Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Eating and drinking and writing ... oh, my!

A sampling of goodies at The Grand Tasting.
By Pamela

This past weekend I had the good fortune of attending Culinaria--a weekend festival in San Antonio devoted to food. Yep. It was a tough gig.

A group of about 15 of us spent Thursday through Sunday hopping from one marvelous event after another. We attended a food truck competition in a parking lot. Donned hats and aprons for a morning at culinary school at the Culinary Institute of America (or CIA, as they call it). Together we sat at private meals hosted by the hippest hottest restaurants in town. We even got VIP access to The Grand Tasting--which was aptly named, if you ask me. And did I mention wine? And tequila? And craft beer? No great meal goes down without the perfect beverage.

My fellow attendees were all writers--journalists, I suppose is more accurate, but that hat looks different today than it did when I started writing years ago.

Meet Ali, a young writer at who just turned 30 and has successfully carved out an online niche for herself in the vast world of food bloggers.

Andie, me and Ali at culinary school.
And then there's Andie, another blogger who's not quite 30 and already has a book deal with a division of Random House--a memoir of her journey from overweight teen to svelte young woman. An ordeal that spanned a 135-pound weight loss. And did I mention she's graced the cover of Woman's World magazine? Check out her blog at

Lynn and Cele, a married couple from North Carolina (they regularly hang with Pat Conroy!) who are travel journalists, were two of the best dinner companions you'll ever meet.

Another couple, Greg and Moran, work as a team as well--she as a graphic designer, he as a writer. Again, lovely people with a new baby on the way. (We were campaigning hard in Moran's corner for the name Flannery over his choice of Kit.)

I could list everyone but the point is--writers come from all walks of life and find work in all manner of venues. The one thing they have in common is passion. Passion for the written word, regardless of how it's read, and passion for telling their stories. I came away from the event inspired and hopeful for my own writing career. Part of that includes beefing up my online image and exploring options for travel writing--something I've always wanted to do. But most of all I realized once again that writing is not a solitary pursuit. Our work grows when we get out among other writers who share our crazy life and wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. I love this!! Such a beautiful recap. Meeting you was without a doubt one of the best highlights of the trip. Grateful for great Texas food bringing us together! :)

    1. Thanks, Ali. And I agree. Meeting you was lovely and inspiring in one fell swoop. I trust our paths will cross again!


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