Meet Our Speakers!


 
John Birdsall  is an Oakland-based food and culture writer, winner of two James Beard Awards, both about LGBT aspects of food culture. The first, for  Lucky Peach : "America, Your Food Is So Gay"; the other for  Jarry , "Straight-Up Passing." Currently at work on a new bio of James Beard, to be published by Norton; co-author HAWKER FARE, with chef James Syhabout (Bourdain's imprint for Ecco Press). Bylines include  Food & Wine ,  Saveur ,  Bon Appétit,   Los Angeles Times , and  San Francisco Chronicle . @John_Birdsall

John Birdsall is an Oakland-based food and culture writer, winner of two James Beard Awards, both about LGBT aspects of food culture. The first, for Lucky Peach: "America, Your Food Is So Gay"; the other for Jarry, "Straight-Up Passing." Currently at work on a new bio of James Beard, to be published by Norton; co-author HAWKER FARE, with chef James Syhabout (Bourdain's imprint for Ecco Press). Bylines include Food & Wine, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle. @John_Birdsall

John Birdsall

Bruce Cole  is the publisher and editor of Edible San Francisco magazine. Bruce has been writing about food since 2001 when he founded one of the first food blogs, SauteWednesday.com.

Bruce Cole is the publisher and editor of Edible San Francisco magazine. Bruce has been writing about food since 2001 when he founded one of the first food blogs, SauteWednesday.com.

Bruce Cole

Phyllis Grant  is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a 3-time  Saveur  Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog,  Dash and Bella . Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including  Best Food Writing 2015  and  2016 . Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including  Oprah ,  The New York Times ,  Saveur ,  The Huffington Post ,  Time Magazine ,  The San Francisco Chronicle ,  Tasting Table  and  Salon . Phyllis wrote over 50 articles for her  Food52  column before taking a break to finish her book,  Everything is Out of Control , a memoir with recipes (spring 2020, Farrar Straus & Giroux). She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.

Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a 3-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Phyllis wrote over 50 articles for her Food52 column before taking a break to finish her book, Everything is Out of Control, a memoir with recipes (spring 2020, Farrar Straus & Giroux). She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.

Phyllis Grant

Amanda Haas started her career at Williams Sonoma one month after graduating from college. After seven years in the corporate world, she decided to attend culinary school full-time at  Tante Marie’s.  For the next ten years, Haas developed and tested recipes for over a dozen cookbooks, including  A16 Food + Wine ;  SPQR ; and  Cooking in Everyday English . She also launched her first blog One Family One Meal. During this time period, Haas hosted over 300 cooking videos for Williams Sonoma and contributed to many of their cookbooks. In 2011, Amanda returned to Williams Sonoma for her dream job as the Director of Culinary. Simultaneously, she published two cookbooks,  Cooking Light Real Family Food (Time, Inc., 2012)  and  The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: the Delicious Way to Reduce Inflammation and Stay Healthy  (Chronicle Books, 2016). Haas is now focusing on individual pursuits in the wellness space. She is a brand ambassador for Whole Foods Market and Traeger Grills and also consults for start-up companies such as Brava Ovens and RightRice. She has also launched her first online cooking class series with Bluprint, titled Mindful Meal Planning. Her next book,  The Vibrant Life: Eat Well, Live Well, and Love Your Midlife  (Chronicle Books, 2019) will be released in August.

Amanda Haas started her career at Williams Sonoma one month after graduating from college. After seven years in the corporate world, she decided to attend culinary school full-time at Tante Marie’s. For the next ten years, Haas developed and tested recipes for over a dozen cookbooks, including A16 Food + Wine; SPQR; and Cooking in Everyday English. She also launched her first blog One Family One Meal. During this time period, Haas hosted over 300 cooking videos for Williams Sonoma and contributed to many of their cookbooks. In 2011, Amanda returned to Williams Sonoma for her dream job as the Director of Culinary. Simultaneously, she published two cookbooks, Cooking Light Real Family Food (Time, Inc., 2012) and The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: the Delicious Way to Reduce Inflammation and Stay Healthy (Chronicle Books, 2016). Haas is now focusing on individual pursuits in the wellness space. She is a brand ambassador for Whole Foods Market and Traeger Grills and also consults for start-up companies such as Brava Ovens and RightRice. She has also launched her first online cooking class series with Bluprint, titled Mindful Meal Planning. Her next book, The Vibrant Life: Eat Well, Live Well, and Love Your Midlife (Chronicle Books, 2019) will be released in August.

