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If you've ever contemplated writing a cookbook...

By Liz Williams
President, Southern Food and Beverage Museum

Southern Food and Beverage Museum president Liz Williams announces Farm to Table Symposium.

Southern Food and Beverage Museum president Liz Williams announces Farm to Table Symposium.

While it is true that we live to eat in New Orleans, it is almost as true that everyone here is writing a cookbook -- or thinking about writing one.  And since we do produce so many mighty good cooks in this city, why shouldn’t everyone write a cookbook?

If the thought ever occurred to you, this is a good time to explore it. On August 2 at the Morial Convention Center, the Farm to Table International Symposium will include a terrific opportunity to ask all your legal questions about food and cookbook writing. The panel is part of the Continuing Legal Education seminar that is a component of the symposium's Friday presentation.

Two experts in intellectual property and publishing – who also care about food – will be presenting the latest information about food writing and the law in Writing about Food: Growing, Cooking, Eating. 

Marie Breaux, founder of the M Breaux Intellectual Property Law firm in New Orleans, is one half of the panel. She will be addressing lawyers who want to know the latest developments in intellectual property law as it relates to writing, and the general public who want answers to their personal questions.

F. Jay Dougherty is on the faculty at Loyola University Law School in Los Angeles, where he is Director of the Entertainment and Media Law Concentration Program. He is frequently consulted by the popular press for comments about intellectual property issues.

The CLE program, which is co-sponsored by Tulane University Law School, offers a rare opportunity to hear two legal minds talk about issues that need to be considered when writing about food. Of course, potential cookbook writers interested in ownership of recipes and titles aren't the only ones who will get something out of this presentation; restaurateurs can learn about ownership of the look of their food, the descriptions of their dishes on a menu, or even the name of a particular dish.

What about all those bloggers who take pictures of their food?  Is posting on the Internet protected? And gardening, growing, and those pesky GM seeds – what must you know in order to write about them?

These and many other questions will be discussed. Dropping into the CLE, without getting CLE credit, is as easy as getting a day pass to the conference.  If you are an attorney and want credit for the CLE, you can register for 7 hours of credit.

Farm to Table International is a partnership between the SoFAB Institute and the Morial Convention Center New Orleans.  This is the first year of the symposium and, in addition to this panel, it will feature speakers such as William Yosses, White House pastry chef; Corby Kummer, James Beard winning journalist for the Atlantic magazine; and Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and writer. International implications and many issues in the farm to table movement will be covered by the speakers, panels and demonstrators.

This is just the first year. We hope that we can make this event grow to be the farm to table event every year.

Join us.

Liz Williams is president of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Email her at [email protected]. For more information about the organization's first Farm to Table Symposium, click here.