The Food Conference banner image


Note: Workshop registration is limited. All workshops require advanced registration.

Lunch will be provided for those attending both morning and afternoon workshops.

WORKSHOPS 9:00-1:00 pm

1. Reading Cookbooks for Technology with Barbara Ketcham Wheaton

Winthrop Room - Second Floor

Cookbooks are extraordinary primary sources to plumb for evidence of kitchen practices. In this workshop, student will turn a critical eye on these works, reading excerpts of cookbooks written from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, focusing on the techniques and technologies explicitly documented and, with Wheaton’s expert guidance and encyclopedic knowledge, teasing out additional information hidden in the texts. This workshop is a rare opportunity to explore and share discoveries with other culinary scholars.

Participation is limited to 16, and punctuality is essential. Readings will be distributed at the beginning of class, when Wheaton will discuss the methodology to be employed in analyzing these texts. Because of the tight time constraints, Wheaton may bar anyone who is more than 10 minutes late from participating.

Presenter: Barbara Ketcham Wheaton


2. The Truth About Olive Oil: A Workshop and Tasting

Starlight Room - Second Floor

This workshop will cover everything you ever wanted to know about extra-virgin olive oil—how to choose it, how to use it, how to recognize defective oil. During the course of the session, we will taste eight or ten oils in two separate tastings; we’ll learn something of the history of olive oil in the Mediterranean diet and why it is so important; we’ll look at some technological developments that have made good olive oil more available than ever before; we’ll go over current regulations and their enforcement (or lack thereof); and we’ll discuss some simple recommendations to follow when confronted with the usual bank of unknown extra-virgins in a shop or market.

Organized by: Nancy Harmon Jenkins, author of The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook


WORKSHOPS 1:00-5:00 pm

4. The Changing Food Web (social media workshop for food writers)

Winthrop Room - Second Floor

While everyone is jumping on the social media bandwagon these days, digital platforms are particularly relevant to culinary professionals. With an emphasis on storytelling and the visual medium that the Internet provides, it’s no longer a question of “should I?” but rather “how do I?” Through this multi-layered workshop, we’ll explore a variety of questions about the social media landscape, examining the importance of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogging and other social media platforms to the business of food. Along the way, we’ll discuss best practices for social media marketing, examine food trends that are influenced by (and influence) social media, explore the kinds of content suited for each platform (and how to generate them), talk about how to use social media to generate business opportunities and new leads, and also illuminate the darker issues surrounding our digital age, discussing issues about copyright infringement and other topics.


Mark Rotella, Senior Editor, Cooking the Books / Publishers Weekly


Kathy Blake, Freelance Chef and Creator of The Experimental Gourmand

Ben Schmerler, Founder & Partner, First Press Public Relations

Karen Seiger, Author and blogger at Markets of New York

Nicole Taylor, Principal, NAT Media and Host of Hot Grease on Heritage Radio Network

Kim Voss, Associate Professor and journalism coordinator at University of Central Florida

Katie Workman, Author of the Mom100 Cookbook, blogger and marketer


5. How To Use Crowdfunding To Start Or Grow Your Food Business

Starlight Room - Second Floor

Need to raise money to bring your artisan food product to market, finance or expand your restaurant, create your cookbook, buy a food truck, start an incubator kitchen, etc.? Join the thousands of artisans; farmers; bloggers; chefs and entrepreneurs who have used crowdfunding to make their food business dreams a reality. Crowdfunding is a tool that enables you to raise money for your project. The money comes in the form of pledges from your friends, fans and complete strangers given in exchange for receiving rewards that are related to the project.

Wondering if crowdfunding might work for you? In this session you get to explore how to plan a campaign from several successful crowdfunders and through case studies of food related projects that reached their targets and beyond. You will leave with an overview of the steps, strategies and mindset needed to create your campaign and achieve your goal. You will learn how to avoid common pitfalls. You will learn about several crowdfunding platforms, including Kickstarter, that have been used by hundreds of culinary professionals for funding. You will get a chance to ask questions about crowdfunding and get valuable feedback on your ideas and projects that will help you bring them to fruition.

The speakers are food entrepreneurs who have successfully used Kickstarter and IndieGoGo to fund their projects.

Organized by: Jackie Gordon, Chocabaret - chocolate tasting meets a cabaret show (start) [$11,500 goal, raised $12,505]


Jordyn Lexton Drive Change - food truck that hires-trains formerly incarcerated youth (start) [$40,000 goal, raised $42,196]

Samantha Rose, Gir Ultimate Spatulas 1st campaign (start) [$15,000 goal raised $48,724] | GIR Mini, Skinny, Pro Spatulas 2nd campaign (grow) [$50,000 goal, raised $136,284]

Elise Rosenberg, Colonie Restaurant (market) [$10,000 goal, raised $15,371]

Sogoal Zolghadri, owner of Sogi’s Honey Bake Shop – hand painted cookies (grow) [$6,500 goal, raised $9,026]


WORKSHOP 1:00-3:00 pm

7. Chocolate’s Exciting Journey Through Time:
What It Meant To Early Americans And How It Is Made Today

Lily’s - Ground Floor

Excite your senses at a hands-on exploration of chocolate that spans the history of one of America’s favorite foods!

Chocolate History Research Director Rodney Snyder (contributing author to Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage) will uncover chocolate’s early beginnings in Meso-America and explain how this precious treat made its way from South America to the 13 original colonies and onto colonial American’s tables. The bean-to-beverage presentation will feature authentic colonial tools including cocoa beans and nibs, winnowing baskets, a hot stone metate, chocolate drink pots and stirrers.

The presentation will continue with a detailed narrative of modern-day chocolate making with the origin of the cocoa pod - the source of cocoa beans and all things chocolate. Guests will have the opportunity to taste the individual ingredients of chocolate, including the ground cocoa beans, cocoa butter and milk and a finished solid chocolate.