Sharing Culture through Food Writing // Webinar

How to Use Food to Examine Culture and Community

Sharing Culture through Food Writing // Webinar

Humans are the only species that cooks and tells stories, so, as food writer Michael Ruhlman observes, “"telling stories about food and cooking is not only natural, it’s necessary for our survival.”

Our stories about food are also deeply connected to our cultures and communities. We all belong to various cultures: families, hometowns, neighborhoods, social circles, friend groups, racial and ethnic groups, cultures we have adopted, etc. In this webinar, we will examine how food writing can represent culture.

We’ll consider examples of writing from professional food writers as well as tips for using food as a vehicle for sharing your own culture’s stories. You’ll also have time to begin brainstorming a food writing essay that centers on a personal experience with food from a culture you belong to.

In the webinar, we will:

  • UNPACK the word “culture”
  • EXPLORE food writing as an ideal genre for sharing cultural stories
  • DISCOVER professional writers who use food writing as a cultural representation
  • DEVELOP a toolkit of descriptive and symbolic language for talking about food
  • BRAINSTORM possible topics for your personal essay

This webinar is for food writers and non-food writers of all levels and backgrounds.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

2 pm - 3 pm EDT

Advance registration required.
Space is limited.

$15 if registered by 08/2/2020
$20 if registered after 08/2/2020

Registration will close 24 hours before the event.

A recording of the webinar will be sent out to all registrants three business days after the event.

PLEASE NOTE: It may take a little while for us to process your order and send you the link to the webinar. If you haven't received the link by the morning of August 12, please email us at

About the instructor: Jessica Kehinde Ngo’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Entropy, Artillery, Hippocampus Books, and the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. She studied creative nonfiction at the University of Southern California’s Master of Professional Writing program. She has taught writing at Pepperdine University and is currently an associate professor at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, where she teaches writing and food literature.

Questions? Please call us at 412-404-2975 or email the director of education, Sharla Yates, at