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WRITERS' LEAGUE OF TEXAS-Eating Your Words: The Art of Food Writing

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 7:00pm

Thursday, March 15 at 7PM


Eating Your Words: The Art of Food Writing


On the Third Floor of BookPeople


Our Third Thursday program offers free and open to the public monthly discussions on the craft and business of writing. Each month, we focus on a specific topic of interest to writers and readers, bringing together four distinguished panelists for a conversation moderated by the Writers' League of Texas' Program Director.


In the age of Instagram, it can seem as if almost everyone you know is photographing & writing about food. But what does it take to convey the wonders of a delicious meal in full sensory detail, and how does that differ from writing (and testing) a recipe that others can replicate accurately? How do cultural issues impact the way we think -- and write -- about what we eat? Beyond food journalism and recipe writing, how can fiction writers use descriptions of preparing or eating a meal as a way to understand characters or move a narrative forward? 


Veronica Meewes found her way to the kitchen at a young age through a series of avant-garde kitchen experiments inspired by the recipes in her mother’s bright orange, three-ring Betty Crocker cookbook. She also begin writing as a child, slipping homemade children’s books onto the library shelves when no one was looking, before moving onto poetry and short stories. Her first job, at age 14, was at a farm stand in New Jersey and she went on to work in the restaurant and catering industries in both front and back of house roles. She studied creative writing, photography and sociology at Sarah Lawrence College in New York before road tripping across the States and choosing the sunny capital of Texas as her home. She’s now a proud twelve year transplant of Austin, where she writes about food, beverage and travel for a number of local and national outlets, including Zagat, Forbes Travel Guide, Afar, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, The Local Palate, PUNCH, Tasting Table, Salt & Wind, GOOD, Texas Highways, The Austin Chronicle, The Austin-American Statesman and Austin Monthly. Her first book, The Fish Sauce Cookbook: 50 Umami-Packed Recipes from Around the Globe, was published in 2015. 


Mary Helen Specht's first novel, Migratory Animals, was an Editors' Choice by the New York Times Book Review and the Austin American-Statesmen, an IndieNext Pick, and an Apple iBook selection. Migratory Animals also won the Texas Institute of Letters Best First Fiction Award and a Writers' League of Texas Book Award for Fiction. A past Fulbright Scholar to Nigeria and Dobie-Paisano Writing Fellow, Specht teaches creative writing at St. Edward’s University. Texas Monthly has named her one of "Ten Writers to Watch." Mary Helen also prefers to pay for things with exact change.


Megan Myers is a freelance writer, editor, event planner, and efficiency specialist. Her food blog, Stetted, is about navigating a world of temptation to live a balanced life. She focuses on fresh ingredients and uncomplicated flavors, with spins that keep mealtime interesting. She has always been interested in cooking – cutting out recipes from Sunday coupon inserts to create her own recipe box as a child – but as her own children grow, her focus has gone from not just cooking good food, but cooking good food that is nutritious and doesn’t take a lot of time. She didn’t learn how to cook from a school or even her grandmother or mother, but through trial and error, cookbook reading, and intuition. On her blog, she weaves the story of her life, from memories of the past to day-to-day musings, into her recipes, and she reflects on how we are always drawn back into the comforting culture of food. Her work has appeared in the Austin American-Statesman, edible Austin, Hobby Farms Magazine, The San Jose Mercury News, life hacker, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post,, and other locations.


Eric Silverstein is the founder of Austin's The Peached Tortilla. A former litigator, he decided to pursue a different career path and marry his passions of food and business. Eric was born in Tokyo, Japan, where he was heavily influenced by Japanese, Chinese and Malaysian cuisine. At the age of ten, Eric moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he was introduced to traditional Southern cuisine. These divergent flavors and cuisines serve as the backdrop for The Peached Tortilla's menu. In 2012, Restaurant Hospitality recognized Eric as one of the new “Stars of Street Food.” He was recently featured in People Magazineand was named one of the top "30 Up and Coming Chefs in America" by Plate Magazine. The Peached Tortilla is releasing its first cookbook in May 2019. In addition to recipes, the cookbook details Eric's journey from food truck owner to restauranteur.