The Business of Being a Freelancer

Unless you have a (scarce) staff job, food writing is freelance work. This panel will discuss the ins and outs of working for yourself: pitching, negotiating, rates, writing for exposure, non-editorial work, how to pay your bills—and if it’s even possible—while writing about food.  

Leah Kirts' work has been published in Jarry Mag, Saveur, Edible Manhattan & Brooklyn, GOOD and more. Her expertise is grounded in connections between food, gender, social justice and veganism. She holds an M.A. in Food Studies from New York University and a B.A. with honors in English Literature from Indiana University.

Von Diaz is a writer and radio producer based in New York City. She is a self-taught cook who explores Puerto Rican food, culture, and identity through memoir and multimedia. Her work has been featured on NPR, American Public Media, StoryCorps, WNYC, PRI’s The World, BuzzFeed, The Splendid Table, The Southern Foodways Alliance’s Gravy Podcast and Quarterly, Colorlines, and Feet in 2 Worlds.

Aaron Hutcherson is a Chicago native that moved to NYC to work on Wall Street. He later decided to pursue his food dreams by attending culinary school and hasn’t looked back since. He shares a variety of savory and sweet recipes on his blog, The Hungry Hutch.

Carly Fisher is an award-winning freelance writer, editor, and author of a forthcoming travel book for Hudson Valley and the Catskills coming out 2019. Her work has been featured in publications like Fodor's Travel, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine and Saveur. She is based in Brooklyn.

How to Build a Network That You Want to Be Part Of

Writing is about connections. Three food writers and one photographer will discuss how to seek out the people whose work you admire, both to build a network to further your career and—perhaps most important—for support and mentorship.

Clay Williams is a photographer and blogger based in Brooklyn. He has shot assignments for the New York Times, Food Republic, Gothamist and the Edible Communities titles, among other publications. Follow him as @UltraClay on Instagram and Twitter.

Nicole Taylor, born in Georgia, spent her early twenties trying to distance herself from her Southern cooking roots, until a move “up” to Brooklyn gave her a fresh appreciation for the flavors of her childhood. Nicole A. Taylor currently hosts Hot Grease, a food culture podcast, and is the principal of NAT Media. She has contributed to The New York Times,  The Bitter SouthernerExtra CrispySaveur, The UndefeatedWine4FoodCivil EatsSheknowsFirst We FeastCherry BombeAmtrakGravy Quarterly, and Travel Noire. Her cookbook has been featured in The New York Times, Ebony Magazine, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and New Republic. She lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

Korsha Wilson is a food writer and culinary school grad that has worked in front and back of the house roles in restaurants.  She is the host of A Hungry Society, a podcast on Heritage Radio Network that takes a more inclusive and diverse look at the culinary world.  

Khalid Salaam has over 15 years experience as a content creator (writer, editor, consultant) chronicling the worlds of food, travel and sports. His work can be found at Travel & Leisure, Bleacher Report, Food52 and Esquire. 

Going Deep on Food Research & Reporting

We want to see more thoroughly researched stories and fewer trend- and publicity-driven pieces. Three journalists and an academic will discuss how to find the food stories not being told, then pitch and report them.


Emily Ziemski has studied at the Culinary Institute of America and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She most recently worked at Roads & Kingdoms.

Natalie Pattillo is a multimedia journalist based in New York City. As a woman of color, she fuses food and social justice to not only report on restaurants and cuisine, but also to highlight the people, communities, and cultures that are its backbone. Calling out the discrimination, exoticification, gentrification, and Columbusing that so often occurs in the industry is crucial to her work. Her work has appeared in places like Edible Manhattan, Edible Brooklyn, Munchies, New York Magazine, Vice, Pacific Standard Magazine, Eater NY, Refinery29, Narratively, The Nation, and more. Natalie was born in Singapore and moved to West Texas when she was nine. She lives in Harlem with her daughter Amora and her fiancé Colton.

Mayukh Sen is a Staff Writer at MUNCHIES, VICE’s food publication. His writing has appeared in, Vulture, ELLE, the FADER, Pitchfork, and a number of other publications. He was previously a Staff Writer at Food52. He is represented by William Callahan at InkWell Management.  

Anne E. McBride covers topics related to chefs and restaurants, global culinary events, and pastry for consumer and academic audiences, including past contributions to Bake from ScratchPlate, New Worlder, Roads & Kingdoms, Food ArtsGastronomicaand the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. She has co-authored six books, and organizes culinary conferences for the Culinary Institute of America. A native of Switzerland, Anne holds a PhD in food studies from New York University.

Creating Your Own Magazine

Food media companies are on shaky ground. Layoffs and closures are common and many of the ones left don’t pay a living wage to writers. But this means there is space to create new DIY food media—not funded by big corporations.

Paige Lipari is a Sicilian-American poet, music maker, cartoonist, bookseller and cook. She was previously an editor at A Public Space and Augury Books published her collection of poems and illustrations, Family of Many Enzos, in 2012. She worked in many of NYC’s finest bookstores before opening her own, Archestratus Books + Foods in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Archestratus is a food interest bookstore, Sicilian café, and a community space to engage empathy.

Lukas Volger is the founder of Made by Lukas, a line of fresh veggie burgers established in 2013, editorial director of the biannual print magazine Jarry and author of the cookbooks Bowl (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Rux Martin Books, March 2016), Veggie Burgers Every Which Way, and Vegetarian Entrees that Won’t Leave You Hungry.

Sarah Keough makes portraits of times and places, edits the art and food magazine Put A Egg On It, and runs a studio called R&S. 

Josh Hamlet is the editor of Counter Service, a publication featuring stories, photography, and art from restaurant industry insiders, upstarts, and wunderkinds. Before venturing into the publishing world, Josh worked in and around restaurants in New York City for nearly a decade, helping run pop-ups, open new restaurants, and produce events.

Stephen Satterfield is a food writer, publisher and multimedia producer. He is the founder of Whetstone Magazine,  a quarterly print publication on food origins and culture. Before his career in media, he spent a decade as a sommelier and restaurant manager at fine restaurants nationwide. He is a pizza and french fry evangelist. (Stephen will be attending if travel fund-rasing is sufficient!)