In literature, the mark of a successful author is that their work has a reader feeling as though they are experiencing first-hand whatever is happening on the page.
When an author’s writing is vivid and descriptive to the point that their reader can almost see, hear, feel, and smell the events unfolding between a book’s covers, the real world melts away — at least for a short time.
But how often to readers get the chance to taste what they’re reading? This fall, DigiWriting and the Stratford Chefs School’s first-ever Appetite for Words Festival will give Stratford literature enthusiasts a chance to do just that.
“This is literary arts and the culinary arts in a true blend of the two,” said Heidi Sander, DigiWriting’s creative director. “People literally will be tasting the words they’re reading. For each of the literary lunches and dinners, the chefs have actually read the books that will be featured and they’ll have created a menu based on each book.”
At each of the literary meals, the author whose book will be used as inspiration for the event’s menu will be present to answer questions and present a reading of their book before the meal is served. Topics of discussion will revolve around the themes present in each of the authors’ books, as will the dishes served.
On Oct. 28, for example, Alice Zorn, the award-winning author of Five Roses, will speak at a dinner celebrating the culinary history of working-class Montreal, as depicted in her novel.
“Not all of the books will be about food. Alice Zorn’s book, Five Roses, is fiction and it’s about relationships and histories between four women in a working class neighbourhood in Montreal. When the chef finished reading this book, the chefs school wanted to pay homage to the culinary history of working-class Montreal and Quebec, so they created a menu around that,” Sander explained. “I’m quite excited to taste the words that we’re reading…