The explosion of food blogging testifies to the interest in writing about food, but food writing as a professionally-taught discipline has a very brief and recent history in the UK. The first accredited food writing course – that is, one that counted towards a university or college qualification – began in the UK as recently as 2003, at City University. That ‘Food & Drink Journalism’ course proved popular and was the most successful food writing course to date – until it was closed in 2010 as a result of a cost-saving initiative at City University. Since then, most food writing courses have been more sporadic and piecemeal, with the latest held in room above a pub.
This new course is run by Nikki Spencer, who runs the ‘gift experience’ four-hour afternoon class A Real Taste of Food Writing in a room above the Guildford Arms in Greenwich. The afternoon includes a three-course lunch (which you then discuss and write about), and a tour of the pub’s kitchen. Spencer also leads the one-day courses called A Taste of Food Journalism at City Lit in Covent Garden, the next one on 19 February. If that sounds too lightweight for you, now is the time to book in for the far more demanding eight-week Food Writing course at Leiths School of Food and Wine, in Stamford Brook. Run by Lulu Grimes (Food Director of both Olive and BBC Good Food magazines), the £400 course includes guest speakers and covers recipe writing, and food and travel journalism, and how to get paid for food writing. Grimes was one of the founders of the City University course. The next block of classes starts on Monday 16th April, and it runs from 6.30-8.30pm.