UPDATE: We are busy finalizing our programming and can’t wait to see you online October 21-28! Stay tuned for a new schedule, workshop options, awards ceremony details and more. 


Friday, March 27, 2020

Pittsburgh, PA

Please note, all-conference passes include Friday night Welcome Cocktail Party and The Taste of Pittsburgh Dinner at the Omni William Penn Hotel


Hitting the Strip District
While this small but mighty area houses arguably the most restaurants, bakeries, stores and cafes of any neighborhood in Pittsburgh. Take a walking tour of it with a local expert. No transportation provided as its close to the hotel. $100; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Self-Publishing From Scratch: How to Create Your Dream Cookbook
Getting a book proposal accepted by a traditional publisher can feel like a grueling process, despite its rewards. But there is another way! Self-publishing is growing more popular and accepted in the publishing community. Please join Jennifer Clair and Kendra Aronson as they share their experiences in the self-publishing model: book production (costs and timelines), financing, distribution, marketing/publicity, plus an ample Q&A session to discuss how to move ahead on your own cookbook. At the Omni William Penn Hotel, $150;  10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Speakers: Kendra Aronson and Jennifer Clair

Going Whole Hog with Justin Severino, Brought to you by Niman Ranch
Four-time James Beard award nominee and executive chef of Pittsburgh’s Cure and Morcilla restaurants is a skilled whole animal butcher. Join Justin and Niman Ranch for a delicious lunch and a demonstration on how to break down a hog. Lunch and local beers will be served afterwards.
At Morcilla Restaurant, $85; 11 am to 1:30 (starts promptly)


Dumpling Tour
Pittsburgh long has embraced one of the world’s most universally delightful foods — the dumpling. Here, our love of small, stuffed orbs of dough began with the pierogi. More recently, Pittsburgh’s new wave of immigrants from China has infused Squirrel Hill, one of the city’s most exciting dining neighborhoods, with suan cai jiaozi, xiaolongbao and san xian. Join Pittsburgh Magazine dining critic Hal B. Klein for a tour that’ll have you tasting (and, perhaps, pinching) Pittsburgh dumplings old and new. Transportation will be provided to and from Squirrel Hill, but there will be some walking, too. $125; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m
Tour leader: Hal B. Klein

Feeding a Milltown, Past and Present: Food and Social Justice in Millvale
Join Wall Street Journal food and drinks editor Beth Kracklauer for a tour of the historic borough of Millvale. Explore culinary and political themes in the striking social-realist murals of artist Maxo Vanka and learn about the Eastern European foods that have sustained the community for generations. At the Millvale Food + Energy Hub, sit down to eat and talk with the activists behind 412 Food Rescue—an organization using cutting-edge technology to rescue millions of pounds of food and provide meals for food-insecure Pittsburghers—and their partners New Sun Rising, Sprezzatura Cafe and the Millvale EcoDistrict. We’ll finish the tour at Strange Roots Experimental Ales for a lively discussion on the role of food and drink businesses in the evolution of this neighborhood with founder Dennis Hock—plus a tasting of his radical and delicious brews. Transportation will be provided, but there will be some walking, too.  $125; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Tour leader: Beth Kracklauer

Pittsburgh: Epicenter of American Alcohol
Welcome to Pittsburgh, birthplace of American Whiskey, the flip top beer can, and frontier hard cider. Join craft distillery and cider house owner, Meredith Meyer Grelli and journalist Bob Batz as they show you around Pittsburgh’s craft alcohol scene. Small sips will be taken at each stop, so be sure to eat beforehand! Transportation will be provided, but there will be some walking, too. $100; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m
Tour leaders: Bob Batz and Meredith Meyer Grelli

Hitting the Strip District
While only a few blocks long, this area houses arguably the most restaurants, bakeries, stores and cafes of any spot in Pittsburgh. Take a walking tour of this area with a local expert. No transportation provided as its close to the hotel. $100; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m

The Secrets to Pitching a Story
Pitching is a vital tool for taking an idea and transforming it into a writing assignment. Join veteran journalist Gabriella Gershenson and Nicole Taylor as they teach the fundamentals of pitching a food, drink or culinary travel story in this workshop, including what essential information must be conveyed to your editor, how to pick the right publication, the etiquette of following up, and other skills for publishing success. Participants are encouraged to bring their pitches or story ideas for an opportunity to workshop them during the session. At the Omni William Penn Hotel, $150; 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Workshop Leaders: Nicole Taylor and Gabriella Gershenson

A Guided Tour of the Warhol Museum
See the ultimate collection of Pittsburgh’s most famous artist. Get inside information on Andy, his life and works, in this guided tour at the world-famous museum. Transportation will not be provided. Tour starts at 2 pm and is about an hour long. Warhol Museum, 2 p.m.

