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Food & Words produces food events with a literary bent

Writers’ festival

Author talks & dinners 


& writing classes

Save the Date 

Josh Niland signs his book The Whole Fish Cookbook at Food & Words 2019

Food & Words Canberra City


Saturday, September 18, 2021 

Up Next

Laura Dalrymple of Feather and Bone Providore is in conversation with academic and author Dr Alana Mann about her new book, Food In a Changing Climate (Emerald Publishing) at Gleebooks at 6pm.

Barbara will introduce the protagonists and talk about why a book such as this, which investigates the intersection of discourses regarding diet, sustainability and food justice, is important in times like these.

Associate Professor Alana Mann is Chair of the Department of Media and Communications and a key researcher in the Sydney Environment Institute in the University of Sydney,  Australia. Seeking to better understand the communicative dimensions of citizen engagement, participation, and collective action in food systems planning and governance, her research spans international and Australia-wide campaigns for food sovereignty, food security, and territorial struggles against extractive globalisation. Read Alana's views on  growing almonds in the Murray-Darling basin in this ABC article.

Alana Mann Book Launch with Laura Dalrymple:
Gleebooks, Glebe 

Friday, May 14

Free entry

Artwork: Evi-O

Barbara hosts the talks program at this annual event at the historic Sydney Living Museum property, Rouse Hill Estate, which features a 160-year-old house, garden and collection of farm buildings.

This year we'll be discussing the precursor to Worcestershire sauce with gastronomic historian, Curator and soon-to-be Dr, Jacqui Newling and we look the pick of the agricultural tools that the Museum has unearthed in the barn and machinery shed with Curator Dr Scott Hill.

Autumn Harvest Festival is an ideal family day out. Cornermith is running a kid’s pasta, pickling and fermenting workshop. Bring a picnic rug and find a sunny patch in the large, rambling garden to while away the time between sessions. There’s a number of stalls, including a coffee cart and the all-important artisanal Broomfield Pies.

Autumn Harvest Festival:

Rouse Hill Estate, Rouse Hill

Saturday, May 15

Talks, dems, tours, stalls & workshops.

Free entry

Artwork: Evi-O

Artwork: Evi-O

Farm2Plate Exchange:

(Food & Words is on the program) 

Scenic Rim, Qld

Tuesday, May 18–
Wed, May 19

In this four-hour masterclass, Barbara Sweeney and Rose Wright will take you from a branding and marketing novice to a know it all. 

We’ll review the importance of your business brand and identity and how to apply it in all your communications. We’ll show you how to switch the ‘On’ button on your marketing foghorn and how to use the compounding power of social media to get your message out. We’ll provide writing tips on how to make your food content sizzle. 

You’re invited to bring along any burning branding, marketing and communication questions. We’ll put them into a hat and discuss them in two dedicated Q&A sessions. And, Barbara is offering a personal follow up phone call to all participants, who may have an unanswered question or would like some feedback on their work. She does a good line in encouragement.

The Masterclass is being held on site at Tommurup Dairy Farm, Kerry. 9am-1pm. Fee $395/Farm2Plate delegates $295, plus booking fee. Includes morning tea and lunch, as well as comprehensive notes.


Branding & Marketing for Food Farmers and Makers

Farm2Plate Exchange, Scenic Rim, Queensland

Thursday, May 20

In this three-hour hands-on cooking class we showcase a variety of scone recipes and all make a bake to share and compare.

We discuss raw ingredients and learn about leavening agents, buttermilk, and why one butter may, or may not, be better than another. And yes, we do put the lemonade scone recipe to the test.

Once the scones are baked, we set the table and sit down to afternoon tea. Class fee is $100

Scones & Afternoon Tea: 

North Sydney Community Centre, North Sydney

Sunday, June 20


Vicky Bennison,

Pasta Grannies 

(Hardie Grant)

Cookbook Love

Our *new* project

Cookbooks and the people who write and read them are put under the microscope in Cookbook Love, a storytelling session about food, books and cooking. Written and presented by Barbara Sweeney, its an amusing and thoughtful exploration of this publishing genre and its place in the world. Our special guest; a woman in possession of her familys handed-down, hand-written, book of recipes.

2021 dates and venues to come

Tessa Kiros’ tapenade served with a platter of fresh-picked veg from Sift Produce on our February Kitchen Table Tour.

Adam Liaw on food writing across genres at the 2018 writers’ festival.

Writing Workshop

Need a bit of a nudge with that food story or book idea? Want to write sizzling copy for newsletters? Book a one-on-one session with food writer Barbara Sweeney now. Send her an email.

Food & Words champions
Australian food writing and writers.

We use Annie Smithers’ cream scone recipe in our scone making classes.

Magnus Nilsson in full flight in 2016.

Feel inspired

Be nourished

Be uplifted

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



“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.”  



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:

Bake Stories

BakeClub, Rosebery

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:

'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. 

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. —Anna Low, Potts Point Bookshop

Writers’ Festival

Next up:

Food & Words

September 14, 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