At Food & Words we organise food events with a literary bent.

This includes the annual writers’ festival in Sydney, Food & Words, which is held in September. 

We teach food writing and cooking classes and organise
talks with cooks and authors.

We can organise events that involve food and words for you. If you have an idea, give us a call.

We’re also behind Talking Cookbook, a cooking and recipe meeting place that pops up at farmers’ markets. We also sell quality, pre-loved cookbooks.

“He shoveled the bacon out on a plate and broke the eggs in the hot grease and they jumped and fluttered their edges to brown lace and made clucking sounds.”  EAST OF EDEN,  JOHN STEINBECK

Sign up to our newsletter

Our cooking classes for home cooks are designed around the wisdom of our favourite cookbook authors.

Need a bit of a nudge with that food story or book idea? Sign up for one of writing classes. They're great fun.

Food & Words puts on food events with a literary bent and an annual writers' festival of the same name.

Cooking Lessons



Food & Words

Next up:

Tortellini at Midnight book launch with 

Emiko Davies at Potts Point Bookshop 

March 7, 2019

We’ve talked to authors in bookshops, spoken to food writers while they’re demonstrating their latest recipe from the stage at events, hosted one-off talk events with visiting authors and food writer dinners.

We also give talks – about writing and a life in food. We talk live but have also been recorded on pod-casts and radio.

What they’re saying:

Barbara Sweeney is epic! Great speaker, beautiful mind, her ideas need to shared. 

Donna Cleary, @rural_foodie (attended Barbara’s talk at Ballymaloe Food & Wine LitFest, Ireland 2016)





Next up:

Christmas Cookbook Sale

North Sydney Produce Market, North Sydney

December 15, 2018

Talking Cookbook started when Barbara Sweeney set up a market stall at Eveleigh Farmers Market in Sydney in November 2012. She attended the market for five years, talking to people about food, cooking and recipes. Her motivation? To empower home cooks and spread the joys of the domestic arts. Barbara thinks cooking is a revolutionary act that has the power to empower, instruct and to keep us well – something that isn’t necessarily foremost in mind when you’re in the business of food for profit.

Kitchen Table Talks

Our Kitchen Table Talks is new in 2019, inspired by all the years of gravitating to the kitchen at parties and enjoying some of life’s most important conversations around the kitchen table (plus, the sipping on an infinitesimal number of cups of tea). 

The idea is that we invite food and cookery writers to the table to talk food, books and cookery with you as the guest. Imagine, sharing the table with an author you have long admired and being able to ask them about their work and process. Kitchen Table gatherings will be small, so you’ll always get to ask that question.

Next up:

Tessa Kiros and Emiko Davies at kitchen
tables in Paddington, North Sydney and
Hunters Hill

February 19-21, 2019

Next up:

Scones and afternoon tea

North Sydney

March 10, 2019

Food & Words puts a lifetime of reading about food into practice with cooking classes that draw on hacks gleaned from the world’s best food writers and recipes that we know work. The classes revolve around storytelling: tall tales and true from a life in food.

What they’re saying:

'Wow, what a day. It was one helluva pastry class. Thank you Barbara for sharing your bountiful knowledge and fun.' —Mickey Robertson, Glenmore House

'It was a great class. I learned so much and the quiches that were made were delicious. Thank you for a wonderful day.' —Debbie M

Cooking Classes

Anyone who values books, enjoys reading and has more than a passing interest in food will enjoy the Food & Words writers’ festival. 

The program always features a creative mix of authors: a soil scientist might share the stage with a farmer, a poet may talk alongside a historian and a cook might interview a chef. The common thread is food.

Since it began in 2012, Food & Words has featured some of Australia’s best food writing talent. You can see who in the Gallery.

What they’re saying:

Food and Words is a truly unique event. It brings together a very sophisticated crowd of foodies, wordsmiths, photographers and chefs to celebrate all aspects of food. The programming is always interesting and the collaboration with chefs makes a special day even more so. —Anna Low, Potts Point Bookshop

Writers’ Festival

Next up:

Food & Words

September 2019

Whether you want to write a kitchen memoir, compile your grandmother’s recipes into a book or explore the history of the creme caramel, you’ll benefit from spending time with other aspiring writers and a tutor who can help guide your way. 

What they’re saying:

Thank you. Just the oomph I needed to reinvest in my project. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that have the deepest impact. —Michelle G

Excellent workshop – relevant, challenging and valuable techniques I know I’ll use. —Therese P

Barbara was an engaging, empathetic and insightful teacher. Her shared experiences and advice were invaluable. —Pattie M