Culinary Tours

I have participated in numerous tours  — self-guided and planned, domestic and abroad — in pursuit of food stories that can teach us about a place and a culture. I’ve also organized some myself.

Most recently, I chaired the Association of Food Journalists’ annual conference in Memphis, Tenn.,  which included an optional overnight  Detour Tour to the Mississippi Delta. More than 130 signed up for the whole conference, while about 25 attendees took the shuttle bus to Clarksdale, MS, cradle of the blues.

The event garnered record attendance and high marks on post-conference evaluations. ( see comments below)

Educational Events

I am currently on the planning committee for the Decatur Book Festival, the largest independent book festival in the country. I have spoken at national and regional events including the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ national conference in Chicago, the Delta Tamale Festival in Greenville, Miss., the Charleston Food & Wine Festival, the Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Conference in Atlanta, and others.

I am exploring other opportunities to get involved in planning educational events around food.

Delta detour collage

Comments on the AFJ Memphis Conference/Delta Detour

Perre Coleman-Magness: My brain and my belly are full, happy and satisfied. Thanks to all #‎AFJ2014 folks for coming to my hometown. We loved having you here!

Caroline Penn-Romine: Thanks #‎AFJ2014 for a great conference…informative, instructive, inspiring. And delicious!

Marion Kane: The Memphis conference was my welcome return to AFJ gatherings after a few years’ hiatus. And what a return. Fantastic panels, divine food and an amazing evening at Stax…Thank you the lovely Susan Puckett and all who orchestrated this magnificent gathering! I’ll be back and stay tuned.

Gwen Ashley Walters: Just wanted to say thank you to Susan Puckett, Perre Coleman Magness and the AJF Board for a fantastic conference. Still digesting all the fantastic information.

Cynthia Stevens Graubart: This may have been the best conference I have attended in years. Bravo to all involved.#‎AFJ2014

Tasting Places

Culinary Tourism

As a fledgling young food writer in the mid-1980s, I had the opportunity to take a culinary tour of Paris and Southwest France. Our small group toured the kitchens of Michelin-starred restaurants, tramped around a foie gras farm, tagged along on a truffle hunt, toured wineries in Bordeaux, and met artisan bakers and chocolatiers. It was a life-changing experience, and ever since, I have taken part in numerous food-oriented tours near and far.

I have belonged to the Association of Food Journalists for more than 25 years. Every year, we host a conference in a different city to meet for professional development and networking, as well as immerse ourselves in the food culture of our host city. I have attended most of these, and had the opportunity to chair two – in Atlanta in 1995, and 20 years later in Memphis.

I had just completed my book, Eat Drink Delta, and wanted to give other food writers the opportunity to explore this fascinating and complex region through its distinctive food customs.

I also offered an optional overnight Delta Detour to the Mississippi Delta, in which about 25 attendees took a shuttle bus to Clarksdale, MS, cradle of the blues.


I am exploring other opportunities to get involved in planning educational events around food.

Have an Idea? Let’s talk.

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