Jen Barnett has worked in marketing for 19 years and in digital content and marketing for 11. She has an MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She’s been blogging for pay since 2000, when she created the online character of Gigi for Goody’s Family Clothing. She currently runs Freshfully, an online marketplace and blog site about local food.
Dennis Malcolm Byron, AKA Ale Sharpton, is an award-winning journalist and editor who has worked with various publications for the past 15 years. Under his Ale Sharpton alias, he is a world-renowned beer writer and hosts his own beer show on the web, Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’. Originally from New York and a Cornell University alumnus, he currently serves as editor and journalist for Beer Connoisseur, Jezebel, J’Adore, JET, Men’s Book, and numerous other publications and websites. Dennis proudly claims Atlanta as his home.
Marian Cooper-Cairns first appeared in the pages of Southern Living magazine at the ripe old age of eight, holding a homemade popsicle made in a Dixie cup. Fast forward a few decades later, and she was on the staff of the Southern Living Test Kitchens as a food stylist. With a background in fine art photography, she decided to follow in the footsteps of her mother, former test kitchen alumna, and attend culinary school. She is a graduate of Texas Culinary Academy in Austin with a degree in Culinary Arts and has successfully merged her two passions of imagery and food into a unique career. Her work can also be seen in Cooking Light, Coastal Living, Design*Sponge and the recently published cookbook Southern Plate. She is a self described chronic dinner party planner and an aspiring beer nerd. Her favorite Southern foods are okra, breakfast tacos, and pretty much anything that involves pork.
Jennifer Davick specializes in photographing and videoing all aspects of food, whether plated recipes, product packaging or the family gathered around the table eating. During her tenure as senior food photographer for Southern Living, Davick honed her skills on photographic productions of all sizes developing a talent and flexibility for shooting skillfully in studio and on location. She began her photography career in San Francisco, while pursuing an MFA at the Academy of Art University. Notable chefs Davick has worked with include Emeril Lagasse, John Besh, Tyson Cole of Uchi, “The Pioneer Woman” Ree Drummond, Southern Plate blogger Christy Jordan and Cat Cora. Clients include Delta Air Lines, Zoe’s Kitchen, Southern Living, Coastal Living, Oxmoor House and HarperCollins.
Jay Ducote is a talented writer, an avid traveler, a philanthropist when he gets the chance, an entrepreneur at times, and one heck of a good guy. He is the author of the website Bite and Booze, which chronicles his culinary and indulgent cultural experiences as he eats and drinks at home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and around the world. Jay can currently be found as a freelance writer for 225 magazine, as a radio host of the BiteandBooze.com Radio Show on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge, and as a chef instructor at the first-of-its-kind Viking Cooking School Outdoors at the Baton Rouge Hilton Capitol Center. He is the former chair of the founding Board of Directors for the Baton Rouge Social Media Association and former Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Mobile Food Vendors Association.
Hélène Dujardin moved from France to the US in the late ’90s with a master’s in history, a suitcase and an old film camera. She launched the award-winning blog Tartelette in 2006, on which she dedicates herself to the craft of food photography and styling. Hélène’s work has been praised online and in print by publications such as Elle, Forbes, The Times Online, Martha Stewart, and more. She has photographed numerous cookbooks magazine features to date, and her first book as an author, Plate To Pixel. Digital Food Photography and Styling, was released in May 2011. Hélène’s photographs reveal her passion for natural light, seasonal and fresh ingredients, a love of travel and genuine interest in people.
Colleen Duffley has been shooting people, places and things around the globe for 25 years. She photographs, directs, produces, and concepts for magazines, commercials and ad campaigns, but has never limited herself and has since developed plan b., or Studio b., rather: a creative venue that brings together the best of the best in all things creative. The studio recently hosted an exhibit of iPhone photography; Colleen’s purpose behind the event was to create a level playing field where all people could be creative and not need expensive equipment.
Lisa Ekus is the founder of The Lisa Ekus Group, an award-winning public relations firm and literary agency that has been “promoting a world of culinary talent” for almost 30 years. A member of numerous professional organizations, Lisa travels and lectures frequently around the country. She is also an experienced media trainer and offers both on- and off-site programs for culinary professionals.
Tammy Hart is a local web Designer and WordPress developer that specializes in creating custom blogs and websites. She has spoken at several WordPress and Technology conferences and blogs on those topics at Tammy Hart Designs. In addition to her daytime role as Creative Director for Blue Streak Creative, she is also developing a fully supported WordPress plugin for easily adding recipes to your blog posts called ReciPress. Tammy is passionate about a clean User Interface and a great User Experience. When it comes to the technical side of blogging, she has all the right moves.
Dianne Jacob has taught classes on food writing for 10 years, including at the Smithsonian Institution and UCLA’s journalism department. She is the author of the award-winning Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Reviews, Memoir, and More, and she covers food-writing trends and technique on her blog, Will Write for Food.
Kat Kinsman is the managing editor of CNN’s food blog Eatocracy, the year-old site devoted to all things edible. She is the former senior editor for AOL Food and Slashfood and serves as the vice chair of the James Beard Journalism Committee. You can find her talking about food periodically on CNN Newsroom and rather constantly on Twitter as @kittenwithawhip.
Kara Nielsen has more than 18 years’ experience in the culinary industry. As trendologist at the Center for Culinary Development, she conducts trend research and analysis for food and beverage product development. She leads culinary trend tours around the country and produces and co-writes the bimonthly Culinary Trend Mapping Report published by Packaged Facts. Nielsen holds a master’s degree in gastronomy from Boston University. She has managed educational food and wine programs at Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts in Napa and spent seven years as a pastry chef in San Francisco Bay Area restaurants. She is a former board member of the San Francisco Professional Food Society.
Samantha Rivard is the author and owner of A Teenage Gourmet, a site that shares recipes and stories from a teen perspective. Since starting her blog in May of 2010, she has been featured regularly on the culinary sensation TasteSpotting.com. Sami was awarded the Versatile Blogger Award only three months after starting her chronicle, and she also made the front page of her local newspaper, The Advocate Messenger, in April of 2011. A passion for cooking is nothing new for Sami; she was featured in Southern Living at the ripe old age of five for winning a recipe contest with her Gouda-Lovers Chicken Sandwich. As she begins studies at The University of Virginia this fall, she plans to mix her love for food into her business studies and cook up a culinary career.
You’ve heard the song “All She Wants to Do is Dance?” All Genevieve Turkett wants to do is design (Earth By April Designs), blog (A Light Slowly Growing), and use the power of the web for good. A graduate of the University of Alabama in English and visual arts, Turkett has developed websites, blogs, social media campaigns and print media as a volunteer and a consultant. Her clients range from architects to churches to local chapters of international nonprofits. A blogger and social networker essentially from the womb, Genevieve gives beginner & intermediate level presentations on blogging platforms, social media sites, and creating online personas including portfolios, search engine optimization, photo galleries, and complete websites that connect them all. She’ll make Googling yourself fun again.
Virginia Willis is the author of the acclaimed cookbook Bon Appétit, Y’all! Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2008). Her next book, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all: Recipes and Recollections of a Southern Culinary Journey is the lead book for Ten Speed Press for fall 2011. A graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne, she previously she honed her attention to detail as kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living Television, where she supervised the food segments for the Emmy-award winning television show. With MSLTV, Virginia was also responsible for preparing private meals and events for Martha and her guests—including, among others, President Bill Clinton, Aretha Franklin, and Julia Child. As executive producer for Epicurious on The Discovery Channel, she traveled the world taping fantastic stories about food, from harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano to making authentic mustard in Dijon.