Writing the Food Memoir: A Workshop With Gina Rae La Cerva - Atlas Obscura Experiences
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Gastro Obscura

Writing the Food Memoir: A Workshop With Gina Rae La Cerva

$225 per person Online Experience
4 sessions
Up to 25 people
See Dates
$225 per person
$225 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this four-part seminar, learn the art of the gastronomic memoir and explore personal stories of your own through food writing.

Course Description

Eating is a daily necessity, a pleasure, and an act of creativity. Food connects us to our ancestors, our landscapes, and our bodies. Our relationship to both is complicated, and writing short personal narratives about it can help us to illuminate deeper truths about ourselves.

In this generative memoir-writing workshop led by award-winning writer Gina Rae La Cerva, we’ll use the subject of food as a starting point to explore our inner worlds. We’ll access deep memories, connect to our childhoods, examine our heritage, and reflect on our personal growth. Through short prompts, longer writing assignments, and readings, we’ll examine the craft of writing about food, highlighting the tools needed to create stellar food writing including ingredients, timing, and temperature. Along the way, we’ll look at the essential components of using sensory details to inform and inspire. While there will be some time to share our work and offer feedback as a group, this course will primarily be generative—using our writing as a means to explore all the ways we do and don’t nourish ourselves. Whether you want to write a restaurant review, a reflection on your favorite food memory, or the life history of a family recipe, get ready to cook up some piquant prose.

Gastro Obscura Courses: delving deep into the world’s culinary curiosities with expert instructors.

Syllabus At A Glance

There are four total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 1.5 hours.

Fall Session A: Meets Mondays beginning November 8.

Session 1 (Monday, 11/8, 7–8:30 PM ET): Origins: Exploring food heritage and how it plays a role in our connection with eating today

Session 2 (Monday, 11/15, 7–8:30 PM ET): Landscapes: Places where food is grown, prepared, and enjoyed

Session 3 (Monday, 11/22, 7–8:30 PM ET): Appetite & Pleasure: Sensuality, longing, and satiation

Session 4 (Monday, 11/29, 7–8:30 PM ET): Food Futures: Sovereignty, freedom, and community

Fall Session B: Meets Sundays beginning November 14.

Session 1 (Sunday, 11/14, 1–2:30 PM ET): Origins: Exploring food heritage and how it plays a role in our connection with eating today

Session 2 (Sunday, 11/21, 1–2:30 PM ET): Landscapes: Places where food is grown, prepared, and enjoyed

-week off-

Session 3 (Sunday, 12/5, 1–2:30 PM ET): Appetite & Pleasure: Sensuality, longing, and satiation

Session 4 (Sunday, 12/12, 1–2:30 PM ET): Food Futures: Sovereignty, freedom, and community

Between Sessions

Each week, students will be given several food essays to read along with a 15 to 30-minute writing prompt to complete outside of class.

Pricing Options

If you are unable to pay the ticket price for this course, a limited number of no-pay spots are available to increase accessibility for students, regardless of their economic situation. Please note that this option is first-come, first-served, and reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course. To learn more about our approach to pricing, including no-pay options, please visit our FAQ page.

Atlas Obscura Online Course

This online course is offered by Atlas Obscura. Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura created the definitive, community-driven guide to the most incredible places on the planet and is now an award-winning travel company that shares the world’s hidden wonders in person and online.

Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for up to two weeks following the final session of the course.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.atlasobscura.com/online-courses.

For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.

About Your Instructor
Gina Rae La Cerva
Gina Rae La Cerva

Gina Rae La Cerva is an award-winning writer, geographer, and environmental anthropologist. Her first book, Feasting Wild: In Search of the Last Untamed Food was selected for the New York Times Summer Reading List and chosen by Amazon as a Best Non-Fiction Book of 2020. Her food writing can be found in various publications including Emergence Magazine, TOUT, and Literary Hub. She has lectured widely on the relationship between food and the environment. Gina Rae loves to cook over fire, try new ingredients, and throw dinner parties.

You can find her on Twitter (@ginaraelc) and Instagram (@feastingwild). 

What Else You Should Know

This is an interactive, small-group, seminar-style course that meets over Zoom. Students may be invited to participate in discussions, workshop their projects, and receive feedback from the course instructor.

In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.

We provide closed captioning for all of our courses, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at experiences@atlasobscura.com if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.

Group Size

There are 25 spots available on this experience.

Dates and Availability
  • Mon, Nov 8, 2021
    7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
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  • Sun, Nov 14, 2021
    1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
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