Last night, ICE’s Center for Food Media hosted Amanda Hesser in the An Evening With… series. Hesser is best known for her role as food columnist and editor at the New York Times for more than a decade. She has also written The Cook and the Gardener and Cooking for Mr. Latte and edited a collection of food essays, Eat, Memory. Her latest book, The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century is a compilation of 1,100 recipes from the New York Times going back to the 1850s (and it was just nominated for a James Beard Award). She is also the co-founder of Food52, an ever-growing website dedicated to building a network and community of cooks.

Hesser did not always want to be a food writer. In fact, she studied economics and finance and university, but she followed her love of food to Europe where she worked in bakeries and restaurants in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. During her time abroad, she wrote letters to her friends and family back home, and found that she really enjoyed it and began to consider writing as a possible career. While working in France for Anne Willan, the founder of La Varenne, a cooking school, she met the French gardener who would become the subject of her first book, The Cook and the Gardener.

After completing the book, she began working at the Times. Hesser said, “When I turned in my first story, my editor told me it was missing a nut graf. I had no idea what that was.” After more than a decade there, she wrote over 800 stories for the newspaper, ranging from restaurant reviews to recipe columns. More…

Last night, ICE hosted former Bon Appétit Editor-in-Chief Barbara Fairchild in a small, intimate discussion about her experiences and her lessons for would-be food media professionals. The class was part of the ICE Center for Food Media’s “An Evening With…” series, designed to give students a chance to have a casual, informal discussion with food media luminaries. During these classes, professionals such as Saveur Editor-in-Chief James Oseland and New York Times writer and editor Amanda Hesser discuss their lives and careers, as well as the challenges and rewards of their jobs, changes and trends in the industry and much more.

As a successful editor and food world star, Fairchild is a unique position to comment about the world of food media. Fairchild joined Bon Appétit as an editorial assistant in 1978, and after rising through the ranks, she was promoted to Editor-in-Chief in 2000. The same year, she was also inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.” At the helm of Bon Appétit, she authored three books: The Bon Appétit Cookbook, The Bon Appétit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh and Bon Appétit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful.

Now, Fairchild has taken a turn in her career. The world of magazine publishing is in a state of flux, changing rapidly to new formats on the web and social media. In September, it was announced that Bon Appétit would move their offices from Los Angeles to New York, and Fairchild would step down. Just two weeks ago, her 32-year stint at the magazine came to an end. She said, “Right now, I guess I’m just goofing off. I’m going to be tweeting and writing on my blog, but I also want to explore radio, television and teaching.” More…