BlogHer Food Interviews: The Principles of Storytelling

BlogHer Original Post

It's time for another BlogHer Food '13 interview with some of our great speakers. This week we're featuring the lovely faces behind the Principles of Storytelling session. Quite honestly, my favorite food blogs are the ones that tell me a story as they share a recipe. So, I asked the panelists the following:

As you're speaking on Food Storytelling, would you care to share your favorite "food story" post, either on your blog or another food blog and a brief note on why it sticks out in your head?

Merry-Jennifer Markham admits she doesn't always like looking back at her writing, but shared a bit anyway.

It’s rare that I go back to read my own work. I tend to see only the faults in my writings, just like looking in the mirror and only noticing the bad parts -- that one of my eyes is a teensy bit smaller than the other, plus there’s one stiff, silver hair poking up near my part, begging to be plucked. But there are some stories I’ve written that I can stomach re-reading. Most of those select few posts are stories that center around people who have had a major impact on my life, places dear to my heart, or memories tangled up with emotions, both good ones and bad. One of my favorites is this piece, a story about my children’s first nanny, Abuela, and her influence on my son’s eating habits -- and on my way of cooking for my children.

Stepping out from my own work, Cheryl’s writing tugs at my heartstrings with beautiful, clear prose that puts me right there beside her, close enough to touch. In this piece, she writes of her son growing up and of grilled cheese sandwiches. The simplicity of it works in ways that leave me wanting to know more.

Photo courtesy Merry-Jennifer Markham.

You can connect with Merry-Jennifer on Twitter or through Facebook.

Rachel Mathews shares her love of family and food in her response.

Some of my favorite memories from childhood revolve around my Granny and her kitchen. My Granny was the consumate southern Granny. Soft, sweet, full of piss and vinegar, and loved to cook and feed her family good home cooking. For most of my childhood I was lucky enough to live close to my grandparents and I was spoiled rotten by her cooking. Chicken Fried Steak, Banana Pudding, Chess Pie, Chicken Spaghetti... my Granny loved to cook for her family and one of my strongest memories of her is her making Chicken Fried Steak. This post is dedicated to her and my husband and their love for cast iron and good southern food.

You can follow Rachel on Twitter and Facebook.

Jenny Rosentrach of Dinner: A Love Story shares a post of hers and why it's a favorite.

My post Absolute Value. I guess it sticks out because (obviously) it's about a very special memory. But also because it achieves what I try to achieve any time I'm writing about food -- making sure there's service alongside a story. Service can be a recipe, a tip, or even permission to do something, as it does here. It gives readers permission to splurge on something small every now and again because if you can't do things that make you that happy once in a while, what's the point?

Interested in more of what these panelists have to say? Check out their session from 10:00-11:30 on Friday, June 7, 2013. Here's what to expect:

Behind every great meal is a story - unique to the chef and the people at the table. Let’s go beyond the ingredients in your meals and explore seasoning your food stories to keep readers engaged beyond their first bites. We’ll cover the basic tenants of engaging storytelling, and explore grammatical tricks and structural insights to bring your readers down the page and through your stories.

If you haven't yet registered for BlogHer Food '13, you can do so now! Hope to see you in Austin!


Family Section Editor Jenna Hatfield (@FireMom) blogs at Stop, Drop and Blog and The Chronicles of Munchkin Land.