The Art of the Recipe Headnote
Headnotes can make or break a recipe and fashions have changed since Julia Child’s seminal Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Renowned recipe expert Melissa Clark teaches you how to craft headnotes that are explanatory yet readable and fun. At the Omni William Penn Hotel, 17th floor. $150; 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Workshop Leader: Melissa Clark


Get Out of Town! Art, Farm, Winery & Market
Want to escape the city’s environs and hit some of the most celebrated spots? We begin with a bus to Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s renowned masterpiece, where you have a guided tour, followed by a visit to the Jamison Farm, a winery, and DeLallo Market for a charcuterie tasting before heading back to Pittsburgh, Transportation will be provided. $250.; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tour Guide: Nicole Reinstein

Master the Ins and Outs of Recipe Testing—SOLD OUT!
Chatham University’s Eden Hall

Join Food & Wine’s senior food editor Mary-Frances Heck for a master class in recipe testing. Whether you’re transitioning from restaurant kitchens to a career as a tester, are developing recipes for your own book, or are looking to brush up, this class will help you hone your testing skills. Through hands-on learning and discussion, Mary-Frances will offer insight into industry standards and how to professionally test in your own kitchen. Participants will go home with recipe templates, measurement guides, and the confidence to hit the ground running with recipe testing.

This workshop will be hosted by the Food Studies Department at Chatham University’s Eden Hall campus in their Food Innovation Kitchen Lab with Dr. Sally Frey, assistant professor of Sustainable Gastronomy.  A lunch of wood-fired sourdough pizza and a selection of fermented foods made from ingredients grown in the campus agroecology garden will be included. Transportation will be provided. $250; 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Workshop Leader: Mary-Frances Heck

NIGHTTIME EVENTS  (all are included in your conference pass)

5 pm to 6 pm: Interest Sections Meet-up
6 pm to 7 pm: Welcome Cocktail Party (with a Roaring 20s theme!), 17th Floor Ballroom
7 pm to 9 pm: Opening Night Celebrity Chef “Taste of Pittsburgh”
9 pm to 10 pm: Exclusive screening of Padma Lakshmi’s new Hulu series, Urban Room

***Please note, programming can be canceled for any reason and refunds would be provided. Tickets are transferable if IACP is notified first. No refunds after February 15, 2020. 


Please note this is a preliminary tentative line-up of programming. We are working to finalize, add and edit all topics, schedules, and speakers. All information subject to change including timing of panels etc. Meals, snacks, cocktails etc are included in conference passes.

Grand Ballroom
8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Keynote: Pittsburgh: Leveraging Innovation for a Stronger Food System
17th Floor Ballroom
A few years ago, Pittsburgh started getting national attention for its booming restaurant scene. The harder truth: This postindustrial city faces steep challenges when it comes to feeding all its residents. In conversation with The Wall Street Journal’s Beth Kracklauer, four local leaders in farming, food service and food recovery will discuss how they’re using innovative technology and approaches to address age-old issues growing ever more pressing in the 21st century—and the ways in which this city and region can be seen as a laboratory for the rest of the country when it comes to this work.
Speakers:Leah Lizarondo, Raji Sankar, Simon Huntley, Austin WebbBeth Kracklauer
9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Coffee and Tea Break
17th Floor Hallway
10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Cooking Up A Satisfying Career: A Conversation with Dorie Greenspan
She’s written a lucky 13 cookbooks—many of them bestsellers—was inducted into the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America and has won five James Beard awards and two Cookbook of the Year awards. So how does she keep it fresh and what is left to do? The New York Times’ Melissa Clark talks to Dorie to uncover the secrets to her success.
Speakers: Melissa Clark and Dorie Greenspan

2020’s Hottest Veggies Plus How to Cook Them
William Penn Ballroom
Brought to You by Melissa’s

What’s the next cauliflower rice or kale wraps? Get the industry trends from Melissa’s Robert Schueller and then watch renowned chef  Kate Lasky from Apteka cook by innovative dishes using some of this year’s veggie stars.
Speakers: Kate Lasky Tomasz Skowronski, and Robert Schueller

11:40 a.m to 12:40 p.m

Food Journalism and Climate Change
Let’s face it: Food is deeply implicated in climate change. An estimated third of greenhouse gas emissions come from our food systems. The foods we eat are endangered and transformed by climate change, as are food producers’ livelihoods. As food journalists, we’re on the front lines of the most urgent issue of our times. So how can we incorporate it into our work? We bring together some of the most interesting thinkers to discuss how should food journalists respond?
Speakers: Barry Estabrook, Renee Brooks Catacalos, Jocelyn C. Zuckerman, and Betsy Andrews.

