In this talk, author Ashley explores telling your personal culinary experiences and journey through your cookbook or menu. Using examples (and tastings when possible!) from her book Southern From Scratch, which showcases how her culinary upbringing informed and shaped the cook she am today. She’ll discuss ways to imbue dishes with both literal and figurative, personal flavor.
Ashley guides you on the journey of creating a book concept, pitching it, working with agents versus being unaffiliated, recipe development and testing (where relevant), and more. She’s learned many helpful steps to catching an editor’s attention along her 11 book journey and she generously shares what insider tips have stuck, and what hasn’t, along the way.
Ashley invites you to more deeply explore the process of recipe writing. Having authored 11 food-based books, she’s learned quite a few tips and tricks for crafting recipes that are original yet personal, innovative yet familiar. This talk be geared not just for those interested in writing cookbooks of their own, but also for getting out of “safe” culinary ruts.
For centuries, people bonded over food—building long-term relationships based on a need to collaborate in order to grow, harvest, and preserve food. Today, the easy access to food has eliminated the need for those relationships, leaving us with one less reason to interact. In this talk, Ashley discusses how eating together has the power to create scientifically proven social bonds, engender community preservation, and serve as a form of diplomacy.
Ashley on Whole Foods – Dark Rye
Ashley on Wassail – A Holiday Toast
Ashley’s Book Trailer: Handmade Gatherings
“In a time when origin and heritage are finally enjoying the culinary spotlight, Ashley English emerges from the sweet hollars of Southern Appalachia as an honest and refreshing voice. You’ll find no truer heart and account of what it means to reject, embrace, interpret and celebrate the kitchen we come from. As a mountain girl myself and working in the TV food industry, I see many iterations of this new brand of home cook, but y’all, take notice — Ms. English is the real deal.” – Selena Lauterer, President, Artemis Independent
“As one of the leading local voices on food, Ashley combines a unique message with a relaxed stage presence and an articulate delivery of her thoughts. She is both charming and informative. She attracted a big crowd as the keynote speaker for one of our events in 2018 and wowed the audience with ground-breaking thoughts on our relationship with food. Can’t wait to have her back for an encore!” – Tennille Tracy, Publisher, Edible Asheville
Ashley English is the author of 11 books, including all 5 books in her “Homemade Living series” (Canning & Preserving, Keeping Chickens, Keeping Bees, Home Dairy, and Home Apothecary), as well as A Year of Pies, Quench, Handmade Gatherings, A Year Of Picnics, The Essential Book of Homesteading, and Southern From Scratch.
She has worked over the years with a number of nonprofit organizations committed to social and agricultural issues, hosted a bimonthly column for several years in the popular blog Design*Sponge entitled “Small Measures with Ashley,” is an ongoing contributor to the quarterly publication “Taproot,” and regularly contributes to a number of international, national, and regional print publications. She has been a frequent guest on Martha Stewart Radio on SiriusFM.
She regularly teaches classes on topics such as chicken-keeping, bee-keeping, canning & preserving, pie-making, creating dairy products, making homemade health & body care items, and crafting homemade beverages.
She holds degrees in holistic nutrition and sociology, and is an alumnus of both The University of North Carolina at Asheville and Clayton College of Natural Health. She lives in Candler, NC with her husband Glenn, their young sons Huxley and Alistair, and a menagerie of animals. You can follow along with Ashley’s writings at Small Measure.