Book It: The Cookbook Conference Comes to the Roger Smith on Feb. 9

On February 9 to 11, the Roger Smith Hotel in Midtown Manhattan will host the Cookbook Conference, a three day intensive series of panels and workshops for publishers, writers, editors, agents, researchers and readers. The goal isn’t just practical advice–how to pitch, position and test a cookbook, say–but also to think deeply about the history and future of a genre that most of those who read this site take very, very seriously. In our opinion, cookbooks cover as diverse a world as fiction, and can be just as transporting. (Not to mention handy at times.)

On February 9 to 11, the Roger Smith Hotel in Midtown Manhattan will host the Cookbook Conference, a three day intensive series of panels and workshops for publishers, writers, editors, agents, researchers and readers. The goal isn’t just practical advice–how to pitch, position and test a cookbook, say–but also to think deeply about the history and future of a genre that most of those who read this site take very, very seriously.

In our opinion, cookbooks cover as diverse a world as fiction, and can be just as transporting. (Not to mention handy at times.)

Some very big names in cookbooks will be on hand (Molly O’Neill, Darra Goldstein, Melissa Clark, Judith Jones, Anne Mendelson, Betty Fussell, Amanda Hesser, Paul Freedman, Madhur Jaffrey, Laura Shapiro, Barbara Fairchild, Barbara Ketcham Wheaton, Joan Nathan, Ken Albala, Cathy Kaufman, Anne Mendelson, Adam Salomone, Bruce Shaw, and Andrew F. Smith) to talk about some very big topics covered in 30 panels on Friday and Saturday.

Registration is $299 for both days and includes lunch and evening receptions featuring local and handcrafted goods, both of which we can also get behind. Plus there’s an onsite bookshop operated by Kitchen Arts & Letters showcasing authors participating in the conference, including yours truly: We’ll be taking part in one of the three $75 workshops on Thursday: Introduction to Cookbook Publishing. There’s also Reading Cookbooks: a Structured Approach and Structured Dialogue; and A Cookbook for the Year 2020: An Experimental Case Study. (We’re hoping to sneak into those, too.)

For complete details about the speakers, program, schedule, venue and registration and even accommodations, should you need them, visit http://cookbookconf.com or call the Roger Smith Hotel at 212-583-3195.

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.