Translating Your Culture Into a Cookbook
Identity and representation are hot-button issues today, especially in the food world. Who gets to write the story of a particular food culture? A panel of accomplished authors will tell their own stories of translating their unique food cultures into cookbook form. We’ll discuss the challenges and issues and the pressure of making your culture understood to a wider group. An experienced editor will give her perspective on the key aspects of writing a cookbook that represents the food, people, and stories of a unique group. We’ll delve into sticky topics too—including how to build more diversity and representation in the cookbook world.
Speakers: Judy Pray, Melissa M. Martin, Toni Tipton-Martin, Unmi Abkin, Leticia Landa

Iconic Vietnamese Dishes
William Penn Ballroom
Spend an hour with award-winning cookbook author Andrea Nguyen to explore Vietnamese cooking techniques and ingredients. She’ll offer tips for sourcing and selecting staples such as fish sauce and fresh herbs; show you how to make deliciously versatile sizzling rice crepes (banh xeo) from her latest cookbook, Vietnamese Food Any Day; and demonstrate the nuances of crafting nuoc cham, the go-to dipping sauce for crepes and so many other dishes.
Speaker: Andrea Nguyen

The Four Principles of Food Photography
Join food photographer Suzanne Clements and food stylist Ashley Freeman as they cover what it takes to make a truly mouth-watering food photo. This presentation goes beyond the camera into the nitty-gritty, covering composition & angles, props and surfaces, food styling, and practical lighting options. Everyone will leave this presentation with tips, tricks, and tools they can use to take their own photos to the next level.
Speakers: Suzanne Clements and Ashley Strickland Freeman

17th Floor Ballroom
12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Global Food Visionary: A Conversation with Padma Lakshmi
17th Floor Ballroom
She’s hosted the Emmy award-winning Top Chef for 16 seasons, authored four books, and developed a tabletop line. But what title makes her most proud, besides, of course, Mom? Immigrant. Join her and The New York Times Sam Sifton to learn how and why she’s produced a new Hulu series that celebrates the tremendous contributions immigrants have brought to this great country, forming the most delicious of melting pots. (Both will be signing books right afterwards.)
Speakers: Padma Lakshmi and Sam Sifton

2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

The Art of Newsletters
The format of a newsletter is a natural fit for recipes and food writing as you can forge a personal connection. But there are so many types and strategies, from fully written to dependent on link dumps, and everything in between. How do you know which way to go, and what are other best practices in putting this popular format to work for you and your brand, whether you’re an individual or a media company?
Speakers: Paula Forbes

Maintaining Sobriety While In the Food Industry
Drinking alcohol has been normalized in the food space for generations with practices like the “shift drink.” More recently, the culture has begun shifting with chefs celebrating their own sobriety and creating healthier environments for their staff. Things have gotten better, but on the whole, those struggling with substance use still face tough challenges. We’ll explore the question of how to normalize the choice to abstain from drugs and alcohol; how to support the people who need it; foster a community that’s truly inclusive of sobriety; and create a safer drinking culture for everyone, inside the industry and beyond.
Speakers: Joy Manning, Steve Palmer, Kim Severson

The Secrets to Maximizing Your Income While Not Going Crazy
As it becomes more challenging to make a living doing just one thing, success has come to those who diversify. Our panel of food writers and cookbook authors will share the many things we do that are not only lucrative but expand our skills, help us stay relevant and feel more creatively fulfilled. We will cover how our roles in social media, retailing, and content development complements our careers as food writers. We will dig into how we manage our time, prioritize, find new opportunities, and grow our businesses.
Speakers: Amy Sherman, Maggie Battista, Osayi Endolyn and Hetal Vasavada.

3:55 p.m. to 4:55 p.m.