Amanda Haas

Rachel Levin  is a San Francisco-based journalist who has written about pastrami and Pt. Reyes, piano men and poet-chefs, high-tech tipping and high-minded suppers for such publications as the New York Times, the New Yorker, Lucky Peach, and Sunset, where she was a former senior travel editor. Rachel is the 2018 recipient of the Karola Saekel Craib Excellence in Food Journalism Fellowship from the San Francisco Chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier and on the editorial committee of La Cocina’s live story telling series, F&B: Voices from the Kitchen. As Eater’s, first, and only, San Francisco restaurant critic, she spent a year eating, a lot, and opining professionally. She is the author of  LOOK BIG: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds  (Ten Speed, 2018). Her next book, EAT SOMETHING, a pop-culture look at Jews and food, with Wise Sons Deli, will be published by Chronicle in Spring 2020.  byrachellevin.c

Rachel Levin is a San Francisco-based journalist who has written about pastrami and Pt. Reyes, piano men and poet-chefs, high-tech tipping and high-minded suppers for such publications as the New York Times, the New Yorker, Lucky Peach, and Sunset, where she was a former senior travel editor. Rachel is the 2018 recipient of the Karola Saekel Craib Excellence in Food Journalism Fellowship from the San Francisco Chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier and on the editorial committee of La Cocina’s live story telling series, F&B: Voices from the Kitchen. As Eater’s, first, and only, San Francisco restaurant critic, she spent a year eating, a lot, and opining professionally. She is the author of LOOK BIG: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds (Ten Speed, 2018). Her next book, EAT SOMETHING, a pop-culture look at Jews and food, with Wise Sons Deli, will be published by Chronicle in Spring 2020. byrachellevin.c

Rachel Levin

Andrea Nguyen , M.A., is a bank examiner gone astray who’s living her childhood dream of being an award-winning food writer and teaching people how to cook well. Her impactful books,  Into the Vietnamese Kitchen ,  Asian Dumplings ,  Asian Tofu ,  The Banh Mi Handbook,  and  The Pho Cookbook  (2018 James Beard Foundation award winner) have been recognized by the James Beard Foundation, International Association of Culinary Professionals, and National Public Radio for their excellence. Andrea also edited  Unforgettable , a biography cookbook about culinary icon Paula Wolfert that won an IACP award in 2018. Her latest work,  Vietnamese Food Any Day , was released in February 2019 by Ten Speed Press/Random House. Andrea has contributed to publications such as the  Washington Post ,  Wall Street Journal ,  Food and Wine ,  Lucky Peach ,  Saveur , and  Cooking Light .

Andrea Nguyen, M.A., is a bank examiner gone astray who’s living her childhood dream of being an award-winning food writer and teaching people how to cook well. Her impactful books, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, Asian Dumplings, Asian Tofu, The Banh Mi Handbook, and The Pho Cookbook (2018 James Beard Foundation award winner) have been recognized by the James Beard Foundation, International Association of Culinary Professionals, and National Public Radio for their excellence. Andrea also edited Unforgettable, a biography cookbook about culinary icon Paula Wolfert that won an IACP award in 2018. Her latest work, Vietnamese Food Any Day, was released in February 2019 by Ten Speed Press/Random House. Andrea has contributed to publications such as the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Food and Wine, Lucky Peach, Saveur, and Cooking Light.

Andrea Nguyen

Nik Sharma  is the writer, cookbook author, photographer, and recipe developer behind A Brown Table, an award-winning blog that has garnered best-ofs from Saveur, Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, and the IACP. His weekly column, A Brown Kitchen, appears in the San Francisco Chronicle and has written for Saveur, Taste, Food52, Eater, among others. His first solo cookbook, Season:Big Flavors, Beautiful Food was one of named one of the best cookbooks of the year by the Named a Best Cookbook of 2018 by  The New York Times ,  The Washington Post ,  The Boston Globe ,  The Chicago Tribune , Food Network,  Bon Appetit , Food52 (Piglet Contender), Edible Communities, The BBC,  The Independent ,  The Sunday Times ,  The Telegraph ,  The National Post , and  The New Zealand Listener . Nik lives in Oakland, California with his husband and their two pets.

Nik Sharma is the writer, cookbook author, photographer, and recipe developer behind A Brown Table, an award-winning blog that has garnered best-ofs from Saveur, Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, and the IACP. His weekly column, A Brown Kitchen, appears in the San Francisco Chronicle and has written for Saveur, Taste, Food52, Eater, among others. His first solo cookbook, Season:Big Flavors, Beautiful Food was one of named one of the best cookbooks of the year by the Named a Best Cookbook of 2018 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, Food Network, Bon Appetit, Food52 (Piglet Contender), Edible Communities, The BBC, The Independent, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The National Post, and The New Zealand Listener. Nik lives in Oakland, California with his husband and their two pets.

