How (And Why) To Write About Food in Fiction

Whoever first said “You are what you eat” probably didn’t mean it as writing advice, but that’s how I take it. What you eat doesn’t just literally keep you alive, it can say so much about who you are, where you’re from, and more.

(Amanda Elliot: On Food and Romance in Fiction)

In my new book Sadie on a Platea romantic comedy following a young chef on a Top Chef-like cooking show, I made spreadsheets to keep track of what every character was cooking for each challenge, because each dish was meant to tell the reader something about the character. Some dishes pointed back to the contestants’ cultural or familial backgrounds, while others showcased personality traits, state of mind, or even feelings of which they weren’t consciously aware at the time.


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