Food Writing Workshop with John Birdsall
$165 per person
What You'll Learn
By the end of the class you will:
- Learn how to be efficient, tidy and “cut the fat” from your writing
- Describe food in vivid ways
- Learn how to craft a compelling story
About This Class
It doesn’t matter if you’re working on a story to pitch to a food publication, plugging away at your food-based memoir, or trying to brush up your blog: Good food writing is about crafting vivid descriptions of taste and place. This one-day food writing workshop with James Beard Award-winning writer John Birdsall will walk you through, step by step, how to write about food better.
You’ll learn how to cut away the extraneous and focus on the essential in food writing. You’ll learn how to use descriptions of food to help tell a story. This will be an interactive day so you’ll have a chance to edit your work and get feedback. We’ll look at descriptions of a few dishes and learn how to write about them in different ways, to make your writing more expressive, and control the point of view.
Bring your laptop or your favorite notebook and a piece of your own food writing (published or unpublished) that you feel you’ve done particularly well and be prepared to work. We want you to leave this day ready with everything you need to take your food writing to the next level.
- Wine included
- Light meal served in class
The average duration of our cooking classes is 4 hours, and they are broken down into three segments: Introductory lecture or demo, hands-on cooking, and eating.
The class will begin with a short discussion or demo from your instructor. After, you can expect to work either on a team or individually to prepare the class menu. As a group, your class will prepare the selected menu in its entirety. In most classes, not every student will make every dish.
Learning happens throughout the class, and your instructor will often call out key techniques as they happen in each recipe.
Most classes conclude by sitting down as a group to eat what you’ve prepared, followed by a discussion of each recipe. You will leave with a copy of the recipe packet and a working knowledge of every dish that was made so you can recreate them at home.
Doors open 15 minutes before the class start time.
You do not need to bring anything with you to class, unless otherwise noted in the class description. The kitchens at SFCS are fully equipped and aprons, recipes, equipment, food and wine are all provided for you.
In most classes, you will be sitting down to eat a complete meal that you have prepared along with your classmates. Since this typically occurs towards the end of the class period, an appetizer or small plate is usually prepared early on in class. However, you’re welcome to additionally have a snack before you arrive or bring one with you.
Please note, for our Baking & Pastry classes, a light meal will be provided for you.
We suggest wearing casual clothing you can easily move around in, and highly recommend wearing comfortable closed-toe shoes. Long hair should be pulled back.
John Birdsall is a food writer and ex-restaurant cook who lives in Oakland. He has received multiple James Beard Awards for food and culture writing, and his pieces can be found in Lucky Peach, Eater, Edible San Francisco, and Food & Wine to name a few.