -- Jane Kramer's profile about a man and woman whose relationship grew with their interest in food. The two travelers end up writing cookbooks together and starting a family. Gabriel says she was interested in the two characters and what each brought to their collaborative work.

While Gabriel's course offers imaginative prompts, it will not offer food. Luckily, the Coffee Gallery is open below. Registration for the course is still open at the Loft Literary Center.