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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Will Blog for Food: Dianne Jacob at Book Passage

Posted By on Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 11:22 AM

click to enlarge Dianne Jacob updated her seminal book, "Will Write for Food," to reflect the times and technology. She spoke about the changes at the Ferry Building last week. - CARINA OST
  • Carina Ost
  • Dianne Jacob updated her seminal book, "Will Write for Food," to reflect the times and technology. She spoke about the changes at the Ferry Building last week.
We headed to everyone's favorite foodie mecca, the Ferry Building, last week for a talk and book signing by Dianne Jacob, author of Will Write for Food. The first edition came out five years ago. It's now been revamped, including brand new chapters (Da Capo Press, $15.95). Can you imagine what could have changed in the world of food writing since the original edition? You got it: blogs. Jacob asked the audience how many of us had a food blog and all but two raised our hands.

There was a moment when Jacob told the audience she's spoken with all the big-name food bloggers for the new edition and asked if we could name them. In an instant, we all rattled off blogger names as if they were our best friends, and as big as any best-selling author: The Pioneer Woman, Amateur Gourmet, and Heidi, oh my!

click to enlarge jacob_book.jpg
How times have changed. Jacob mentioned that for the original Will Write for Food she was surprised that Anthony Bourdain was generous enough to offer a back cover blurb. (We all laughed when she admitted to stalking Ruth Reichl's assistant, but to no avail.) For the new edition, Jacob says she finally got to speak with Reichl; she now calls her directly. The days of Gourmet are over, and with the popularity of Yelpers, bloggers, twEATers, and Chowhounders, the tables have turned like a Lazy Susan.

Will Write for Food covers a wide span, from the chapter "The Art of Recipe Writing" to "Secrets of Restaurant Reviewing." Well-known blogger and cookbook author David Lebovitz says he followed Jacob's advice after buying the book when it was originally published. He authored the foreword to this latest edition.

Food writing is competitive and poorly compensated, but Jacob offers a guide to its rewards. We happily push the fork and the keyboard as we continue to write for food.

You can hear more from Dianne Jacob at BlogHer Food 2010 this weekend or in her five-week class, "The Art of Cookbook Writing," at Book Passage in Corte Madera.

Read more from Carina Ost at Mission Fruition. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie.

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Carina Ost


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