What’s the Recipe? A Food Writing Course with Jennifer Cockrall

An intensive course designed and taught by an acclaimed cookbook author and food journalist to help you launch your next culinary writing project

Are you sitting on a great idea for a cookbook, a culinary memoir, a recipe blog, or a food-related feature article?

In this interactive, collaborative, and information-packed course, acclaimed cookbook author and food journalist Jennifer Cockrall covers the essential ingredients of food writing, including how to sort your ideas, amass content, and nail pitches for editors and book publishers. Students will learn about the fundamentals and professional techniques of a variety of food writing forms, including cookbooks, blogging, and short and long-form magazine features.

We’ll workshop your ideas and refine your steps so that you’ll leave with the confidence to enter the food writing marketplace with any one of the following: a magazine pitch; a cookbook proposal draft; or a project roadmap for another food narrative.

Registration Closed: Click to join waiting list

Prerequisite: Come with story/blog/book ideas and wild desires for where you’d like those ideas to land.

July 20 to August 18, 2021

(Tuesdays, July 20 to Aug.17, 7pm-9pm ET, & Wednesday, Aug.18 7pm-9pm ET)

  • Class 1 (July 20): What’s your project? Workshopping your concept and the landscape of food writing; discussing traditional versus self-publishing
  • Class 2 (July 27): Fundamentals of good food writing; pitching and writing magazine features
  • Class 3 (Aug. 3): First-person food writing: culinary narratives and memoirs 
  • Class 4 (Aug. 10): Cookbooks and their recipes; the importance and efforts of proposals
  • Class 5 (Aug. 17): Workshopping final projects, part 1
  • Class 6 (Aug 18): Workshopping final projects, part 2 / Publishing and marketing, what to expect upon publication
Instructor’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

“In my 25 years of writing experience and 15 years of teaching, I have found that everyone has stories to tell and knowledge to share. It’s enough that you arrive with some ideas of what you’d like write about and a desire to make it happen. Culinary writing suffers from a lack of diversity in stories and storytellers. Please consider attending and telling your story, no matter how small you may think it is, to make this world a more delicious place for everyone.” –Jennifer Cockrall

There’s no one I would rather take a food writing course from than Jennifer Cockrall. As a book publisher I can confirm that her skills as a writer and storyteller are stellar. Her book proposal and manuscript preparation knowledge is second to none, and you’re so much more likely to land that book deal or article if you’re taking her advice. Not to mention, she’ll make the whole thing fun.

—Taryn Boyd, Publisher, TouchWood Editions

Pandemic University is committed to offering a fulfilling and inclusive education. Classes are held via Zoom with Closed Captioning features enabled through auto-transcription technology. A teaching assistant will be present to correct transcription mistakes and assist in other ways. The course includes workshops and class discussions, thus students are required to participate through audio; accommodations can be made for people with speaking or other disabilities if they inform us ahead of schedule. Video is encouraged of all students in order to optimize everyone’s virtual classroom experience.


This course is intended for committed students. Come with story/blog/book ideas and desires for where you’d like those projects published or what you’d like to see them achieve. Beginners are welcome.

Please be on time. If you’re going to be late, email your instructor and T.A. as soon as possible. The course is intended for live participation, however, if you can’t be present for a class, or must leave early, a recording will be provided in the student folder the morning after.

You’re expected to be present and intellectually curious during class time. In addition to attending each class, you are expected to be available across all dates to complete your writing assignments. If your work is more than 48 hours late, however, you may or may not get feedback.

After attending Jennifer’s Food and Wine Writers’ Workshops, I went on to write a Taste Canada-award-winning cookbook and a World Gourmand award-winning food travel book. The workshops and Jennifer’s mentoring gave me what I needed to go for it!

—Karen Anderson, author of A Spicy Touch, Food Artisans of Alberta, and founder/president of Alberta Food Tours

After checkout, you’ll receive a receipt with a link to download your syllabus, which will include Zoom passcodes, pre-class homework, and additional course information. You will also receive an emailed reminder a few days before your first class.


Space is limited to 16 students. Anyone wishing to cancel their registration have until July 13, 2021 to receive a guaranteed refund. If you cancel after July 13 but before July 20, 2021 we will only offer a refund if and after the vacated spot is filled. No refunds whatsoever will be offered after the course begins on July 20, 2021. Violations of the Code of Conduct may also result in your removal from the course without compensation.

Early in my writing career, Jennifer taught me an awareness of story; helped understand the value proposition for each participant in a transaction and a relationship; and coached and encouraged me. She helped me grow my writing from zero to pushing 400 published articles, and has helped me make a bit of money along the way. Jennifer has constantly delivered evergreen lessons worth multiple returns on the cost of admission.

—Timothy Fowler, chef, freelance writer, and podcaster (Elevate Your Game)

Although PanU is technically a fake university, we’re committed to high standards of artistic integrity, quality education, and maintaining a safe virtual environment for students. Abusive behavior toward classmates or instructors will not be tolerated at any point during the course, including in private messages, and will result in expulsion without refund.

Other violations that could have you expelled from this course include: refusing to participate in group workshops; plagiarism and misrepresentation of others’ ideas as your own; sharing recordings of classes; sharing classmates’ work without their consent; and racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia either in your notes feedback to classmates or in your written work.

The final say on whether or not you continue in class belongs to the instructor alone. If you have any questions, email info@pandemicuniversity.com.

About the Instructor Register for This Course Class Catalogue