Nik Sharma

Danielle Svetcov  is an agent at Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary, an author of middle-grade fiction ( Parked —forthcoming), a former magazine and newspaper writer, and a native San Franciscan. Her food-writing clients include:  New York Times  bestsellers Elyse Kopecky and Shalane Flanagan ( Run Fast Eat Slow ), Bryant Terry ( Afro-Vegan ), Thomas McNaughton ( flour + water ), Russell Moore and Allison Hopelain ( This is Camino ), Evan and Sarah Rich ( Rich Table),  Karen Solomon ( Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It ), Adrianna Adarme ( The Year of Cozy ), Michelle McKenzie ( Dandelion & Quince ), Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski ( State Bird Provisions ), Celia Sack ( The Omnivore’s Keeper ), Brandon Jew (cookbook forthcoming), Michelle Polzine (cookbook forthcoming), Sophie Egan (book forthcoming), and Wise Sons (cookbook forthcoming), among many others.

Danielle Svetcov is an agent at Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary, an author of middle-grade fiction (Parked—forthcoming), a former magazine and newspaper writer, and a native San Franciscan. Her food-writing clients include: New York Times bestsellers Elyse Kopecky and Shalane Flanagan (Run Fast Eat Slow), Bryant Terry (Afro-Vegan), Thomas McNaughton (flour + water), Russell Moore and Allison Hopelain (This is Camino), Evan and Sarah Rich (Rich Table), Karen Solomon (Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It), Adrianna Adarme (The Year of Cozy), Michelle McKenzie (Dandelion & Quince), Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski (State Bird Provisions), Celia Sack (The Omnivore’s Keeper), Brandon Jew (cookbook forthcoming), Michelle Polzine (cookbook forthcoming), Sophie Egan (book forthcoming), and Wise Sons (cookbook forthcoming), among many others.

Danielle Svetcov

Eric Wolfinger  – recently called “the Annie Leibowitz of food photography” by the New York Times – is a traveling cook who found his calling behind the lens. In the last decade Eric has photographed over twenty award-winning books and hundreds of editorial and commercial commissions, building the reputation of a close collaborator whose immersive approach produces powerful storytelling. Passionate and purpose driven, Eric works on projects he believes move the needle toward the greater good. Before working as a photographer, Eric spent five years cooking and baking in San Francisco. At Tartine Bakery, his mentor Chad Robertson had the idea that his seasoned apprentice would bring a perspective to his bread book that no other photographer could. Eric's photography for TARTINE BREAD was nominated for a James Beard Award, and the book is currently in it's 13th printing.

Eric Wolfinger – recently called “the Annie Leibowitz of food photography” by the New York Times – is a traveling cook who found his calling behind the lens. In the last decade Eric has photographed over twenty award-winning books and hundreds of editorial and commercial commissions, building the reputation of a close collaborator whose immersive approach produces powerful storytelling. Passionate and purpose driven, Eric works on projects he believes move the needle toward the greater good. Before working as a photographer, Eric spent five years cooking and baking in San Francisco. At Tartine Bakery, his mentor Chad Robertson had the idea that his seasoned apprentice would bring a perspective to his bread book that no other photographer could. Eric's photography for TARTINE BREAD was nominated for a James Beard Award, and the book is currently in it's 13th printing.

Eric Wolfinger

Emma Christensen  is the editor-in-chief for Simply Recipes. She has over 10 years of experience creating food and cooking content for both web and print. She was formerly the recipe editor for  The Kitchn  and is the author of three books on home-brewing,  True Brews ,  Brew Better Beer , and  Modern Cider . Emma is a graduate of The Cambridge School for Culinary Arts and Bryn Mawr College. She lives in San Jose, California.

Emma Christensen is the editor-in-chief for Simply Recipes. She has over 10 years of experience creating food and cooking content for both web and print. She was formerly the recipe editor for The Kitchn and is the author of three books on home-brewing, True Brews, Brew Better Beer, and Modern Cider. Emma is a graduate of The Cambridge School for Culinary Arts and Bryn Mawr College. She lives in San Jose, California.

