Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends

The Symposium for Professional Food Writers at The Greenbrier

by Sally Bernstein

Event: The Symposium for Professional Food Writers is an extraordinary, no-nonsense conference that zeros-in on food writing styles and skills within all media of the foodwriting art. The 2009 Symposium will be held May 11th through 15th.

Location: The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, is a legendary American resort combining two centuries of history with classic architecture, inspired interior design, unlimited activities and impeccable service With 6,500 acres, 672 guest rooms, including 40 suites and 69 cottages, 10 lobbies, 30 meeting rooms, 3 golf courses, 20 tennis courts, a complete conference center and a $7 million spa, mineral baths and salon, The Greenbrier is a national historic landmark.

The Mobil Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond resort is located in the majestic Allegheny Mountains in White Sulphur Springs, WV. Just off Interstate 64, the resort is 250 miles southwest of Washington, DC and is easily accessible by air, automobile and train from most major cities. History: The Symposium for Professional Food Writers was founded in 1989 by Antonia Allegra while she was Director of Culinary Programs at Beringer Vineyards in California's Napa Valley. Since 1994, the annual Symposium is housed at The Greenbrier.

The basic reasoning behind the initiation of the conference was that editorial food writers needed a place to pursue intensive studies in contemporary food writing skills. Since more writers are short on time away from their daily professional lives, the Symposium was designed in a compact three day format. The size is limited to ninety attendees and offers twelve or more speakers, each of whom is chosen for fine writing and speaking skills, as well as for a mentoring spirit.

The Symposium offers plenary presentations from leaders in magazine food writing, newspaper food writing, cookbook writing, recipe writing and development, and food writing for other media. The speakers list reads like a Who's Who of the food writing world. In addition, a nationally recognized writing coach is in attendance throughout the conference, offering general observations based on attendees' stories submitted previous to the conference, as well as one-on-one consultations related to individual writing styles.

As a result of attending the program, editorial writers experience a camaraderie with colleagues, further understanding of the skills necessary for better writing and an awareness of methods for surviving in the contemporary world of food writing.

Speakers: Since the 1989 inception of the Symposium for Professional Food Writers, these outstanding speakers have inspired writers in attendance:

Nancy Barr, Michael Bauer, Sally Bernstein, Mark Bittman, Flo Braker, Irena Chalmers, Julia Child, Elaine Corn, Shirley Corriher, Joe Crea, Marion Cunningham, Heidi Haughy Cusick, Steve Dolinsky, Malachy Duffy, John Egerton, Florence Fabricant, Barbara Fairchild, Fred Ferretti, Carol Field, Susan Friedland, Don Fry, Betty Fussell, Joyce Goldstein, Rose Grant, Paul Grimes, Barbara Haber, Suzanne Hamlin, Jack Hart, Ph.D., Jeremy Iggers, Ph.D., Judith Jones, Madeline Kamman, Lynne Rossetto-Kasper, Deborah Krasner, Corby Kummer, Carole Lalli, Paula Larocque, Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Susan Herrmann Loomis, Karen MacNeil, Nancie McDermott, Nion McEvoy, Harold McGee, James McNair, Alice Medrich, Joan Nathan, Alexandra Nickerson, Laurie Ochoa, Molly O'Neill, Mary Ord, Barbara Gibbs, Ostmann Maria Pallante, Ruth Reichl, William Rice, Alan Richman, Phyllis Richman, Rick Rodgers, Candy Sagon, Andrew Schloss, Laura Shapiro, Tom Sietesma, Marie Simmons, Ila Stanger, Jeffrey Steingarten, Zanne Early-Stewart, Carole Sugarman, Jonathan Tasini, Roger Tatarian, Patricia Tennison, Margaret Visser, Ph.D., Charlotte Walker, Nach Waxman, Williams Woys Weaver, John Willoughby, Anne Willan, Charles Wysocki, Ph.D.

For additional information please contact:
Symposium Coordinator Lynne Swann at
The Greenbrier
300 West Main Street
White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986
Telephone: (800) 624-6070, FAX: (304) 536-7893;

or Antonia Allegra
P.O. Box 663
St. Helena, CA 94574
Telephone: (707) 963-0777, FAX: (707) 963-2250;


Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

Share this article with a friend:

Free eNewsletter SignUp

Sally's Place on Facebook    Sally Bernstein on Instagram    Sally Bernstein at Linked In

Global Resources

Handmade Chocolates, Lillie Belle Farms

Food411 Food Directory