Seasoned Melbourne food writer Richard Cornish to commence From the Plate to the Page – a two-day interactive masterclass focused on the complex craft of food writing.

Held in a warm, welcoming environment in the heart of Daylesford, Victoria and hosted by award-winning author and Essentials/The Age Good Food journalist Richard Cornish (Brain Food, My Year Without Meat, Mo Vida), the course is wholly immersive, as it provides intensive flavour training, in-depth study of classic texts, creative and technical writing exercises, morning tea and lunch each day, a Japanese sensory dinner and a unique paddock-to-plate-component based around a visit to a local working farm.

Richard explains that the course ‘explores how food is best written about in literature to convey status, history, memory, and identity.’ Participants will analyse a series of food reviews and later create their very own review of Daylesford’s Kadota (Japanese) Restaurant after sampling a seasonal kaiseki meal and selection of specially brewed floral teas, sake, and wine.

Understanding where food comes from is a tenet of modern food writing, and participants will visit a working farm, Brooklands Free Range Farm, to see where their breakfast is grown. They will meet the owners and learn their unique holistic way of regenerating the soil and raising rare breed animals.

Daylesford and its surroundings have a rich local culture, history, and cuisine, forming part of the experience. Every lunch and morning tea will be catered by Spade to Blade, a local chef who only uses local fruit, meat, and vegetables. One of the lunches will contain house-made bull boar sausages, a recipe unique to Daylesford and recognised by Slow Food Ark of Taste. Participants will have a choice of writing about various elements of local food culture. After the last day, participants will be given several days to finish their pieces. They will be assessed, and feedback is given.

Aaron Schembri – Chef of Kadota Restaurant Daylesford, Victoria

Essentials recently spoke to Richard Cornish about the event…

Who is the food writer masterclass best suited to?

Anyone with a hungry mind and a love of food and stories: You could be a chef, own a food brand or simply be a lover of literature. This course gets to the heart of how we understand food and why it is important to us in storytelling.

Do you need to be an expert foodie or cook to try your hand at food writing?

Having a basic knowledge and understanding of food, cooking, food culture, and basic techniques would put you in a place for better learning outcomes, yes. But do you need to be a cooking expert or have a diploma in writing? No.

Does it take years to learn how to correctly describe and write about food well, or are these ways of jumping the queue?

There is no substitute for experience, but there are many dead ends in this game. From the Plate to the Page is a course that will set you on the right path, tailored to you.

What are some common mistakes made by rookie food writers, and how will the masterclass support this?

Letting ego get in the way of the authentic story and using prescribed language to describe an experience instead of ‘being in the moment’ and allowing your mind to search your brain for the right collection of words is a common fault that we’ll address.

What are some future work outcomes from perfecting your hand at food writing?

Better storytelling. Attendees could be working for a winery, a big company or a little restaurant, or simply be working toward improving their food writing skills. So, this course helps people find the correct stories to tell and arms them with a set of skills to present the content well.

Hotel Frangos Daylesford
With long views and room to free the mind, learning the art of food writing in Daylesford with Richard Cornish is a valuable gift.

From the Plate to the Page will be held at a large, secluded private studio with hydronic heating and off-street parking. The cost covers generous and delicious morning tea and lunch both days, dinner at Kadota with drinks on Thursday night, and an on-farm breakfast at Brooklands Free Range Farms on Friday morning. The two days will be long and intense, so participants are advised to arrive with hungry minds, a thirst for knowledge, and a passion for words. Accommodation is not provided; however, the booking team Discover Daylesford offers exclusive discounted rates for attendees to the event.

Hero image of Richard Cornish by Adrian Lander

From the Plate to the Page
Thursday 29th and Friday 30th July 2021
$850 per person inclusive of the above
Maximum ten attendees

To register your interest, please visit:

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