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 exchange that pops up farmers’ markets. 

“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

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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

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 2018

Next up:
Twilight supper with Aaron Bertelsen 
Glenmore House, Camden

February 16, 2018

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:

Scones and afternoon tea

North Sydney Community Centre

March 11, 2018

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


Next up:

Short story writing

North Sydney Community Centre
April 8, 2018

Food writing can mean many things. Take the apple as the subject and you can shoot off in many directions, from a flavour profile of heirloom fruit to a how-to on the making of Julia Child’s apple charlotte. 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