Emma Christensen

ANDREW FRIEDMAN  is the author of  Chefs, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: How Food Lovers ,  Free Spirits, Misfits, and Wanderers Created a New American Profession  (Ecco, 2018), and of  Knives at Dawn: America’s Quest for Culinary Glory at the Bocuse d’Or, the World’s Most Prestigious Cooking Competition  (Free Press, 2009). He also co-edited the popular anthology  Don’t Try This at Home , and has collaborated on more than 25 cookbooks, memoirs, and other projects with some of America’s finest and most well-known chefs, from legends like Alfred Portale to today’s tastemakers, such as Bill Telepan and Michael White. He hosts the popular Heritage Radio Network podcast  Andrew Talks to Chefs  and blogs about the industry on his Toqueland site. He lives in New York.

ANDREW FRIEDMAN is the author of Chefs, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits, and Wanderers Created a New American Profession (Ecco, 2018), and of Knives at Dawn: America’s Quest for Culinary Glory at the Bocuse d’Or, the World’s Most Prestigious Cooking Competition (Free Press, 2009). He also co-edited the popular anthology Don’t Try This at Home, and has collaborated on more than 25 cookbooks, memoirs, and other projects with some of America’s finest and most well-known chefs, from legends like Alfred Portale to today’s tastemakers, such as Bill Telepan and Michael White. He hosts the popular Heritage Radio Network podcast Andrew Talks to Chefs and blogs about the industry on his Toqueland site. He lives in New York.

Andrew Friedman

As the fifth generation of the family business her great-great-grandfather started in 1868, Amy has an innate passion for cocoa and chocolate. Amy’s involvement at Guittard includes not only marketing activities but also sourcing and sustainability, serving on several committees for the World Cocoa Foundation, and traveling to origin to meet with farmers, buyers and traders. Amy led the brand refresh and has launched several new consumer and professional products for the 151-year-old brand. More recently, Amy introduced Guittard’s manifesto, Cultivate Better™, which articulates the company’s on-going commitment to honorable sourcing. An avid home baker, she is the author of the  Guittard Chocolate Cookbook , published in 2015 by Chronicle Books.

As the fifth generation of the family business her great-great-grandfather started in 1868, Amy has an innate passion for cocoa and chocolate. Amy’s involvement at Guittard includes not only marketing activities but also sourcing and sustainability, serving on several committees for the World Cocoa Foundation, and traveling to origin to meet with farmers, buyers and traders. Amy led the brand refresh and has launched several new consumer and professional products for the 151-year-old brand. More recently, Amy introduced Guittard’s manifesto, Cultivate Better™, which articulates the company’s on-going commitment to honorable sourcing. An avid home baker, she is the author of the Guittard Chocolate Cookbook, published in 2015 by Chronicle Books.

Amy Guittard

Soleil Ho  is the restaurant critic for the SF Chronicle. She is also the creator of the podcast, Racist Sandwich, which covers the ways food intersects with race, class, and gender.

Soleil Ho is the restaurant critic for the SF Chronicle. She is also the creator of the podcast, Racist Sandwich, which covers the ways food intersects with race, class, and gender.

Soleil Ho

Irvin Lin established his nationally recognized blog Eat the Love ( www.eatthelove.com ) in 2010. He is former graphic designer and art director turned IACP award-winning photographer, acclaimed food writer, experienced recipe developer, blue-ribbon baker, and in-demand public speaker. His work has been featured in Best Food Writing 2014, Better Homes and Gardens, The Kitchn, Fine Cooking Magazine, O - Oprah magazine, Food 52, PBS Food and the official Pinterest Blog. His first cookbook,  Marbled, Swirled and Layered , was named one of the best baking cookbooks of 2016 by the New York Times. He has taught and presented at a number of conference including IACP, The Roger Smith Cookbook Conference, BlogHer Food, Book Passage Travel and Photography conference and Pinterest’s Knitcon. He is an ongoing contributor to Simply Recipes and has worked with numerous brands including Anolon, Crock-Pot, Lindsay Olives, Safeway and General Mills.

Irvin Lin established his nationally recognized blog Eat the Love (www.eatthelove.com) in 2010. He is former graphic designer and art director turned IACP award-winning photographer, acclaimed food writer, experienced recipe developer, blue-ribbon baker, and in-demand public speaker. His work has been featured in Best Food Writing 2014, Better Homes and Gardens, The Kitchn, Fine Cooking Magazine, O - Oprah magazine, Food 52, PBS Food and the official Pinterest Blog. His first cookbook, Marbled, Swirled and Layered, was named one of the best baking cookbooks of 2016 by the New York Times. He has taught and presented at a number of conference including IACP, The Roger Smith Cookbook Conference, BlogHer Food, Book Passage Travel and Photography conference and Pinterest’s Knitcon. He is an ongoing contributor to Simply Recipes and has worked with numerous brands including Anolon, Crock-Pot, Lindsay Olives, Safeway and General Mills.