Off the Record: A Reality Check on What You Can Make & Spend Publishing a Cookbook
You dream of getting a cookbook deal, but will the advance cover your expenses? And will you ever get another check? Join cookbook author and Plate magazine editor Chandra Ram, Clarkson Potter Editorial Director Raquel Pelzel and Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret Literary Agent Stacey Glick for an eye-opening discussion on the realities of what you earn (and what you spend) when writing a cookbook. Each panelist will talk about the financials of a book project from her perspective, and offer real life examples advice and realistic expectations about the fine print behind cookbook deals.
Speakers: Chandra Ram, Raquel Pelzel

Food Trend Predictions for the 2020s
Will we all be eating lab-made faux meats, salad greens grown in our own closets, and bread squirted out of 3-D printers this decade? Join our prognosticators for a fascinating round of analysis and predictions on what and how we’ll be cooking and eating in these Roaring Twenties.
Speakers: Kate Krader, Jennifer Aranas, Rick Camac, Ashley Kleckner

Pennsylvania’s Wine Land
Brought to you by the Pennsylvania Winery Association (PWA)
Three hundred and thirty-seven years ago, William Penn planted a vineyard in Philadelphia. From that vineyard, grew the Pennsylvania Wines industry — today with more than 300 licensed wineries producing more than 2 million gallons of wine annually. Join the PWA and winemakers to sample wines and learn more about the legacy of winemaking in PA and the growth of the industry.
Speakers: Mario Mazza, Virginia Mitchell, Jennifer Eckinger, 


Join us for a toast and appetizers.
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Urban Room

IACP Awards Show
Grand Ballroom
Celebrate the year’s best in food writing, photography, cookbooks, and more.
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Off-the-Record: A Frank Conversation Between Writers and Editors at Butcher and the Rye
9 p.m.
The writer/editor relationship is crucial for both parties, but it can be loaded. In 2020, navigating tightening freelance budgets, press trip and meal comp policies, and shifting norms is complex. How can we cut through the noise? Join writers and editors for a frank OTR discussion. Please note: This conversation is off the record. We ask that you don’t take notes, recordings or photos at the event. Come with your questions and be prepared to share your experience. This conversation will take place at the nearby bar Butcher and the Rye, where there will be a cash bar. The conversation will start right after the awards party. So we can let the bar know how many people to expect, please RSVP here.
Facilitators: Beth Kracklauer, Melissa McCart, and Devra Ferst


Please note this is a preliminary tentative line-up of programming. We are working to finalize, add and edit all topics, schedules, and speakers. All information subject to change. Meals, snacks, cocktails etc are included in conference passes.

8 a.m. to 9 a.m.


EATT Keynote Takeover
17th Floor Ballroom
Equity at The Table (EATT) is an inclusive digital directory of women/non-binary individuals in food. Founder and cookbook author Julia Turshen will introduce an EATT panel all about community—how you build it, sustain it, and use it to empower.
Speakers: Julia Turshen, Rahanna Bisseret Martinez, Illyanna Maisonet, Mavis-Jay Sanders, and Thérèse Nelson.
9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

17th Floor Hallway
Join us for coffee and get your books signed by Padma Lakshmi, Rocco DiSpirito, other speakers and IACP award winners and nominees.
10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Changing Lives Through Culinary Education
Food changes lives, but what if you can’t afford it? Food industry careers—not just jobs—can break the cycle of poverty and hunger. This requires a unique take on culinary school for those with troubled pasts. Our conversation features culinary educators offering a dignified, collaborative learning experience through cooking and social enterprise. Hear how we connect the power of food to people’s potential: potential for culinary careers, self-sufficiency, and greater joy. You’ll leave inspired and informed on how to impact your community.
Speakers: Michel Nischan, Lindsey Seegers, Rollie Wesen, Darryl Coaston

The Art of the Interview
Whether writing a food story or collaborating on a cookbook, or leading discussions at conferences and seminars, asking the right questions is essential to getting a good story. But there’s more to the interview than asking questions. It’s about asking the right questions. And sometimes the tough questions. There is an art to it. Whether it is a reluctant source, a difficult chef or someone with a hidden agenda, this panel offers advice from the pros about conducting the perfect interview.
Speakers: Kathleen Squires, Kim Severson, Javier Cabral, John Birdsall,

The New Irish Cooking
William Penn Ballroom
Brought to you by Kerrygold
Pittsburgh is home to one of the country’s largest Irish communities and they’ve kept the cuisine vibrant, innovative, and delicious. Watch and sample the latest in Irish specialties, which feature in many a St. Patrick’s feast, with renowned baker/blogger  Zoë François of ZoeBakes.
: Zoë François

Health & Weight Loss in a Wellness-Obsessed World
Organic and better-for-you brands are booming. New diets and wellness approaches seem to pop up monthly. But meanwhile, Americans continue to struggle with weight and diet-related diseases. What’s working now to address these problems and where are we going?
Speakers: Maya Feller, Lisa Valente, Rocco DiSpirito, Jessie Price,

11:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.

