Monday, November 12, 2007

Wordstock - Portland

OK, for months, I've been meaning to write to Michael Ruhlman to thank him for the gracious blurb on my book. (The marketing department at Viking was thrilled by his comment "'s Under the Tuscan Sun goes to cooking school..") Then, within a few days, we hit some weird cosmic junction. When I was in St. Louis, he was there promoting his new book, the excellent Elements of Cooking. (More on his book in a later post.) Then, a couple days later, we were on a panel together in Portland at the book fest, Wordstock. Before I knew about the panel, I'd booked seats at a Cooks and Books dinner in his honor at Serafina here in Seattle.
Also on the panel was Nicole Mones, the author of several novels, the most recent The Last Chinese Chef. She's deeply articulate - to the extent I watched her talk and thought, "um, I can't compete with that..." I can't wait to read her book. Moderating the whole shebang was Martha Holmberg, food editor at the Orgeonian (with me on the right). Our conversation wandered a few places, from what food writing means to us, and what going through formal culinary training meant to Michael and I. His answer was what I'd sum up as the most valuable - that in school, you might learn techniques but what you truly learn is discipline. (As a result of that lesson, he wrote The Making of a Chef in four months - probably the most inspirational comment on the day... it took me nine months to write Sharper but that was after seven months of working on the proposal.)
A couple of people blogged about the panel. One of them, over at Macerating Shallots (thanks for the panel photo) bemoaned the fact the panels weren't taped. I was disappointed too. My husband videotaped it, and if we can salvage any of it, we'll get it online.

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Blogger tommy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 12, 2007 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger tommy said...

Holy shit! A published author has stolen a photo from my blog... I've made it!!!

Great discussion on Saturday, by the way. And yes, you're welcome to use the photo. As long as you send me a signed copy of your book, of course... ;)

Just out of curiosity, how did you find my blog? Tell us the truth now Kathleen, were you sitting around in your underwear, beer in hand, googling your own name? I thought only I did that...

November 12, 2007 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Actually, it's worse. I have a google alert on my name... is that wrong?

November 12, 2007 at 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

I was at that panel, too. It was great. If you've got video footage, I'd love to see it. Thank you again for the special note to my friend in culinary school. She was thrilled with the book.

November 13, 2007 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger tommy said...

Amen, Jessica. C'mon now, Kathleen, post that video!

December 1, 2007 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger Lizzy said...

Great panel discussion. I really enjoyed hearing your perspective on food writing.

December 4, 2007 at 1:57 PM  

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