Irvin Lin

Tejal Rao  is a writer living in Los Angeles. She is the first California restaurant critic for the New York Times, and a monthly columnist for the New York Times Magazine. Tejal was formerly a restaurant critic for the Village Voice, and for Bloomberg News, and has won two James Beard Foundation awards for her criticism. In 2019, she was awarded a Vilcek Foundation Prize for Culinary Arts for contributions to her field — writing, reporting and criticism.

Tejal Rao is a writer living in Los Angeles. She is the first California restaurant critic for the New York Times, and a monthly columnist for the New York Times Magazine. Tejal was formerly a restaurant critic for the Village Voice, and for Bloomberg News, and has won two James Beard Foundation awards for her criticism. In 2019, she was awarded a Vilcek Foundation Prize for Culinary Arts for contributions to her field — writing, reporting and criticism.

Tejal Rao

Brian Hogan Stewart is the host and creator of Salt + Spine, a top-rated podcast on the stories behind cookbooks. Salt + Spine features in-depth interviews with cookbook authors from Nigella Lawson, Samin Nosrat, Jacques Pépin, Diana Henry, and Rose Levy Beranbaum. Recorded at San Francisco’s The Civic Kitchen, the show also features regular commentary from Celia Sack of Omnivore Books, Paula Forbes of Stained Page News, and other guests. A cookbook-obsessed former journalist, Stewart is a once-budding chef who skipped culinary school to pursue communications and has worked in journalism, new media, and politics. A native of Iowa, he has a degree in journalism, English, and American studies from the University of Iowa.

Brian Hogan Stewart is the host and creator of Salt + Spine, a top-rated podcast on the stories behind cookbooks. Salt + Spine features in-depth interviews with cookbook authors from Nigella Lawson, Samin Nosrat, Jacques Pépin, Diana Henry, and Rose Levy Beranbaum. Recorded at San Francisco’s The Civic Kitchen, the show also features regular commentary from Celia Sack of Omnivore Books, Paula Forbes of Stained Page News, and other guests. A cookbook-obsessed former journalist, Stewart is a once-budding chef who skipped culinary school to pursue communications and has worked in journalism, new media, and politics. A native of Iowa, he has a degree in journalism, English, and American studies from the University of Iowa.

Brian Hogan Stewart

Emily Timberlake is an Oakland-based writer and editor, and a former senior editor at Ten Speed Press, where she edited 12 James Beard and IACP cookbook award winners. She writes for TASTE and the Los Angeles Times.

Emily Timberlake is an Oakland-based writer and editor, and a former senior editor at Ten Speed Press, where she edited 12 James Beard and IACP cookbook award winners. She writes for TASTE and the Los Angeles Times.

Emily Timberlake

After working in professional kitchens throughout his college years at UC Berkeley, Chris Ying left restaurants for a career in books. He worked as an editor, designer, and eventually publisher of McSweeney’s Publishing in San Francisco. In 2011, he returned to the food fold when he co-founded the magazine Lucky Peach, serving as editor-in-chief for the first twenty issues. In 2017, he began working on a new book series called Dispatches with MAD, the nonprofit organization founded by Rene Redzepi, chef of noma in Copenhagen. Ying has edited and co-written numerous books, including  Ivan Ramen,   The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook , and  You and I Eat the Same . In 2018, he began working as a producer of the podcast  The Dave Chang Show  and season 2 of the Netflix series  Ugly Delicious.  He is also the co-founder of the nonprofit, ZeroFoodprint, which is dedicated to helping restaurants and chefs fight climate change.

After working in professional kitchens throughout his college years at UC Berkeley, Chris Ying left restaurants for a career in books. He worked as an editor, designer, and eventually publisher of McSweeney’s Publishing in San Francisco. In 2011, he returned to the food fold when he co-founded the magazine Lucky Peach, serving as editor-in-chief for the first twenty issues. In 2017, he began working on a new book series called Dispatches with MAD, the nonprofit organization founded by Rene Redzepi, chef of noma in Copenhagen. Ying has edited and co-written numerous books, including Ivan Ramen, The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook, and You and I Eat the Same. In 2018, he began working as a producer of the podcast The Dave Chang Show and season 2 of the Netflix series Ugly Delicious. He is also the co-founder of the nonprofit, ZeroFoodprint, which is dedicated to helping restaurants and chefs fight climate change.

Chris Ying