Cookbook Store Owners Reveal What’s Really Selling & How to Make Yours One of Them
There are around eight cookbook stores spread throughout the United States, and together the owners comprise some of the deepest knowledge about cookbook trends, holes in the canon of subjects, and what sells best and why. They have strong opinions about cover design, independently published books, and what makes a cookbook successful or not. Come learn the secrets to getting your book to stand out amidst the crowd.
Speakers: Matt Sartwell, Celia Sack, Jourdan Abel, and Ken Concepcion

How to Start a Successful Food Tour
As the “experience economy” grows, so are food tours. Learn how three experts turned their passion for food and culture into business opportunities by developing and leading food-centered trips and tours. Hear from individuals who work for existing tour companies, and others who work for themselves. You’ll leave this discussion with a clear understanding of the various ways to transform your knowledge and experience into marketable trips, tours—and money.
Lisa Gross, Jeffrey Yoskowitz, Lesley Tellez, and Angelis Nannos

The Import and Legacy of Anthony Bourdain
We all still mourn the loss of one of our own, and as the shock of his passing wears off, his stature and importance continue to grow. Join his right-hand longtime lieutenant and co-author Laurie Woolever, as she reflects on his legacy, how it changed the food and travel media landscape, and where she thinks he made the most profound impact.
Speakers: Laurie Woolever and Dan Q. Dao

The Whole Healthy Plate
William Penn Ballroom
Brought to you by Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff
Plant-based diets are on the rise, but so are trends to increase all sorts of protein-rich foods in the diet. What does this all really mean and is there a balanced approach to eating?  Come watch, hear and taste how lean proteins are a great accompaniment to any healthy diet with Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and cookbook author Carolyn O’Neil and cookbook author, Michelle Dudash, RDN. Learn what the latest diet trends are, innovative cooking methods, and how to create a balanced plate by pairing meats, plants and grains.
Speakers: Michelle Dudash and Carolyn O’Neil

17th Floor Ballroom
12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Keynote: Silencing Your Inner Critic
17th Floor Ballroom
You know that voice. It’s the one that says you messed up. That you’re not talented enough, smart enough or successful enough. For some of us, the critic is in our heads so much we hardly notice it. Negative self-talk can be damaging, leading to second-guessing, procrastination, and missed opportunities. We’d like to have more control. This panel looks at the critical voice and supportive strategies, such as how to find acceptance. A Q&A follows.
Speakers: Dianne Jacob, Hanna Raskin, Ken Concepcion, and Leanne Meyer
1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m

Baking 2020: What Was, Is, and Will Be?
A new decade is here. Let’s talk with a few pros about how baking has evolved over the last few decades, where it’s at now (kouign amann and cardamom buns anyone?), and take a few guesses about what’s to come. And most importantly, what are the constants through the years? We will discuss how much has social media changed what’s served, how techniques have changed, and what new ingredients, such as alternative grains, have begun to influence what comes out of the oven. 
Speakers: Janet McCracken, Jerrelle Guy, Cassandra Malis, Zoë François

The History of American Whiskey
Brought to you by Wigle Whiskey
Pittsburgh has long been an epicenter for alcohol. Most importantly as the birthplace of American whiskey! Hear the fascinating quirky part one of American Whiskey, how it has evolved and taste some of the country’s best craft whiskeys with Wigle’s founder Meredith Meyer Grelli.
SpeakerMeredith Meyer Grelli

Using Food as a Tool to Build Community and Make Change
In the wake of the 2016 election Liz Alpern created Queer Soup Night (QSN), an event that has since launched chapters across the globe, raising funds and rallying a community of queer food activists. In this session, Liz will offer an interactive primer on marrying political passions with kitchen prowess to spark change and build community. Liz will explore models for fundraising, choosing collaborators and identifying what really matters to you and how that can fit into your culinary career. In addition to QSN, she’ll present other case studies in which culinary professionals got active in meaningful and impactful ways.
Speaker: Liz Alpern

How to Edit Your Own Work: Building a Writer’s Toolbox
Producing crisp, error-free copy helps you stand out in a crowd of writers. And while there’s no substitute for a great editor, sometimes the editing is up to you. We’ll talk tips and tricks, whether you’re writing for a publication or re-reading your own words before you hit post. Hear from three editors across the media and editing spectrum on accuracy, spelling, grammar, style and more. Learn how to develop an editing toolkit.
Speakers: Daniel Shumski, Annie Siebert, Melissa McCart, and Erin Clyburn

Main Ballroom
Brought to you by Niman Ranch
4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Join us for one last toast and nibbles to close out a great weekend.