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bioAltmanElissa Altman writes the monthly Washington Post column, Feeding My Mother, and is the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir, Poor Man’s Feast: A Love Story of Comfort, Desire, and the Art of Simple Cooking, as well as the 2012 James Beard Award-winning blog of the same name. Her work has appeared everywhere from Tin House and Oprah Magazine to Edible Iowa River Valley, Dame Magazine, Saveur, and The New York Times, and has been anthologized five consecutive times in Best Food Writing; her next book, Treyf: A Memoir of the Forbidden, will be published in 2016 by Berkley Books. A longtime book editor, Altman focuses much of her writing on issues of moral, spiritual, gustatory, and creative sustenance. She lives in Newtown, Connecticut with her family.
bioEstabrookBarry Estabrook is a three-time James-Beard-Award-winning journalist, Estabrook is the author of Pig Tales: An Omnovore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat, which Alice Waters describes as “a beautiful and clear-eyed examination of the world of pigs and pig farming,” and of the New York Times best-selling Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit (described as “masterful” by Mark Bittman in the New York Times). 2015. He was a contributing editor at Gourmet magazine. His work has also appeared in the New York Times “Dining” section and the New York Times Magazine, Eating Well, Men’s Health, Saveur, Gastronomica, and many other national magazines. He has been anthologized in The Best American Food Writing 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. He lives in rural Vermont. His website is
bioKurtBorn and raised in the Heartland, Chef Kurt Michael Friese got his BA in photography & Political Science at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa before graduating from the New England Culinary Institute , where he later was a Chef-Instructor. With 36 years of professional foodservice experience, he has been chef and owner of the Iowa City restaurant & bar Devotay for 18 years. Devotay is a community leader in sustainable cuisine and supporting local farmers and food artisans. In 2006 Friese founded and still publishes Edible Iowa River Valley magazine, and is the Executive Producer of the Edible Radio network of podcasts (as well as the host of The Blue Plate Special). He has written 2 books, A Cook’s Journey: Slow Food in the Heartland, and Chasing Chiles: Hot spots Along the Pepper Trail (co-authored with Kraig Kraft and Gary Nabhan).
bioHalweilBrian Halweil is the editor-in-chief of Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End, Edible Long Island and Edible Manhattan magazines. He recently launched the Food Lab, a academic center devoted to food education, media and enterprise at Stony Brook Southampton, where he directs the food literacy program. He lives with his family in Sag Harbor, New York, and you can follow him on Twitter here.
bioJohnKenyonJohn Kenyon is executive director of the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature. The Des Moines native is a University of Iowa graduate who worked in local media for the past two decades, including a decade as a reporter with the Cedar Rapids Gazette’ Johnson County Bureau and eight years as editor of the Corridor Business Journal. John serves on the board of the Summer of the Arts, Any Given Child Iowa City, And the Iowa Youth Writing Project. In his limited spare time, he writes crime fiction and edits the crime fiction journal, Grift. He lives in Iowa City with his wife and two sons.

bioManningJoy Manning is the editor of Edible Philly and the executive editor of Edible Hudson Valley. She’s also a James Beard award-nominated writer, editor, and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Shape, Details, Women’s Health, Prevention, Relish, Cooking Light, The Philadelphia Inquirer as well as at websites including Serious Eats and The Kitchn, among other media outlets. She is the author of Almost Meatless, and the recipe editor of Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking. The former nutrition editor at Prevention magazine, Joy has also worked at Tasting Table as senior recipes editor and at Philadelphia magazine, where she was restaurant critic. Find her on twitter and instagram @joymanning.

bioMillerSummer Miller is a freelance food journalist and author whose work has appeared in Grit, SAVEUR, Every Day with Rachel Ray, Edible Omaha, and Edible Feast. She spent the last four years traveling the forgotten Plains of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota unearthing stories of local food life and compiling recipes for her first book, New Prairie Kitchen: Stories and Seasonal Recipes from Chefs, Farmers and Artisans of the Great Plains. Oprah Winfrey’s private chef heralded New Prairie Kitchen as “more than a cookbook—it’s a love letter to the heartland.” She lives with her husband and two children in Elkhorn, Ne., where she spends most of her time thinking and writing about food. Photo credit:

bioGaryGary Paul Nabhan is an orchard-keeper, food and farming writer and senior contributing editor of Edible Baja Arizona. His 26 solely authored, coauthored or edited books have been honored with a MacArthur Genius Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, the John Burroughs Medal for best nature writing and a Western States Book Award.   He is one of the few essayists whose work has been featured in annual volumes of Best Food Writing and Best Nature Writing.

