This past Wednesday, The Stasko Agency had the privilege of attending the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) Conference in Denver. What a great opportunity to network with talented writers, chefs, and foodies from all around the world!

In the morning we sat in on two sessions to learn more about marketing and pitching within and about the food industry. Our first table was with Virginia Willis, author of the fabulous cookbook Bon Appétit, Y’all! Three Generations of Southern Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2008). Virginia shared her experiences in promoting her latest cookbook, offered marketing strategies for authors and publishers, and revealed ways to get your name heard and remembered. Charming & southern, both Virginia and her recipes proved to be quite a treat. We wish her the best as she continues to travel around the country doing what she knows best!

Our second table was just as delightful, with a discussion lead by Better Homes & Gardens food editor Nancy Wall Hopkins. Nancy offered a refreshing (and completely approachable) perspective on pitching to large magazines. She’s proof that editors are truly as passionate about good stories as we are! By laying out some to-do (and to NOT do’s), Nancy explained that magazine pitching should be about a dialogue, not a rigid “Here’s my story and that’s that.” By looking at the bigger picture and seeking the story behind the story, we can begin to offer editors the kind of information they can run with. If only we could all have the vision that Nancy has! We look forward to getting in touch with her (hopefully with all the right methods in place) to see if we might have a story that she’ll be gaga over.

We finished out the day at the opening reception, held in the Denver Art Museum. Root Down was one of the restaurants featured at the event, and had quite the buzz around their station. Thanks to all the IACPers we met who showed up to say hello! We were excited to hear all the positive feedback! A special thanks to Virginia, who posted a Root Down shout out on her facebook page.

Kudos to all the amazing cuisine provided by Denver’s top restaurants–we couldn’t get enough of the great dishes we sampled. Overall, it was a great event and we were honored to be a part of it all.