Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Coming up: 826 Boston workshop "Food Critic for a Day"

I'm so excited to be doing a food writing workshop for 826 Boston, the hippest literacy mentoring outfit in town. I've been planning it for several months with my teaching partner, Jennie Coates, an assistant professor of food and nutrition policy at Tufts. Her colleague, Genevieve Alelis, designed this wonderful flyer for us. (You can click it to see a full-page view.)

So far the word has been out for just a few days, and already we have a few kids signed up. We also have several great restaurateurs like Joanne Chang of Flour and Myers + Chang and Mary-Catherine Deibel of Upstairs on the Square who are going to offer our budding writers some "press meals" on the house so that the kids can share a nice meal with their parents and learn to experience the world of food with all 5 senses. (What I'm really hoping for are some funny essays and some great drawings!) We've also agreed that we will be talking about M.F.K. Fisher (who wrote about food as an emotional and aesthetic experience), Julia Child (who presented food as a constant adventure), and Michael Pollan (who has championed a view of food as a personal connection to the larger world around us). So that should be fun.

Here is the writeup from the 826 Boston site, in case you happen to stumble across this post instead of the 826 site, and know a kid who might want to sign up (another great thing about 826: you don't have to be an 826 kid already to sign up for a workshop!)

Food Critic For A Day

Don't miss this fall's tastiest workshop!

Date: Saturday, September 3 & 20, 2008
Time: 1-3 pm
Age: 11-14 years
Teachers: Ryan Rose Weaver & Jennie Coates

In this workshop, we teach you the skills to review restaurants professionally and to experience a meal with all of your senses in order to do so. You may decide (maybe after your third dumpling) that this is the job for you! We’ll be talking about some great food writers, then you'll visit a fine restaurant in Boston to write and illustrate your own food review. Then you' ll go over the review with your "editors" (your workshop teachers).

Please note: A parent or guardian will have the opportunity to accompany the student on their restaurant review! The meal will be scheduled during the week between the two workshop sessions (September 7-19). Confirmation of parent or guardian participation is required at time of registration for the workshop.

Download the flyer.

Enroll by emailing programs [at] or calling 617.442.5400.

About the teachers:

Jennie Coates holds a Ph.D. in Nutrition and is on the faculty of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University. A dedicated volunteer, Jennie led the highly successful Science of Ice Cream lesson at 826 Boston's Summer Science & Writing Camp.

Ryan Rose Weaver, a graduate of Emerson's journalism program, is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Weekly Dig and the Boston Business Journal.

Workshops will be held at 826 Boston, located at 3035 Washington Street in Egleston Square.


Also notable: Chocolate Cake City, a comedy troupe from my alma mater, Emerson, is also doing a workshop this month! Gotta love Boston.


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