The Food Book Fair was this past weekend at the newly opened Wythe Hotel. When I think of fair I think of tractor pulls, farm animals, funnel cakes, and a lot of hoopla. I expected the Food Book Fair to be convention style, with tables, shwag, food samples, commotion. Instead there was a tiny and well curated “book store” in a nook in the hotel lobby, and talks and panel discussions were held in a beautiful ballroom. Food was for sale, and looked outstanding. And there were expensive dinners each evening. Hoopla came in the form of a pigeon sneaking into the event and making a raucous and flying up into the projector screen. The beast wrangler in me caught the scared bird and released it.
Over the weekend I attended 6 talks, which were well organized, very informative and hosted by leaders and innovators in the field of food, writing, cooking, publishing and technology. All were followed by book signings. I left with a wealth of knowledge and a brain full of inspiring ideas.
More public access, in the form of free events, and food samples is something I hope they improve upon for the next fair. Important info about the food industry as well as resources for hopeful food writers shouldn’t come at a price. That being said, I am sure a 3-day long event at the Wythe hotel was costly.
What follows is a brief summary of each talk I attended.