bioParsonMaya Parson is a food writer, the editor of Edible Michiana magazine and, by training, a cultural anthropologist. Her work focuses on local food and food cultures—from the Midwest to Latin America, Europe and beyond. On her blog, Cultured Grub, she writes about food as a lens for cultural exploration, self-reflection and storytelling. She is also a guest blogger on the Food Writing Lives blog on Her favorite place to visit anywhere in the world is the local farmers market.


bioRyderTracey Ryder co-founded Edible Communities, Inc., the nation’s largest publishing company dedicated to the local foods movement, in 2002. Today the company publishes more than 80 titles across North America. The content for each publication is region-specific and focuses on the farmers, fishermen, chefs and food artisans from each area. Ms. Ryder has worked as a journalist, marketer and graphic designer for the culinary, tourism and agriculture industries for the past 30 years. She is a regular speaker at conferences and events in the culinary and publishing fields and has edited, curated and co-written 5 Edible Communities cookbooks. She and partner, Carole Topalian, are currently hard at work on their rural salon and creative studio, Clayworks Farm, located in Santa Barbara County’s wine country.

bioTopalianCarole Topalian is co-founder of Edible Communities, Inc., and travels the world with a gifted and finely tuned photographer’s eye. Carole’s photographs bring the Edible Communities’ mission to life, telling visual narratives about what local food networks look like today. Capturing the essence and purity of a single vegetable at the peak of ripeness or a pair of weathered farmer’s hands, readers immediately connect with the compelling images published throughout the network of Edible magazines. Earlier in her career, Carole owned a Los Angeles-based multimedia company where she produced several award-winning advertising and promotional campaigns for major corporations. Her fine art photographs have been exhibited in over 80 shows throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Visit for more information.

bioVintonSherri Brooks Vinton wants you to have a more delicious life. Her writing, talks and hands-on workshops teach fellow eaters how to find, cook and preserve local, seasonal, farm friendly food. To find out more, visit Sherri’s books, lectures, and workshops give fellow eaters the practical information they need to support local agriculture with their food choices. Her first book, The Real Food Revival: Aisle by Aisle, Morsel by Morsel, teaches readers how and why to enjoy sustainably raised foods. In her current series of Put ‘em Up! books, Sherri walks eaters through the preserving processes that allow them to enjoy seasonal foods all year long. Sherri’s discussions and workshops on “how to reclaim the food chain” have been offered at a variety of venues including Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Market. She is honored to have been featured on a number of radio and television programs including Martha Stewart Radio and The Leonard Lopate Show with Ruth Reichl. Through a national column for Edible Communities, Sherri has contributed to numerous Edible publications across the country. She is currently writing a book on enjoying every bite of the food you buy.
bioWaltersTerry Walters is the best-selling cookbook author of Clean Food, Clean Start, and most recently, Eat Clean Live Well. She is a James Beard Foundation Award finalist and recipient of the Nautilus Gold and Silver Book Awards. Of her first book, chef Mario Batali says: “Clean Food is the most exciting book based on fresh produce and simple recipes I have used in years.”

Terry is regularly featured on television and radio, in print and Internet media, and is the author of the popular blog Eat Clean Live Well. She serves as Advisor to the Board of Directors for Urban Oaks Organic Farm and works extensively as an educator, consultant, clean food chef and advocate for healthy change in the way we eat and live. Terry is at the forefront of the clean eating lifestyle movement and is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and passion to eat clean and live well. Her work inspires and empowers us to make positive changes for our health and the health of our environment.

She is an avid runner, cyclist, skier and gardener – living what she teaches; doing the best she can to embrace good health for herself, her family, her community and the environment.

bioWestergaardNick Westergaard is a strategist, speaker, author, and educator. As Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, he helps build better brands at organizations of all sizes — from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies to the President’s Jobs Council.

Since 2005 Nick has blogged about marketing, posting fresh brand-driven insights each week. He also writes for MarketingProfs, 12 Most, and The Gazette, where he is a regular columnist. His thoughts have been featured in news sources such as US News & World Report, Entrepreneur magazine, Mashable, American Express OPEN Forum, and more. He’s also the host of the popular On Brand podcast.

Nick is a sought-after keynote speaker on branding and digital marketing at conferences and corporate events throughout the world. He also teaches at the University of Iowa, where he sits on the Advisory Council of the Marketing Institute at the Tippie College of Business and the Professional Advisory Board for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He also organizes and hosts the Social Brand Forum, a premier digital marketing event in the heart of the heartland.

Nick lives with his wife and five kids in Coralville, Iowa.